Right now, we know that people are more conscious about their own health, and more worried about the NHS’s ability to treat them – and their families. If you want to extend your own private-health back-up to include the people closest to you, we’ve got all the details about how to do it, when you can do it, and how much it’s likely to cost you.
How do I add my family?
You don’t need to go through your company, and you don’t need to answer lots of difficult health questions. Your membership handbook explains everything that is and is not covered. For example, the same 3 year pre-existing conditions rule applies – in that we can’t cover care for your family members for issues that they have already had symptoms of, been diagnosed or treated for, in the last 3 years.
All you need to do is head to your Equipsme Members Portal, log in, and click on the Request changes option. You’ll then be taken through the process step by step. (There’s also help if you’ve forgotten your log in and password details).
When can I add my family?
You can add family members to your plan at any time during the year of your plan. Once we receive a request to add your partner and/or children (and your Direct Debit is set up), we can add your family from the start of your next cover month.
However, you can’t upgrade cover levels until it comes to renewal. If your business renews your plan, you’ll be sent an email letting you know what you’re covered for - and offering you the opportunity to make your own upgrades.
Who can I add?
You can add your partner if you’re married, in a civil partnership, or living together permanently in a similar relationship. You can also add any of your or your partner’s children, who can stay on the plan up to the age of 25.
How many people can I add?
You can add one partner, and up to 6 children.
What sort of cover do they get?
Your family members will get the same sort of cover you do. So if your employer has purchased a basic package, your family will be able to access all the same services you can access, including 24/7 GP access, nurse advice line, and physiotherapy. If your employer has bought you diagnosis or treatment, or you’ve bought it or any other upgrades for yourself, your family will get those too.
Remember, only your employer can buy dental, optical and stress support as added extras, so you can’t add those to your plan yourself. BUT – if you have them your family get them too! And it’s not one pot for everyone – every single person gets their own, equal allowance at no extra charge.
(It’s also worth noting that our stress support line is only available for those over the age of 16, and that family members can’t access the face-to-face support sessions you can get as the main employee member).
How much will it cost me?
Adding your partner costs the same as your own plan costs, and adding your children costs half. What’s more – it’s half the cost for ALL children you add to your plan, not per child.
Our most popular plan includes diagnoses and treatment and is £33 a month. You would pay £33 for partner, and £16.50 for your first child - subsequent children (up to 5) are FREE. So, the cost to add ‘family’ cover to your company-bought plan would be just £49.50 a month.
How do I pay?
When you choose to upgrade or add family, we help you organise a direct debit from your own bank account via your Equipsme online portal, and your collections will be made on the same day of the month that your employer pays.
What happens to my cover/my family cover if I leave my employer, or if my employer stops paying for Equipsme?
If you’re not an Equipsme member anymore, for whatever reason, your cover ends. We’ll let you know when your last cover day is.
Is family cover worth it?
Everyone has to tighten their belts right now, and only you can know your own finances. But adding a child costs less per month than 3 pints of beer, and about a 5th of a monthly gym fee.
You can remove family members as quickly and easily as adding them (from the end of your next cover month) - although if you do then add them again later on terms like the pre-existing exclusion will re-apply from that current date.
What we have found is that Equipsme has been able to help employees and their families when they’ve really needed it – and when they’ve struggled to get what they need from the NHS. That includes helping one family get urgent treatment for their son about to go into diabetic ketoacidosis, and support at the weekend for a stressed-out mum with a very poorly and distressed little girl.