Interview with Ray Micallef, General Manager HSF health plan (Malta)
We asked Ray Micallef, General Manager at HSF health plan (Malta) to tell us about the first health cash plan in Malta.
What is HSF health plan (Malta)?
HSF health plan (Malta) Ltd is not a traditional insurer. Through our health cash plans policyholders can spread the cost of everyday medical costs such as dental, optical and GP consultations. Through claims from our specialist consultation, medical tests, and practitioners’ categories, we enable policyholders to secure quick access to treatment and diagnosis without a GP referral, and all starting at €1.50 per week! These plans encourage employees to improve their wellbeing, whilst also put some money “back in their pockets”! It’s a very innovative approach to health insurance and has already been well received by the market in Malta.
Many organisations have other types of health insurance in place for their employees. HSF health plan (Malta) Ltd can also work well alongside these policies, providing the best of both worlds! For example, some policies provide cover for surgery, while our proactive health plans reinforce a wellbeing strategy, which so many organisations are focussing on now.
Before launching in Malta, the health plan was available in the UK and Ireland. What is its history?
It’s been around a long time – almost 150 years! In 2008, HSF health plan Ltd became the trading company of a registered charity called The Hospital Saturday Fund. All profits derived from the HSF health plans in the UK, Ireland (and now Malta), are passed on to the charity, The Hospital Saturday Fund, which makes grants to medically associated charities and individuals.
The original Hospital Saturday Fund was formed in 1873 by the 12th Earl of Meath, Reginald Brabazon. There was no NHS (The National Health Service started in the UK in 1948) and so The Hospital Saturday Fund provided working people in the United Kingdom with a way to pay for the costs of accessing healthcare. By paying a small weekly amount when they were paid on a Saturday, working people could access the fund when they required medical treatment.
So, it sounds like a great organisation to partner with too?
Yes, I really enjoy explaining that partnering with HSF health plan (Malta) Ltd will not only support the organisation and their employees but as our profits are passed to the charity, they will also feel part of the support they give medically associated charities and individuals too!
What else is covered?
Unusually for the Maltese health insurance market, there is cover for routine investigations, vaccinations and allergy testing without a GP referral, removing the hassle of running from one medical practitioner to another. And pre-existing health conditions are covered after 5 years!
One of the biggest issues facing employers in Malta is recruiting staff. How can HSF health plan (Malta) Ltd help?
Although there are various factors that create challenges for employers recruiting and retaining staff, one area highlighted by employees as increasingly important are the employee benefits available to them. How much would an organisation be willing to invest to retain and attract the employees they want? Our entry level health plans cost €1.50 a week, a small investment considering the benefits it can bring to the organisation and provide for the employee. Higher levels of the cash plan cost more and, therefore, provide even larger benefits. The employer can choose to pay the employee’s premium in full, or part by the employer and part by the employee.
What is your own background in the health industry?
I started my career as a Registered General Nurse and worked for 10 years in the public sector and a further 3 years in the private health sector. I still hold my registration now!
This clinical experience led to me being headhunted for my first role within the industry, with a well-known insurer as its Claims Manager. I have worked within the industry for 25 years now, across many of the market leaders.
I graduated with an MBA from Henley Business School, and with an ACII, as an Insurance Practitioner, from the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK. Since 2002, I have lectured at established Maltese and foreign educational institutes delivering insurance-related and management-related topics.
Where can we find out more about HSF health plan (Malta) Ltd?
You can call in on +356 2778 0685 and speak with me or one of my colleagues or send an email to email@example.com or complete the form on our website.