With knowledge growing about the long term effects of COVID-19, there is increasing evidence that a significant number of people will continue to suffer symptoms long after their initial infection. Referred to as Long COVID, it is expected that 45% of hospitalised patients will require ongoing support*.
Including non-hospitalised patients, the condition is currently thought to be affecting more than 180,000 people in the UK**, causing continuing fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain. To help employees cope with the immediate impact of COVID-19 and the after effects, Healix has introduced a specific package of benefits that employers can incorporate into their healthcare trust schemes.
“Although we know very little about Long COVID at the moment, evidence to date suggests that for some individuals the effects will be long lasting and treatment may be required on an ongoing basis”, explains Keira Wallis, Head of Clinical Services at Healix Health Services. “While this would not typically be eligible for cover under most healthcare schemes, at Healix we have decided to provide our healthcare trust clients with the option of including a package of benefits specifically related to COVID-19.”
In addition to a Cash Benefit for employees treated for COVID-19 in a NHS hospital, the package of benefits includes cover for private tests and non-urgent treatments specifically related to Long COVID including diagnostic tests, specialist consultations, mental health treatment, respiratory physiotherapy and complementary therapies.
Recent evidence published by the National Institute of Health Research suggests that Long COVID can be categorised into four different syndromes: post intensive care syndrome, post viral fatigue syndrome, permanent organ damage and long term COVID syndrome.
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*NHS England and NHS Improvement Coronavirus: Post-COVID Syndrome (Long COVID)
What is Post-COVID syndrome / Long COVID?
**ONS The prevalence of long COVID symptoms and COVID-19 complications, 16 December 2020