On an NEC Option C is private health insurance a Defined Cost or included in the Fee?

I have an NEC Option C contract with the standard Schedule of Cost Components. My contractor is applying for private health insurance (BUPA or similar) and claiming it falls under section 13 of the SSC. My position is its an insurance and not a requirement of the law and so under Clause 52.1 it is deemed to be included within the Fee.


IF (big letters as I cannot underline or italicise) it does satisfy criteria stated in section 13 of the SCC, it would either be 13(d) medical examinations and/or 13 (m) medical aid.

When I look up ‘medical’ as a synonym, it does come up with ‘health’ as an alternative.

However, the synonyms for ‘aid’ it comes up with are “assistance, help, support, relief, encouragement, service, utility, benefit”.

Consequently, you could construe that medical aid = health benefit and private health insurance would to be health benefit included in a employment package.

In addition, medical examinations could be included in a private health insurance, either on pro-active basis for a general health MOT or in response to a specific condition.

So having started off in the ‘Probably not’ camp when I initially looked at this question, I now would err more towards saying ‘Yes’. Having said this, I would expect the cost of taking out the insurance to be at company level and therefore see evidence of the cost to the company divided by the number of its employees who have that benefit.

I think you have to ask yourself what does private health insurance cover. Does it cover, firstly, medical examinations (SCC 13(f))? The answer to that question is ‘Yes’ and secondly, does it cover medical aid (SCC 13(m))? I suppose that depends on the slant that you put on it, but in my book medical treatment falls under the auspices of ‘medical aid’. If you agree that privatre medical insurance covers these two elements of the SCC you must ask yourself as a client ‘What would you prefer to pay, the cost of the insurance or the actual cost of any medical examination and/or medical aid?’ If, like me, you’ve experienced the cost of either of those two components then I believe you will accept that the cost of private medical insurance is the least costly way to proceed.