Welcome to our Little Black Book, an inspirational series of business stories and insights from our brilliant members.

Alex Budd

Alex Budd on ensuring a healthy balance

By Alex Budd

Senior Partner - WPA Healthcare Practice Plc

A healthy lifestyle equilibrium is the mindset of Alex Budd – a wholesome perspective from someone who has lived on both sides of the globe and has now settled back in the UK working in health insurance.

Having worked for over 20 years in the insurance industry, Alex’s outlook has been influenced by the decade he spent living and working in Australia, his family life now back in the UK, and by assisting his customers with their healthcare for award-winning health insurer WPA.

Connect on LinkedIn

You spent your early career working in Australia; what did you take away from the experience and time living there?

People think it must be really laid back in Australia but it’s still very sales focused – you have to be on the ball and do the hours. But come Friday, you're off, you don't even think about work on the weekend – you’re at the beach and it’s good weather pretty much every day. You’ve still got to earn your stripes in Australia though and in some ways, it's more difficult – the work-life balance is there but I personally think things are actually a bit more flexible over here.

What’s the WPA set-up and services and your role within the company?

WPA Healthcare Practice is a not-for-profit, private medical insurance business that has been around for over 120 years. It’s a really nice company, very ethical, and completely about individual referrals and recommendations.

The services we provide are very reliable. We're like a cooperative; we're set up solely for our members. All we do is medical insurance, we specialise in it and don’t do anything else because it can be quite complicated. My role is account management and business development. It's my job to take the complexity away, make sure that my customers know exactly what they're signing up to, and should they need to use their policy it will absolutely work for them.

In terms of the products, we do full private medical insurance which will get you in the hospital super quick and gives access to the latest and greatest treatments. It's very comprehensive, there are no waiting lists, and you get access to 600 plus hospitals around the UK.

We also do cash plans which are good value and give employees access to things like dental benefits, optical, therapies, and 24/7 access to a GP.

Do you want more articles like this in your inbox? If so then register below...

Is the demand for private health care on the rise?

Yes definitely. For companies it’s almost becoming a necessity, employees are demanding it more. And it assists the employer as much as it does the employees by reducing the amount of time people are on sick leave.

For individuals, companies, and the self-employed it’s increasingly important to have health insurance, and making sure it’s the correct health insurance because the sector can be a bit of a minefield.

How does WPA differ in its approach and services within the health insurance market?

Our family schemes are not claims rated which is quite significant. If you have cancer, you’re not penalised just because you’ve used your scheme, whereas most of our competitors will hike your prices. WPA very much differentiates itself on that basis.

We’re not-for-profit, we don’t have shareholders to pay out huge amounts of money for. Members always have an account manager like me to speak with – we’re very good from a customer service perspective.

"Treatments like physio and dental are particularly difficult to access on the NHS and certainly in those instances, and many others, private policies take away the pressure from those services."

How is WPA, and the wider private health insurance sector, supporting the NHS and contributing to health care overall in the UK?

UK hospitals and the NHS are having a really tough time at the moment. Even though we’re a private medical insurer, we’re very much there to assist and partner with the NHS and take away some of that stress.

Treatments like physio and dental are particularly difficult to access on the NHS and certainly in those instances, and many others, private policies take away the pressure on those services.

We’re fortunate to have the NHS and in an ideal world, the public system would work and cover the vast majority of people’s needs, but the reality is that it can’t and isn’t. Taking out a private health policy puts you in charge of your own health and well-being.

Work-life balance is clearly important to you, how do you enjoy spending your time outside of work?

I’m all about family and lifestyle these days, I’ve gone from working long hours to now not dreaming of missing things like my kids’ school sports days.

My daughters are 10 and seven and they’re at an age now where they still quite enjoy hanging out with their old man so I’m making the most of that. I coach my daughter’s football team which is great.

I enjoy my garden. We do a lot of travelling but we’re lucky where we live in the Test Valley because it’s a lovely local area – I go for a walk most mornings; I love the chalk streams; I love the wildlife; I’m lucky we’ve got the river in the garden.

Having travelled and lived overseas, is there a particular place where you love to spend time?

There are places all over the world that I love but you actually really appreciate the UK when you’ve been overseas for over 10 years.

I think the UK is very special. There’s a little place in South Devon that my family and I love next to Burgh Island – it’s nice, it’s clean, it’s very British, and it’s got beautiful surroundings.

"Taking out a private health policy puts you in charge of your own health and well-being."

Alex Budd - Senior Partner, WPA Healthcare Practice Plc