Employee Benefits
Each insurer has a standard policy contract and general policy wordings. While these are by and large set in stone and consistent across providers, there are special terms that can be negotiated at the policy’s inception or renewal to enhance your business’ coverage offering.

With 49% of workers considering or actively looking for new roles in Singapore in 2021, a robust and comprehensive Employee Benefits Program is instrumental in attracting and retaining talent, especially in Singapore’s competitive job market.

This article examines 3 key considerations to help you get the most out of your Group Insurance.

 

PROLONGED ILLNESS SUPPORT

It is common for employers to offer prolonged illness leave (PIL) as part of their employment contract. This means the employee can feel secure in the knowledge they will be covered under their insurance policy while receiving medical attention and that their employer is supportive of their situation.

Your company insurance plan can complement the employment contract by including PIL of the same duration in the insurance plan. This is not a default clause, and it needs to be negotiated into the contract with the insurer. Without negotiations, the insurer will terminate members’ coverage if they are considered to not be ‘actively at work’.  

 

MENTAL CARE COVERAGE

The challenges presented by COVID have shone a light on the importance of mental wellness and the growing expectation that employers have a key role to play in supporting the mental health of their staff.

According to the 2021 Health on Demand Study, 51% of employees surveyed said that insurance coverage or programmes that reduce the cost of mental health treatment would be highly or extremely valuable. In addition to ‘wellness days off’ and Employee Assistance Programmes, employers can consider including mental care coverage in their insurance programs.  

A standard exclusion on most plans, many insurers now allow medical care coverage to be included in both inpatient and outpatient medical plans. This coverage allows employees to claim for treatment by a registered psychiatrist or psychologist, or hospitalisation in the Singapore Institute of Mental Health (or any other hospital for psychiatric care in Singapore).

Offering Mental Care benefits within an insurance contract is a convenient option for employers and employees because it can remove the need to seek standalone or alternative coverage.

 

COMPLIMENTARY HEALTH SCREENING

Prevention is better than cure.

With 1 in 4 Singaporeans experiencing at least one chronic disease, many employers see the value of implementing preventive care initiatives. Not only can these initiatives benefit employees with early detection and management of conditions, but they can also help organisations manage costs in the long run via reduced absenteeism and greater productivity.

Like mental health care, routine health screening is an exclusion under most local medical plans in Singapore. To encourage healthier living, some insurers partner with telehealth providers to offer complimentary basic health screens on an annual basis. This may be offered to companies with larger headcounts or who enjoy telehealth benefits as part of their medical plan. On-site and off-site consultations can be arranged, and in some cases, this benefit can be extended to dependents.

Separately, health screening can be included as a benefit in a medical outpatient policy at an additional cost. This coverage allows employees to claim for any routine health checks at their preferred clinic up to a pre-agreed amount per policy year.

 

REALISING THE BENEFITS

Negotiating these terms into your Group Insurance can ensure that as an employer, you stay ahead of the curve and offer holistic benefits which bring value to your employees and ultimately contribute to your talent attraction and retention strategy.

If you would like to explore these options, please reach out to your insurer or servicing intermediary prior to or during the renewal review of your policy.  

 

Cassaundra Tan

Head of Global EB Asia

cassaundra.tan@honan.com.sg

 

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