A comprehensive set of Employee Medical Benefits is a signal to your employees — both existing and prospective — that your company cares deeply about their wellbeing. It can be an effective tool in boosting employee morale and attracting new talent.
Employee Medical Benefits include inpatient coverage (where hospitalisation is required) and outpatient coverage (i.e routine GP or specialist consultations, including over video-consultations); with additional good-to-have preventative healthcare services, like health screening and vaccinations.
After finalising what you’re offering in your Employee Medical Benefits, you’ll need to decide on how your company would be availing these benefits to your staff.
Employee Medical Benefits Solutions
There are two main ways of providing Employee Medical Benefits in Singapore.
In both ways, it’s relatively the same for your employees: you would still communicate to them that they are covered for $X for inpatient and outpatient treatment. The impact of choosing either of these models would be more significant for your HR team.
Group Health Insurance Policy
How it works: Your company purchases a group insurance policy for the whole company with a health insurer, covering both inpatient and outpatient care. This insurer would also manage any administrative tasks, such as setting up policies and processing of employee’s claims.
What this means for your HR team is that this is a relatively hands off experience, once you’ve signed the contract for the plan. However, it also means that you may not get an oversight of your employee’s healthcare utilisation.
How much it costs: The total cost you incur is fixed from the start: it is based on a yearly premium per headcount covered in your plan. This is regardless of how much your employees claim for their healthcare across the year.
Typically, these premiums would increase year-on-year; and so, you may expect to have to pay more when the plan is due for renewal.
Most suitable for: Medium- to large-sized companies; or companies who do not want to manage medical benefits administration.
Examples of providers in Singapore: GE, Cigna, Singlife, Income
How it works: In a hybrid arrangement, your company contracts a health insurance provider to provide inpatient coverage, while taking on the costs of outpatient coverage in-house. For outpatient coverage, you’ll be able to have full control over decisions such as:
- Maximum amount that an employee can claim for various outpatient healthcare services, such as GP or specialist consultations
- Policies around co-payment for services
This doesn’t mean that your HR team would have to do all the admin work for outpatient claims. Typically, companies that opt for a hybrid arrangement would use an Employee Medical Benefits Management provider, that would help you keep track of your spending and do any additional administrative tasks.
How much it costs: The cost of a hybrid plan is harder to estimate, as it depends on how much your employees would claim for their inpatient coverage over the year. You’ll only need to pay for what’s been utilised by your employees, up to the defined limit that you have decided upon.
This is different from working with an external insurance provider, as the premium paid per employee is fixed. In this way, a hybrid plan may offer up to 40% savings compared to a full external insurance approach*.
(*Based on average scheme utilisation.)
Most suitable for: Small- to medium-sized companies; or companies who want more cost-effective and efficient control over their healthcare spending.
Examples of providers in Singapore who can help with self-insurance: DA Care, Mednefits
Common Considerations when deciding how to avail your Employee Medical Benefits
Each company has its own unique circumstances; there’s no one benefits model that would fit everyone. Nevertheless, there are certain common considerations that one has to keep in mind, when deciding on your company’s approach for your corporate health programme.
- In-house resources available: Naturally, going with full external insurance may be less taxing on your team. However, the administrative load can be relieved if you work with a Employee Medical Benefits Management provider to manage your outpatient employee medical benefits.
- Extent of control over healthcare spending: As shared before, by taking on outpatient coverage directly, you can determine the exact amount your employees are able to claim for. As such, you have full control over the maximum amount your company would spend. This is different from working with an insurance provider, as your insurance policy and the premiums you’ll have to pay would be pre-determined by the provider.
- Insights into employee health: By going in-house, you’d have a clear view of what healthcare services are being claimed for. This gives you deeper insights into your employee’s health, so that you can take action on improving their wellbeing.
Additionally, some Employee Medical Benefits Management providers offer additional services, beyond benefits administration alone. For example, DA Care has value-added benefits like helping your company organise workplace wellness events and roll-out preventive healthcare services for your employees.
If you’re thinking of adopting a hybrid approach, DA Care is ready to help.
DA Care provides customised, quality services that can answer your employees’ health needs. Our services start at $0 and you’ll only need to pay for what you use. Get in touch with us now to get a quote.