A man and woman sitting at a table talking to each other about group health insurance.

Why Should You Hire An Insurance Broker in Singapore?

The most challenging part of shopping for a group medical insurance in Singapore is decoding the insurance companies’ spiel: what they say vs what they really mean. Could you benefit from engaging an insurance broker to help you in reading between the policy lines?

A group of young professionals on the insurance ads striking power poses and gazing off into the distance may say “we have you and your future covered.” But, often what they mean is “our plan will cover you as long as you don’t travel to certain countries or have too many dependents, and heaven forbids you grow old and frail.”

To avoid falling for the glossy façade of the brochures and sentimental commercials, it’s best to be clear on what should be considered a good group medical insurance in Singapore.

Here are some of the key takeaways for this article:

Flexible benefits and premiums

Flexible benefit plan gives your employees the freedom to choose the benefits that meet their specific needs from a menu of benefits. Contrary to the one-size-fit-all approach, flexible benefits and premiums acknowledge that different workers have different healthcare demands.

Flexible benefits have become the new buzzword in the world of group medical insurance in the Asia Pacific region for a reason. Companies in the region which have switched to more customized benefits have seen 67 percent increase in employees’ appreciation of benefits.

Employee medical insurance is not only seen as a legally required provision but also as something that value adds to the workers’ well-being as employees can tailor the benefits according to their needs. It’s no coincidence these companies have also improved their talent retention and attraction by 59 percent following the implementation of flexible benefits.

Employers can also save cost from flexible benefits and premiums. Ever heard of the dreaded use-it-or-lose-it rule? Suppose that you allocate $1,000 to a medical expense for the year and you only use $600 during the year, you must then forfeit the unused $400. Multiply that with hundreds or even thousands of employees, you can easily upgrade your company’ New Year’s Eve venue to a five-star hotel with the excess budget. You can avoid such problem by having a more customised plan which ensures that you’re not spending too much or too little on your workers’ medical insurance.

Fast and easy administration

The next thing to look out for is the ease of putting things to work. Do your employees need to go through multiple health screenings, known as medical underwriting, before you can get a quotation on the premium? How long would the claim processing be? What will happen if an employee leave the company?

Complicated administration, one that involves multiple parties and lots of paperwork, can put the Human Resources department to task and take focus away from more important matters. Inefficiency, in turn, will create a negative impression among your employees.

Medical procedures may require slow recovery, but your insurance provider should not, especially with sophisticated technologies at our disposal. Simple claims should generally be processed within fourteen working days and require minimal paperwork.

It’s best to look for insurers which have integrated a one-stop online platform into the operation to control cost and update the system if there are changes in an employment status. Most companies fail to notice if they are still paying the premium of ex-employees. So, efficiency is key.

Coverage for death, disability, and illness

While most companies in the Asia Pacific region offers extensive coverage for death and disability occurring during the term of employment, only nine percent of companies in the region has chronic illnesses plan. The number is surprising because chronic illnesses have been a growing concern in countries like Singapore with ageing working population.

To ensure that your workers are well covered, look for a policy that include chronic illness protection. After all, chronic illnesses, such as cancer, is known to rack up high medical bills and there is only so much that the Singapore’s public healthcare plan can cover. A package that extends beyond the traditional benefits has now become even more attractive.

For companies with a more mature demographic, it’s imperative to find out about what the employees require rather than rather than blindly renewing the ‘traditional’ health benefits every year.

Global coverage

Living in an interconnected world where going abroad has become a part of a job description rather than a perk, global coverage offer is a no brainer. But, global coverage can also be tricky because we understand that not all your employees would need it.

So, what distinguishes a good global coverage from an extraordinary one? First is the number of minimum employees required to enrol in the program. Some insurance companies require as low as three workers to grant you the global coverage. Second is the network of healthcare providers offered abroad. You need to ensure that the insurance provider’s network is just as extensive in other countries as it is in your country.

The ease of administration counts much here. Application for global coverage should be processed quickly and easily. The last thing you want is to have your employees in a foreign land without proper insurance or to delay a business trip because you cannot get the international coverage fast enough.

Plans that match your employees’ life stages

Breaking the “you cannot please everyone” mantra are innovative plans designed to suit the lifestyle and preference of individuals in different age groups.

For the apps-dependent workers in their twenties, some insurance companies have come up with a health-tracking app that will turn your pilates classes attendance into discounts for your premium or food vouchers. For working mother of two, there is an extended healthcare options that allow for dependents (children or parents) to be covered, though the amount of coverage may not be as high and employees must co-pay.

Plans that match employees’ life stages- single or married- and the accompanying lifestyle has sent employees’ engagement in wellness benefits soaring to 93 percent and the satisfaction level to 86 percent according to a study in a China’s pharmaceutical company. Workers use the benefits more because it syncs not interferes with their lifestyle.

All in all, a good group medical insurance in Singapore is one that could adapt to the company’s changing demographics and needs through time. It has to be attuned to the employees’ needs without the company having to spend more money than it already does.

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David Ho
Medical Benefits Designer

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