SINGAPORE – Employees view medical benefits as a big carrot for joining and staying with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however many of those companies wrestle to offer protection, citing small dimension and excessive price of group insurance coverage.
Medical benefits cowl each inpatient, hospitalisation bills and outpatient payments at basic practitioner (GP) clinics.
The findings have been revealed in a ballot commissioned by insurer Prudential Singapore and carried out by market researcher Milieu Insight. A complete of 1,029 Singaporean SME staff and enterprise house owners have been polled this month.
The respondents are aged 18 and above, and work in SMEs with one to 200 staff.
In the ballot, 9 in 10 respondents need their employers to offer healthcare protection.
Some 60 per cent of respondents stated they’re extra keen to affix an SME that has medical benefits, whereas nearly 40 per cent usually tend to keep on in an organization with such perks.
The survey exhibits that 13 per cent of respondents work in an SME that doesn’t present medical benefits.
For SMEs with 10 or fewer staff, the proportion doubles to 27 per cent.
SMEs are a key pillar of the Singapore economic system, as they account for 99 per cent of companies and make use of 70 per cent of the workforce.
Many of them grapple with excessive prices of operations and a expertise crunch that has pushed up labour prices.
When they have been requested how a lot finances is allotted for medical benefits yearly, nearly two in 5 SME house owners stated $10,000 and under.
Mr Wilson Chew, founder and managing director of good blinds provider, MC2, stated hospitalisation bills of Singaporeans are coated by MediShield Life.
Hence, his firm doesn’t present healthcare insurance coverage for workers.
Other SMEs, similar to meals importer Optimo Foods with seven staff, stated they’re too small to go for a company coverage.
Ms Wee Su-Lyn, director of Optimo Foods, stated it offers full-time workers a lump sum yearly to purchase their very own medical insurance coverage.
There is not any statutory requirement for employers to supply healthcare insurance coverage. Manpower Minister Tan See Leng stated throughout a parliamentary dialogue final 12 months that employers could select to offer such insurance coverage as an worker profit.
While it’s not obligatory by regulation, these medical benefits is usually a sweetener to draw expertise.
Professional engineering consultancy agency Soteria will get group medical insurance coverage for its 4 staff, with director Daniel Choo saying they won’t have to fret about their medical payments.
He added that staff and their households can even really feel completely happy that Soteria takes an curiosity in their well being and security, and can extra probably keep on with the corporate.
Ms Lynn Tan, chief govt of The Powder Shampoo, additionally will get group medical insurance coverage as a result of she needs her workers to really feel comfortable whereas they’re at work.
Mr Dennis Tan, CEO of Prudential Singapore, stated staff have gotten extra conscious of their well being and their want for insurance coverage safety ever for the reason that pandemic.
He added that an ageing workforce and rising healthcare prices are additionally prompting employees to worth medical protection extra.
Having the mandatory safety assures them that their healthcare wants are taken care of, to allow them to give attention to their work, he stated.
Group medical insurance coverage enhances a person’s private medical insurance plan.
Prudential Singapore stated private plans could not embody visits to GP or dental clinics, however these are coated underneath group insurance coverage.
The insurer added that private well being plans can also cowl solely the person and never his or her dependants, in contrast to group plans which can additionally cowl dependants.