Employee Medical Benefits for Expats

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As a Human Resource officer or the manager of a small business, you will at one point or another face the prospect of putting together an employee benefits package for your staff.


Employee Benefits (EB) refers to compensation other than salary provided by an employer. Examples include group insurance -medical, life, and travel-, income protection, annual leave days, tuition reimbursements and pensions.


Perhaps the most complicated benefit to determine adequate coverage for is medical insurance. In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower requires employers to provide a minimum level of medical cover to every employee. However, in today’s competitive labour market, the attraction and retention of top talent who have high expectations for compensation requires offering more than just the bare minimum.


When providing Employee Medical Benefits for expats, there are a number of factors to consider, such as geographic coverage, cover for pre-existing and chronic conditions, benefits for dependants and the cost.


Typically, Employee Medical Benefits includes a combination of the following coverage:


–  Hospitalisation & Inpatient Care

–  Outpatient Treatment: General Practitioners & Specialists

–  Maternity: Pregnancy & Delivery

–  Wellness Benefits: Annual Health Check, Preventative Care

–  Dental

–  Optical


In the current ‘not so attractive’ expat package climate, it is tempting to shift expats to local packages with reduced medical benefits (such as excluding cover for family members and low limits on covered items). This may seem like a short-term solution to cutting costs, but in reality it can leave the organisation awkwardly positioned in the labour market.


For the existing employee who relocated with a top medical benefit in their contract, he or she now has to seek out top-up options and separate policies for their family members.  Reduced morale and a sense of distrust are just mild emotions employees may feel towards their employer once they find out they are not adequately covered.  These instances lead to poor staff retention. Staff attraction also suffers, even though limiting employee benefits packages could allow some flexibility for employers to offer higher salaries. However, the downfall of this practice is that it encourages employee loyalty to the biggest pay check.


Instead of lowering the level of non-salaried benefits, a cost-effective solution that works for many companies is to offer a standard salary and package it together with high-end medical benefits in the context of an employee’s total benefits package.  Would key staff so easily leave for a salary increase if their medical expenses would then have to be paid out-of-pocket? Would an employment offer look more attractive if comprehensive group medical covering pre-existing conditions were part of the package?


The money employers save on salary expense can be used to pay group premiums on a variety of insurance products, giving the total rewards package a higher benefit reach, extended by the value of the insurance coverage. Employee satisfaction and loyalty can thus be attained through a smart promotion of the entire package of benefits.


HR departments should use employee benefits package conversations as an opportunity to increase employee engagement and to distinguish themselves from competitors by providing high-end medical insurance. From the other side of the table, expats need to educate themselves on what their employer-sponsored benefits actually cover (or don’t cover) and use them as negotiating tools to maximise their total employee benefits package.


Medical Insurance For Expats In Singapore GET A QUOTE


Employee Benefits For Expats In Singapore GET A QUOTE

Having evaluated the numerous products available in the Singapore market, Expat Insurance has identified those that offer the broadest coverage, catering to the unique needs of expatriates.

Expat Insurance is registered as an independent insurance broker with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore).  We work directly for our clients, so when you engage our brokerage we focus on your needs and understanding your family’s needs before recommending appropriate products and solutions in the market.  We are licensed to work with all carriers regulated in Singapore, so you have access to a wide range of products.  Our job is to take great care of you and your family to ensure you get the best value for money coverage available.


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