Many companies in Singapore include employee health insurance as part of their benefits package. Whether you’re weighing up the pros and cons of a potential job with a company or you’re part of the decision-making process for choosing group health insurance for your business or that of your employer, APRIL International has the answers to the crucial questions.
What kinds of benefits can company health insurance provide?
Most company health plans offer hospitalisation and surgery benefits to employees and their families. Benefits vary based on the specific illnesses or injuries covered. For plans with lower coverage and more restriction, you may end up paying largely out of your own pocket. Comprehensive plans cover treatments such as kidney dialysis, and some companies include additional benefits such as outpatient or maternity. Trips to the GP, medical scans and tests, pregnancy-related care and even children’s vaccinations can be covered in some cases.
What about pre-existing conditions?
You’ll be glad to know that one of the benefits of a group health insurance plan over individual plans is that it’s easier to cover pre-existing conditions. This is especially important for expats as you may already have an illness that you require treatment for.
Insurance providers may be able to offer a variety of underwriting terms so your company can get the best coverage possible. These includes the regular full medical underwriting process, a moratorium basis, where conditions may be covered after a period of time with no treatment necessary, or continuing personal medical exclusions (CPME), which would allow you to change insurance providers without any change to what conditions are and aren’t covered.
The most popular way is to get an insurance policy with Medical Health Disregarded (MHD). Every employee gets the same coverage with no exclusions for specific conditions, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Different insurance companies will offer different thresholds for MHD. APRIL International’s MyHEALTH Business plan offers MHD with 10 adults on the plan, including employees’ spouses.
When is international coverage needed?
Depending on the nature of the business, the company’s group health insurance policy may require international coverage. For companies with many expats or employees that frequently travel on business, there are many locally registered international insurance solutions, usually offering coverage either worldwide or worldwide excluding the USA. This is because healthcare in the USA is particularly expensive. However, even policies that exclude the USA, will offer some cover for sudden illnesses and injuries, although there may be some restrictions (coverage and duration in country).
If the business has offices throughout Asia, it’s good to have an insurance provider that is registered in multiple countries. This will ensure your company complies with local regulations and renewal is easy. Employees in all offices can also enjoy similar benefits.
What plan should I choose?
Insurance providers in Singapore offer various plans designed to cater to the needs of different sized companies. What works for a large company may not work for an SME. Larger companies may have dedicated HR teams that will work on fine tuning an insurer’s plan to suit them, whereas a smaller company may find it easier to choose from preset options. A small company may prefer a pool rated plan (price is based on every company insured by the provider), while a large company may opt for an experience rated plan based on the company’s healthcare expenditure.
APRIL International has two group health insurance plans. MyHEALTH Business offers easy-to-choose modules and pool rated premiums for small to medium sized companies. YourHEALTH offers a fully tailorable benefit menu and the choice of pool or experience rated premiums for larger companies.