The talent market in Singapore is extremely competitive. Highly educated (and driven!) expats and locals all vie for roles that offer career growth, a good salary and benefits. For small businesses, deciding whether or not to offer employee health insurance can be a hard decision – you might be keen to stay competitive in the marketplace, but it does add to costs for a smaller company. We asked the team at Pacific Prime Singapore to address some of the important questions to ask yourself when considering offering health insurance to your staff.
Are employee benefits necessary?
Benefits can be seen as nice to have when you’re first starting out as a company. However, many job seekers these days are now on the lookout for more than just a pay packet. Here are just a few reasons, according to advisory firm Fit Small Business, why companies offer employee benefits alongside a salary package:
- 71% of employees with benefits say they’re less likely to leave their jobs for a new employer.
- 54% of millennials say benefits are the determining factor when deciding where to work.
- Most businesses will spend around 150% of an employee’s salary trying to find a replacement.
- Benefits increase happiness and engagement in the workplace, which can deliver 22% more productivity than those without benefits.
Health insurance benefits are generally the most common and popular for the simple fact that, especially in Singapore, medical costs are continually rising. Both expats and locals alike appreciate the extra financial assistance employee health insurance provides. Offering it can give your small business an edge when it comes to attracting new workers.
Is my business ready to offer employee health insurance?
When deciding on whether your business should or should not offer employee benefits such as employee health insurance, think about what your goal is: Are you trying to attract new talent? Are you trying to retain valued staff? Is there a company culture you’d like to support? Knowing your goals will help your determine a budget as well as focus on what will be the most effective plan for your company. If the goals align and the budget is feasible, make a start.
How do I go about getting it?
When it comes to securing employee health insurance for your company, you’ll need three things: expert information about how group plans work, understanding about how the market and its players work, and assistance in ensuring your business gets the best deal. For all of these things, your options include:
- Going direct to the insurer: Great for cutting out the middleman, but businesses (especially small ones) can often find themselves isolated from taking full advantage of the competitive market.
- Sourcing through an agent: As a representative of an insurer, you can expect better sales service initially. However, there is a chance of them siding with the insurer over your company when it comes to challenging claims.
- Working with a broker: Brokers are independent of any insurer and are therefore more likely to act in the company’s best interest. Quality brokers also offer comprehensive post-sales services to assist small businesses that have small HR teams.
It is important to think through the pros and cons before making the choice to provide health insurance to your employees. Despite its many benefits, if the budget’s tight, it might be worth holding on until cash flow is more stable. Enlist the help of an insurance professional who will be able to offer you some much-needed advice.