Talking about insurance can be a confusing and intimidating experience, but it shouldn’t have to be this way. Understanding insurance can be so important as it is a product many of us have to deal with on so many occasions.
Today, we will be focusing on corporate insurance, an often neglected aspect of our insurance portfolio. Corporate insurance is a form of group insurance provided by an employer in order to protect their staff from illness and injury. In order to attract the most diligent and well-skilled employees, many firms now offer a form of corporate insurance to their employees.
The challenge arises when not all corporate insurance policies are made equal. Here we will examine corporate insurance from an employee’s perspective, elaborating on what the different types of policies can cover, and how to make a smart decision on what is best for you. So you have landed a new job, or have been working at a company which offers corporate insurance. Congratulations, this is good news as it shows that your employer really does care about the health of you and your colleagues.
Despite Singapore law not mandating the requirement for further medical insurance beyond the current MediShield Life scheme, your employer has thought to further protect you from potential pain, suffering and financial stress. It is important to understand that MediShield Life will not cover you for all your health care needs; private or corporate insurance is sometimes necessary for adequate coverage.
MediShield Life will only provide you with subsidised cover for your most basic hospitalisation, surgical or outpatient needs while restricting you to a ‘C’ or ‘B2’ class ward which do not have to air-condition. This is why so many people purchase an Integrated Shield Plan (ISP) which provides better coverage for these needs. ISP policyholders are entitled to ‘A’ or ‘B1’ class wards which are altogether far more comfortable.
Most forms of Group Hospital and Surgical (GHS) insurance policies would provide you with a similar experience as having a combination of MediShield Life and an ISP. To avoid such unnecessary duplication of coverage & benefits, you may request of your employer to simply make an extra contribution to your Medisave account to help pay a portion of your ISP premium through the Portable Medical Benefits Scheme (PMBS), instead of purchasing separate GHS policies.
Only if you are a S Pass or Work Permit holder, would they need to provide you with GHS coverage. If an employer is feeling exceptionally generous they may opt to participate in the Transferable Medical Insurance Scheme (TMIS) which is an enhanced form of GHS. With TMIS your impatient needs are covered for a further 12 months after you leave the company. So far it is clear that receiving corporate insurance, enables you to elevate yourself from basic hospitalisation, surgical, and outpatient cover under the Medishield scheme, to higher quality coverage. However corporate insurance policies go far beyond that.
They may contain many more benefits which will be of varying importance to different individuals. Below will be a selection of corporate insurance policy aspects, their use, benefits, and importance.
A wellness program is a popular preventive benefit, which helps to bolster day-to-day health. This results in the health care of the employees to be less reactionary. This could come in the form of regular medical checkups or a yoga session. This could be particularly important for people who have typical office jobs, or people who do not take very good care of their health.
Oral health can often be overlooked by some, but its importance should not be underestimated. Toothache can be extremely painful, and expensive to remedy. Having adequate cover can see an unfortunate situation resolved without the onset of financial worries.
Life or Long Term Accident Insurance
This type of insurance protects an individual and their family. It ensures that there will be support available in the off chance something unfortunate happens to the employee. This could be in the form of a pension that would arrive in regular installments. Life or long term accident insurance is of significant importance to those who work in a high risk environment, such as construction workers or police officers.
Critical Illness Insurance
In the event you fall ill and are unable to work, this insurance will pay out a lump sum to you and your family. It is important to check that your policy will cover a wide array of probable illnesses for it to be of much use, as insurance companies will be reluctant to pay out if the illness is not explicitly stated in their product disclosure statement.
In the event, you become ill or injured while abroad, travel insurance in its most basic form will cover your medical expenses while you are traveling overseas for business purposes. Do note that there are several other things travel insurance could cover when purchased in a more complex form. This could be things such as lost luggage, delayed flights, missed hotels etc. This type of insurance is not a necessity for most workers unless you are one of the few who travels around the world for your employer.
As you can see your corporate insurance policy is not as complicated as first thought. It is as clear just how important it is to understand what your policy will and will not cover. There are certain benefits that are imperative to ourselves, but not so to others. If your employer offers cover which is no longer in your eyes adequate, then it will be a good idea to either negotiate the desired cover into your contract or if worst comes to worst purchase a private policy to cover yourself for the time being. This will give you peace of mind knowing that in the event of an incident you will not have to absorb a heavy financial burden.