Employee's insurance benefits: What should your company be giving you?

What should you look out for in the insurance benefits your company will be providing? Here's what you can expect to find, before you sign on the dotted line.

When it comes to joining a new company, besides considering the remuneration and job scope, you should also take a look at the insurance coverage before you put pen to paper. 

Here's what the insurance offered by companies typically provide, which you can think of as 'free' insurance coverage, with the plan being paid for by the company. 

What's usually provided?

The first item to look out for? Health insurance coverage. 

While many companies provide their employees with health insurance, it's not compulsory for companies to provide health insurance plans, with the exception of S Pass holders and Work Permit holders:

S Pass medical insurance requirements: Must buy and maintain medical insurance with coverage of at least $15,000 per year, covering inpatient care and day surgery.

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Foreign worker medical insurance requirements: Must buy and maintain medical insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per year, covering inpatient care and day surgery, including hospital bills for conditions that may not be work related.

Companies also have to get work injury compensation insurance for employees that are doing manual work, as well as employees doing non-manual work that earn $2,600 or less a month. 

If your company provides health insurance, it would typically cover you in the event you get hospitalised. This includes coverage for both inpatient care and day surgery.

Whether it covers pre-existing conditions would depend on the plan purchased by the company.

For example, some plans do cover pre-existing conditions after a 12-month waiting period. 

It could also include additional benefits such as:

  • Outpatient care
  • Specialist care
  • Personal accident 
  • Term life
  • Critical Illness 
  • Option to extend the coverage to your spouse and child(ren)

Insurance aside, companies also have to contribute to your CPF, of which a portion goes towards your Medisave each month. 

What are some extra benefits companies might offer you?

On top of basic health insurance, some companies offer the following perks even though they're not obligated to do so by law. This coverage typically comes as riders added on to the company's group insurance plan. 

Dental coverage: Get reimbursed for your dental treatments. This typically includes consultation, scaling and polishing, filling for tooth decay and extraction.

There could also be a co-payment component required, such as 20 per cent. 

Do look out for the annual limit as well as the types of procedures that are covered.

For example, if that annual limit is $1,200, you can only claim up to $1,200 in medical treatment that year, regardless of which procedures you went for. 

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Some procedures such as cosmetic dental treatments might not be covered. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chiropractic treatment, Physiotherapy services: Get reimbursed for your TCM, chiropractor or physio treatment.

For chiropractic treatment or physiotherapy services, some insurance policies require you to produce a referral letter from a registered medical practitioner or specialist in order for your claims to be eligible. 

There is also typically an annual reimbursement limit imposed, such as $500.

Alternatively, there could also be a limit imposed per claim, such as $50 per visit to the TCM.   

If your employer doesn't provide this coverage, you can still get covered for TCM, chiropractic or physiotherapy with an affordable personal accident plan.

Mental health coverage: With the increased focus on mental wellness, some employer insurance plans can offer additional support for mental health related costs.

This can come in the form of reimbursement for psychological counselling, mental health services or or special mental health programmes. 

If you're looking for a plan of your own that provides coverage for mental health, you can consider the AIA Beyond Critical Care. 

Besides the benefits already listed, other fringe benefits your company insurance could also provide include: Annual health screening, vaccination, optical expenses, fitness activities, wellness programmes and more. 

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Get yourself insured, beyond your company's insurance plan

Besides relying on your company insurance, you should also boost your coverage with an Integrated Shield Plan (IP), due to the fact that when your employment ends, the group insurance would likewise be terminated, leaving you to cover your own medical expenses. 

You can also consider purchasing a critical illness plan that gives you a lump sum payout upon the diagnosis of a critical illness. 

If you're hospitalised due to an accident, be it at home or in the office, you can also get hospital allowance if you have a personal accident plan that offers such coverage.

No matter what your company insurance provides, you should still get yourself adequately insured with the right insurance plans.

This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.