Karen Tang, CFP®: Certified Financial Planner in Singapore

Banking on Your Employee Benefits Insurance? Think Again

Most employees do not pay attention to their employee benefits insurance until a medical claim arises. And there are those who think they have adequate coverage given by the company, without checking exactly what they are covered for.

So, does it make sense to depend on your employee benefits completely for your protection needs? Or disregard it as the policy is owned by the company and not you, the individual? To help you better understand your employee benefits program, I have these three questions for you.

1. Is it Portable?
Portability means the ability to be easily carried, moved or transferred. If the insurance is not portable and coverage will cease the moment you leave the organisation, then you should buy your own medical and life insurance. This is to ensure that you will have undisrupted coverage when you transit to your next job. Some insurers have now made portable options a feature of employee benefits program. Check and confirm with your Human Resource department to see if this option is available in your coverage.

2. Is it Comprehensive Enough?
What exactly are you covered for? Besides medical benefits, does the company also throw in a term life plan? What is the scope of coverage and the coverage amount? Often, an employee benefits program is set up in a way that different levels of employees are eligible for different levels of insurance coverage. For example, senior executives may have higher entitlements and benefits as compared to the less senior ones. This could also be the case with the medical benefits. Hence, it is vital that you secure your own medical and life insurance so that you can protect yourself comprehensively, according to your needs.

3. Is it Certain?
Is your company’s medical insurance “guaranteed renewable”? Guaranteed renewability means that despite claims, the plan will be renewed without any increase in premiums and coverage remains the same i.e. no additional terms and conditions, no exclusions. This is an important factor to consider when deciding if your company’s medical protection is good enough.

Other Factors to Consider
Your career prospect with the company, the company’s culture in making insurance protection an important part of employee’s benefits are factors that can influence your final decision. At the end of the day, what is of paramount importance is that you must be adequately insured. Secure that peace of mind before it is too late.