Mednefits, an employee flexible benefits platform, recently announced the launch of their 2022 Employee Benefits Trends. The survey contains the results and analysis from a survey conducted among 200 HR decision-makers spread evenly across Singapore and Malaysia. Additionally, the survey shares insights into the challenges of administering employee medical benefits and the future of the industry.
As healthcare continues to evolve, more companies in Malaysia are looking to enhance and review their employee flexible benefits policy to stay ahead of the competition in attracting and retaining top talents. The survey conducted by Mednefits offers valuable insight into how employers across Malaysia can remain competitive while adapting and planning for the future of employee benefits by providing them with data-driven insights into understanding the landscape. The survey contains responses collated across various industries from accounting to pharmaceutical, and from SMEs (75%) to MNCs (25%).
“The talent market today is challenged by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and rising healthcare costs that outpace inflation. To attract and retain the best talent, employers across Malaysia need to understand their employees’ healthcare needs and where they stand with respect to the total health cost of employment. We hope that employers will use the key findings of our survey to invest in their employees’ productivity and well-being in the long run, as well as develop a well-rounded policy of flexible benefits to better attract and retain top talent.” – shared Clarence Zhang, Co-Founder and Country Manager for Malaysia Mednefits.
Key insights from the Mednefits 2022 Employee Benefits Trends:
The importance of investing in the right employee benefits model
A great flexible benefits program is important to many employees nowadays, as 60% of employees consider benefits and perks as major factors when deciding on a job offer. There could be benefits to investing in an employee benefits program, like greater employee engagement and a greater ability to attract and retain talent.
Regardless of how beneficial a benefits program can be to a company, whether it is an SME or an MNC, not all companies place the same value on these factors. SMEs and MNCs see benefits as an additional cost to their businesses (30% vs 20%), and medical benefits are seen as an additional cost by 3 out of every 10 businesses.
The current landscape of administering employee medical benefits in Malaysia
– The most common method of providing medical benefits in Malaysia is through engaging with insurance providers for inpatient and outpatient medical benefits (74%). In comparison, other companies prefer to manually self-manage via company reimbursement (46%), engaging a third-party administrator (27%) or any combination of the three services.
– The 3 most common types of medical benefits provided and the average amount spent per employee:
– Inpatient care (81%) | USD 619
– General Practitioner Outpatient (40%) | USD 453
– Health Screening (53%) | USD 308
– The 3 least common types of medical benefits provided and the average amount spent per employee:
– Traditional Chinese Medicine (8%) | USD 400
– Wellness (including yoga, mental health, etc) (21%) | USD 505
– Optical (31%) | USD 280
According to the survey, despite the fact that 1 in every 3 Malaysians suffers from mental health issues, it is not given as much priority, with only 20% of companies offering wellness benefits to their employees. Trying to manage one’s mental health while also balancing work may have an impact on an employee’s performance, ultimately costing the company.
However, more Malaysian employers are slowly starting to emphasize wellness benefits such as gym membership, supplements, yoga classes, mental healthcare, physiotherapy, and so on to help employees seek treatment and improve their health and well-being. Despite these efforts, employers still struggle to develop suitable benefits for their employees and often offer ones that are not tailored and can sometimes depend on the employee’s performance.
A flexible benefits model is the preferred method for providing medical benefits
Despite the fact that companies are willing to implement flexible benefits (70%), there are several obstacles to implementation. The most difficult challenge for most companies (34%), is creating a flexible benefits plan that is tailored to each employee’s needs. Other issues to consider are:
– Unsure if employees would prefer the flexible model (71%)
– Possible friction within the company when making changes (66%)
– Unsure of the available tools for a smooth implementation (62%)
Tips for understanding employee needs and reducing medical costs in Malaysia
Even though 95% of companies in Malaysia are actively seeking ways to reduce healthcare spending, 15% of them are unsure of how to reduce the cost of healthcare spending. There are, in fact, many innovative ways of reducing healthcare spending in Malaysia, such as:
– Flexible benefits spending account (70%)
– Digital benefits platform (54%)
– Co-payment (27%)
Clarence shared that, “Employee benefits are an important aspect of any company. At Mednefits, we are building the future infrastructure of employee benefits, which makes it easy and affordable for companies to curate flexible benefits programs for their employees. By managing all medical and flex benefits on a single platform and offering cashless payments, this improves accuracy and consistency in claim submissions and eliminates the need for manual reimbursement. At the end of the day, companies find that they are able to improve their operations while also saving money – best of both worlds.”