An overwhelming nine out of 10 workers say that in-patient and out-patient medical expanses coverage are important considerations for employment in small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This was one of the observations made by a poll conducted by Prudential Singapore which explores the needs and challenges of SMEs in the area of medical and employee benefits.

1,029 people took part in the poll, and 60 per cent of them said that they are more than willing to join an SME that provides medical benefits, with 40 per cent more than likely to stay in a company that offers the same benefits.

On the other hand, 13 per cent indicated that their company does not offer any medical benefit. The number is higher – 27 per cent – involving SMEs which has 10 or less employees. The small size of the company they work for and high cost of group insurance are the reasons why medical benefits are not made available, respondents say.

Almost two in five SME owners and HR professionals say that $10,000 and below is what’s budgeted for their company’s yearly medical benefits.

In addition, 85 per cent of the poll respondents want employers to consider giving flexible benefits such as company-sponsored training, e-vouchers, and wellness initiatives (fitness classes). In reality, 34 per cent says that their company does not offer any employee benefits. The percentage goes higher still for companies which has 10 or less workers, at 45 per cent.

In general, SME employees regards employee benefits to be just as important as medical benefits. Mr Dennis Tan, CEO, Prudential Singapore, said that medical benefits are essential to employees’ overall wellbeing and success at work.

“Awareness of health and protection has gone up since the pandemic, so understandably, employees value medical benefits and appreciate investments in their wellbeing and future. An ageing workforce coupled with rising healthcare costs are also driving employees to want support in the area of medical protection so that they can focus on their work with greater peace of mind,” said Mr Tan.


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