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Best Practices

Medical Benefits


As an employer, there is a growing need to plan for the increased benefits required to manage older workers within your organisation and ensure that you support their medical needs. To help cope with healthcare costs, most organisations in Singapore offer a variety of medical benefits for their employees. These include health insurance, dental insurance and outpatient benefits.

The ageing workforce and medical cost inflation in Singapore is likely to drive up medical costs for employers. Apart from emphasising the importance of good health habits through health and wellness programmes at the workplace to insure against rising medical costs, organisations can mitigate medical benefit costs by riding on the existing healthcare schemes and subsidies.

Most companies in Singapore have some form of group health insurance for their employees. A Group Hospital & Surgical Insurance is a reimbursement plan which provides medical protection for your employees, and aims to reduce the financial burden on the family in the event your employee or his covered family is hospitalised. However, the similarity between the group insurance and Medishield Life implies a large overlap between the 2 policies and an opportunity to reduce medical benefit costs. Although Medishield Life only covers individuals at B2 or C Class wards at public hospitals, this can be easily overcome by switching to portable medical benefits for employees. Portable medical benefits are medical benefits that employees can bring with them even if they change employers.

Healthcare Schemes & Subsidies

A national medical savings scheme which helps individuals set aside a portion of their income to meet medical needs

Replacing MediShield from 1 Nov 2015, MediShield Life is a basic health insurance which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments

An endowment fund to help needy Singaporeans

An affordable severe disability insurance scheme designed to help Singaporeans meet with expenses incurred in the event of severe disability

Consider the following options:

  • Portable Medical Benefits Scheme (PMBS)
    Under PMBS, you make an additional contribution to your employees’ Medisave account every month. Employees can use the Medisave contributions to pay for the premiums of MediShield Life of Integrated Shield Plans, which can help cover their inpatient needs.
  • Transferable Medical Insurance Scheme (TMIS)
    TMIS is an enhanced group hospitalisation and surgical insurance that you can buy for employees.
  • Providing a Shield Plan
    You can provide your employees with inpatient medical benefits in the form of a Shield plan, either Medishield Life or an Integrated Shield Plan.

As an employer, you can qualify for tax deductions or exceptions if you implement portable medical benefits to help offset some costs.

Read more about incentives

Company Practices

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Raffles Hotel Singapore extended portable medical benefits to colleagues in 2008, an early adopter in Singapore's hospitality industry. The programme has greatly benefited its colleagues, including older colleagues who previously could not be covered under group insurance. The hotel provides an Integrated Shield Plan which offers better coverage for serious illnesses and large hospital bill by subsidising an Assist Rider Plan which reduces out-of-pocket cash payment, and uses the budget which would otherwise be spent on group insurance to subsidise the Assist Rider premium instead.

Many colleagues expressed their appreciation for being looked after not only during employment but even after, including their retirement years.

Information is accurate as of November 2017