20 August 2019

Singapore, Singapore


  • Holistic approach addresses a number of concerns for both companies and employees
  • International medical plans meet growing need of employees looking to reduce out-of-pocket exposure

Mercer Marsh Benefits’ (MMB) latest Singapore Health and Benefits International Medical Study reveals that companies that opt for international medical plans are able to better address the needs of their increasingly regional and mobile workforce.


Of the companies surveyed, 94% bear the full premium costs for employee coverage on a compulsory basis with international medical plans. More than 97% of these plans provide dependent coverage with benefit limits equal to that of the employee plans, while all companies (100%) provide inpatient benefits and 98% of companies provide outpatient benefits.


Today, Singapore continues to grow as a popular commercial hub and one of the leading and fastest-growing commerce sectors in the world, and is no exception to the rising global cost of living which affects the cost of healthcare services received by employees,” said Neil Narale, Mercer Marsh Benefits, Singapore Health Business Leader.


“Over the last year, we have seen a growing trend where employees are looking towards more comprehensive healthcare plans to reduce their out-of-pocket exposure..


“As such, international healthcare plans enable employers to better manage and address the needs of their workforce – whether it is to ensure consistent coverage across the region or globally, or for peace-of-mind when it comes to a mobile workforce that may require frequent travel and relocation,” he said.


International medical plans can also provide both essential and comprehensive coverage to people residing and working outside their home countries. Plan benefits are usually designed to provide extra coverage with minimum out-of-pocket exposure. These include:


  • Full coverage for high-cost cancer and kidney treatments;
  • Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions once a minimum headcount is met;
  • Immediate global portability from one country to the next;
  • Customisable plans tailored to employees’ specific needs;
  • Cashless inpatient treatment and online support.

Such plans also typically offer a modular design to provide flexibility, anchored on the core module – inpatient benefits – as well as a wide variety of optional modules such as outpatient benefits, emergency medical evacuation, maternity and newborn benefits, wellness, dental and vision benefits.


“While providing an international medical plan can address a number of concerns at a company and employee level, it is important for every organisation to understand its demographic profile when selecting a benefits plan to ensure that the medical coverage is fit for purpose, flexible and adequate for the needs of its employees,” Narale added.


Notes for editors


The data set for the 2019 Singapore Health and Benefits International Medical Study is derived from internal information regarding Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) clients’ benefits plans. The study includes 56 employers and covers more than 4,600 employees. The companies identified in this study include leading players from a broad range of industries, including consumer services, finance, material and industrial, professional and other services, and technology. The results provide a snapshot of the international medical benefit limits provided by employers in Singapore.


The brief definition provided under the international medical benefit gives a basic understanding of the benefit rather than serving as a comprehensive definition. The analyses of the prevalence and provisions of insurance benefits were extracted from MMB’s database containing group policies of existing clients in Singapore.


The study is based on the analysis of different benefits strategies, ranging from employers who provide different levels of benefits to different grades of employees by maintaining multiple benefits schemes, to employers that provide one single scheme to all levels of staff.


This study covers a mixture of 70 medical plans from various companies with different strategies.




About Mercer Marsh Benefits


Mercer Marsh Benefits provides clients with a single source for managing the costs, people risks and complexities of employee benefits. The network is a combination of Mercer and Marsh local offices around the world, plus country correspondents who have been selected based on specific criteria. Our benefits professionals, located in 135 countries and servicing clients in more than 150 countries, are deeply knowledgeable about their local markets. Through our locally established businesses, we have a unique common platform which allows us to serve clients with global consistency and locally unique solutions. Mercer and Marsh are two of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, together with Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman.