Resources and capital are often limited in the early stages of startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and must be spent judiciously. While it may be tempting for business owners and HR directors to forego employee perks like group health insurance plans, companies that go above and beyond to make their employees feel appreciated flourish in the long run. This is because studies have repeatedly shown that happy employees are productive employees.
Many startups and SMEs in Hong Kong, where the cost of health insurance can be relatively high, may be overwhelmed by the process of selecting and implementing a group health insurance plan. So, in this post, we’ll walk you through the factors to consider while selecting a group health insurance plan.
Selecting a Group Health Insurance Plan
1. Choosing Between A Group And An Individual Plan
Most insurance companies only accept applications for group health insurance from businesses with more than two employees. If you meet this criteria, you may continue with the application. Group health insurance plans are a better option than individual health insurance because they cover pre-existing diseases and have cheaper overall prices. Individual health insurance plans are the only option for businesses with less than two employees.
2. Choosing An Area Of Coverage: Local Or Global?
The amount of travel required for business will determine whether you choose local or worldwide coverage. If your employees frequently go abroad, you should pay a little more for a plan that includes global coverage. If your staff is mostly headquartered in Hong Kong, however, local coverage will suffice. Of course, purchasing short-term health or travel insurance as needed is another option. However, keep in mind that having to look into plans every time someone goes out can be inconvenient and may end up costing more in the long run!
3. Determining The Scope Of Coverage: What Optional Add-Ons To Include
It should come as no surprise that the more thorough the strategy, the more expensive it will be. Many SMEs provide basic coverage to all employees and provide insurance add-ons based on seniority. Giving these benefits to senior management might also assist to encourage employees to stay with your organization and reduce total employee turnover.
You can select from the following advantages:
Coverage for inpatients: This covers any and all hospitalization-related costs. Inpatient coverage is often provided by all health insurance plans because it is considered the bare minimum in the field of health insurance.
Coverage for outpatients: This covers consultations and treatments that do not need an overnight stay in the hospital. Visiting a General Practitioner (GP) or obtaining a health checkup after being discharged from the hospital, for example.
Dental and vision coverage are additional optional add-ons that cover dental and optical expenses. This would typically comprise both routine and significant treatments.
Maternity coverage: This is an additional benefit for female employees who are expecting a child, and it covers everything from prenatal, delivery, and sometimes postnatal emergency care.
(It should be noted that dental, optical, maternity, and other benefits tend to raise policy premiums; however, having them might help retain employees and attract outstanding candidates who are drawn to non-monetary benefits. Find the perfect balance between your workforce’s needs and your budget.)
4. Opt For User-Friendliness: Traditional Or Tech-Savvy Insurers?
Once you’ve determined what kind of plan you’ll need, you’ll need to choose an insurance company. Traditional insurers typically rely on brokers and require a significant amount of paperwork. If you don’t have a well-staffed HR department or want not to overcomplicate things, tech-savvy insurers are an excellent choice. Having an easy-to-use online platform for selecting doctors, booking appointments, or filing claims will save both you and your employee time. Telemedicine is also regarded as an intriguing perk for employees. This is especially relevant considering the current COVID-19 problem affecting Hong Kong and the rest of the world are facing.
5. Examine The Legal Elements Of Insurance: Choosing Insurers That Comply With Data Laws
Given the large amount of employee data that the insurer will have to deal with while offering group health insurance, it is critical that data privacy rules are followed. If your company has personnel from the EU/EEA, you must pay special attention to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To guarantee this occurs, it is best to work with an internationally known and legally compliant insurance or broker. Insurance professionals can provide more information and guarantee you are matched with compliant and regulated insurers.
And there you have it: All you shoul know about insurance for startups and SMEs. We trust that you now understand better the key factors to consider when selecting group health insurance. Kindly drop your thoughts and questions in the comments’ section below. Thank you for your time!