Finance & Compliance

Cost-cutting Strategies for Employee Benefits

Katie Ash

Dec 2, 2020

Having a strong employee benefits strategy for medical insurance ensures that your organisation doesn’t overpay for coverage, and even helps you identify ways to save money on employee benefits.

Swingvy sales Manager Julian D’Cruz was joined by Swingvy’s Head of Insurance, Lee Tuck Wai in the most recent episode of #AskSwingvy. They discussed effective strategies that employers can adopt to manage the future cost of their employee benefits.

Tuck Wai is a qualified financial planner with over 15 years experience. He describes a five step programme to help companies understand and better manage medical employee benefits, and answers audience questions on HR and employee benefit matters.

Watch the full on-demand video below the blog.

How has 2020 impacted companies in terms of Employee Benefits?

This year has been a very challenging year for companies as they experience retrenchments, salary cuts, or have the need to cut employee benefits. At Swingvy, we’ve seen a lot more companies doing reviews of their benefits structure, in order to cut costs. Here are five steps to follow to analyse your current medical coverage, and decide on the best way forward for your business.

1. Gather Your Data

Ask your insurance provider for information from the past few years relating to all employee claims and value. The insurance provider will give you raw data of how many claims your company has made, the payout value compared to claimed value, and the category of the claim. If you provide additional coverage for employees, dental or company claims for outpatient etc, this information should be held in-house, but should also be consolidated with insurance data to give a full picture of what has been spent vs gained.

2. Review

Segment the data that you have gathered to find out:

  • How much you’re paying in insurance premiums
  • How much you’re paying out to employees for expense reimbursement for categories not covered by insurance
  • How much has been paid out in claims by your insurance provider

Have all of this segmented again by the claim or coverage type (in-patient, out-patient, dental etc.), and look for patterns in the data to see where you may be overspending in insurance premiums that are not being utilised, or overpaying in reimbursements for categories that would be cheaper to cover with additional insurance.

3. Recommend

Enlisting the help of a qualified advisor can help in the review and analysis phase and help you draw conclusions about your coverage and use. Once you have reviewed your cover, they will be able to recommend opting for further insurance cover, or taking areas of your employee benefits to self-insure. 

A self-insure programme means that employees can go to any clinic, pay, and expense for reimbursement by the company. This is only recommended if you’re paying more for outpatient coverage than your employees claim. There is a risk involved that the pattern of the past changes. You may experience a year of more claims than you’ve previously had, so this needs to be considered. Having staff pay and claim may also cause strain on your staff who are used to cashless GP visits with an insurance card.

4. Implement

Once you have decided the best coverage needs for your company, you can look to adjust and renew your insurance policies on the anniversary of your cover date. If you are looking for a new policy, consider using the Swingvy platform for direct access to insurance providers, and real-time quotes with customisable coverage levels for different employee groups.

Note: Swingvy Benefits is only available to Swingvy customers. If you’d like to learn more, and get access to try the platform for yourself, request a platform demo:

5. Monitor

Once medical benefits are in place, ensure you monitor the employee experience. Ask whether your team have experienced any problems or how the benefit process can be improved, to ensure that the benefit is valuable to your team. Insights from our latest ebook, The State of Employee Benefits in Singapore 2020, medical insurance was the second most valued employee benefit across all survey respondent groups.

Download the ebook for more information:

Swingvy Benefits

Swingvy Benefits allows you to manage employee benefits in one people platform. You can purchase, manage and renew medical insurance in your HR system. In just a few clicks you’ll get recommendations based on your company size and can choose the coverage that suits your budget and needs. 

The claim process for employees is simplified. With the Swingvy mobile app, they can snap a photo of the receipt, upload and submit the claim directly to the insurer. For claims reimbursement, the claim is sent to the company admin, to approve and push directly to the payroll. The integration of benefits, claims and payroll in one system makes the whole process very efficient. 

Swingvy can also accept the transfer in of existing medical insurance policies for Swingvy customers. This allows you to manage your current cover from within the same platform you use for HR administration and payroll. 

Learn more about Swing Benefits here:

The future of Employee Benefits in Singapore

Employees now want more than medical insurance. They want flexibility with benefits, while employers want more control. Flexi-cash is a great compromise, and is set to become a trend in employee benefits offerings in the coming years.

With flexi-cash, employers can set a budget to control costs. Employees can access this money and decide how they want to use it. They may purchase a personal insurance policy, or decide it will be more cost effective for them to claim for individual expenses. 

Results from the Singapore Employee Benefits Survey showed that 23.6% of companies were already offering flexi-cash as a benefit to employees. It was the smaller companies (less than 10 employees) and large companies (over 200 employees) who mostly offered this benefit, at 25% and 30.8% respectively. This is often given by smaller companies in place of wellness benefits such as medical insurance, due to the cost-per-head when insuring low numbers of employees. However with 95% of companies with >200 employees offering medical insurance, the addition of flexi-cash is an added perk.


Watch the full episode of #AskSwingvy: Cost-cutting Strategies for Employee Benefits 2021 Planning.

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