Employees are the backbone of any business. For an economy like the Philippines which is made up of hundreds of thousands of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employees are instrumental in driving the success of recovery efforts.
Yet behind the momentum of thriving in the “now normal” lurks the financial risk that comes with the increased likelihood of sickness among workers. Sickness and accidents happen when one least expects it and the resulting expenses from hospitalization, rehabilitation, medicines, and other treatment can easily set one back by millions of pesos. SMEs, by nature, are particularly exposed to this kind of liability, in addition to the intangible losses this may incur, such as reputation damage from service disruption.
To address this gap, insurance firm BPI AIA — a strategic alliance between Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and AIA Philippines (formerly AIA Philam Life) — is advocating awareness about health protection solutions specifically designed for SMEs. Called Health Essentials, the solution enables SME clients to provide their respective employees with medical assistance benefits similar to those extended by health maintenance organizations (HMOs)—at a manageable cost.
“Employers have a duty to nurture their workforce to attract and maintain the best talents and ensure business continuity. Being able to provide a comprehensive benefit right away promotes SME competitiveness, and in the long term, improves productivity and delivers great results that create a positive financial impact to the organization,” said BPI AIA CEO Surendra Menon. “We are encouraging and enabling our customers to live healthier, so they can live longer and better lives as we promised.”
Flexible and Affordable Health Care Coverage
Health Essentials offers utmost flexibility to its policyholders as it features a “no-cash-out” facility for the availment of medical benefits from a wide network of providers or a reimbursement of their expenses if conditions allow. BPI AIA can also create a tailor-fit plan for the SME, enabling an easy mixing and matching of benefits to determine which combinations would fit one’s needs.
In-Patient Benefits cover room and board and use of Intensive Care Unit (ICU); Special Hospital Services, such as use of operating room, X-Ray, laboratory exams, and medicines; Surgeon’s Fees, if any; and the Attending Physician’s Fee for daily hospital visits.
Meanwhile, optional Out-Patient Benefits cover consultations, X-Ray, laboratory and diagnostic exams; basic Annual Physical Examination (APE); select Dental Benefits; Maternity Benefits including pre- and post-natal consultations and coverage for normal or caesarian delivery, miscarriage or pregnancy complications; and Prescribed Medicines up to a specified limit per year.
In addition, there is a Financial Assistance Benefit for all insured members paid as a lump sum amount if the insured dies of natural or accidental causes. Benefits may be extended to the dependents of Principal Employees, be they married, single, or even single parents.
On top of all this, SME clients can receive expert advice on employee benefits and business insurance, providing holistic solutions based on employees’ needs and the company’s budget.
As an illustration, a Luzon-based company can extend an employee In-Patient Benefits of up to Php 200,000 Annual Benefit Limit; Php 50,000 Financial Assistance in case of death; Out-Patient Benefits of up to Php 6,000 per visit; and basic APE and Dental benefits for an annual premium of only Php 8,928.40 per employee per year. Like other insurance plans, the final amount varies on the client’s specifics at the time of subscription, so it’s best to reach out to an authorized representative for an accurate quote.
To avail the Health Essentials solution, SMEs are encouraged to get in touch via the BPI AIA website. Meanwhile, for BPI’s SME clients, the bank should be able to endorse them to BPI AIA’s Employee Benefits Specialists.