To help self-employed real estate agents better manage rising healthcare costs, one of the three biggest real estate agencies in Singapore, PropNex Realty, announced yesterday a healthcare benefits scheme for its agents.
The scheme will provide its 6,900 or so agents with subsidised rates at more than 500 general practitioner, dental and traditional Chinese medicine clinics islandwide, for a one-time fee of $19. They will also get free health screenings for conditions like hypertension and diabetes, among other benefits.
The move comes amid efforts to better support freelancers, who are growing in numbers.
About 223,500 residents were self-employed over the year ending in June 2017, up from 200,100 in 2016, according to a Manpower Ministry survey released earlier this month. Real estate agents make up the fourth-largest group among residents here who do freelance work as their main job.
A tripartite workgroup last month proposed ways to better support freelancers, such as providing more avenues for dispute resolution and offering an insurance product to provide an income if they are on prolonged medical leave. The Government accepted the recommendations.
PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor said other support programmes his company has include opt-in group insurance and a spouse protection scheme for team leaders, which provides income for a spouse if a team leader dies, until when the team leader would have reached the age of 60.
On PropNex's latest healthcare benefits, he said: "Self-employed people should always be proactive in their health checks, as their health is paramount for them to be able to bring bread to the table."
HEALTH A PRIORITY
Self-employed people should always be proactive in their health checks, as their health is paramount for them to be able to bring bread to the table.
PROPNEX CHIEF EXECUTIVE ISMAIL GAFOOR, on his company's new healthcare benefits for agents.
Other major real estate agencies have also put in place group insurance and income support schemes.
ERA Realty Network started a group hospitalisation insurance scheme more than 20 years ago, said its key executive officer, Mr Eugene Lim.
He said the premium costs about 20 per cent to 30 per cent less than similar products purchased by individuals, and that the agency also provides free annual health screenings for its 6,200 agents.
OrangeTee & Tie managing director Steven Tan said his agency offers group hospitalisation and dental care insurance, and corporate rates for health screening to its 4,050 agents.
There is also an income assurance scheme, started about 15 years ago, where team leaders who are unable to work will continue to earn team management fees for five years.