Almost half of SMEs do not (yet) offer hospitalisation insurance

HR service provider SD Worx conducted a survey among about three hundred companies with up to one hundred employees to get a good overview of the wage policy of Belgian SMEs. This shows that almost half of SMEs in Belgium do not provide any hospitalisation insurance to its personnel, even though hospitalisation insurance offers many benefits to your employees.

Almost half of SMEs do not (yet) offer hospitalisation insurance

SD Worx conducted the survey in June 2018. When asked whether hospitalisation insurance is included in the wage components at the 339 SME companies, only slightly more than half of the interviewed executives answered yes. A quarter of the SMEs indicated that they do not currently offer hospitalisation insurance to their staff, but are interested in this non-statutory benefit. 20% were not interested or indicated that they do not know what hospitalisation insurance entails exactly.

Marc Van kerckhoven, Director Employee Benefits at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits, thinks the SD Worx survey results are remarkable.

“Hospitalisation insurance policies are very popular in Belgium. Assuralia figures show that more than 4 million Belgians have collective hospitalisation insurance and another 4 million have hospitalisation insurance on an individual basis with their health insurance fund. This shows that a 56% representation of this insurance solution among Belgian SMEs is rather on the low side.”

SMEs are dreading the paperwork

The fact that so many Belgians are taking out hospitalisation insurance has everything to do with the high, rising costs of hospitalisation and the treatment of serious illnesses. Although patients receive social security benefits for most medical expenses, they still have to pay a certain part. The supplements for fees and accommodation expenses can be high, which means that the patient is confronted with several high costs, particularly when hospitalisation is required.

Everyone can take out individual hospitalisation insurance with a private health insurer or health insurance fund. However, if the employer takes out a collective hospitalisation insurance policy for its staff members and their family members, there are a number of clear benefits: the premium setting and acceptance criteria are more favourable. There is also a clear benefit for the employer. Offering hospitalisation insurance makes the employer more attractive to current and future employees.

“However, we have noticed that SMEs in particular see the paperwork that collective hospitalisation insurance entails as a major barrier,” Marc Van kerckhoven says. “For example, the employer has to report any new employees immediately to the insurer, so that the new staff members and their family members can immediately receive the benefits of the collective hospitalisation insurance. The employer must also report any changes in the family situation of employees and any employees leaving the organisation to the insurer. This ensures that any persons who no longer meet the affiliation criteria, such as adult children, employees who have left the firm and retirees, are excluded from the collective hospitalisation insurance.

Hospitalisation insurance Hospi via Payroll: a new product tailored to SMEs

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits and SD Worx have joined forces to develop a new product for SMEs that want to offer a collective hospitalisation insurance to their staff, but do not want to worry about the paperwork: ‘Hospi via Payroll’.

Marc Van kerckhoven: This collective hospitalisation insurance is tailor-made for start-ups and SMEs with 10 to 100 employees who are using the services of SD Worx for their payroll administration. The cover is one of the most extensive on the market and the premium is cheaper than that of similar individual hospitalisation insurance policies. In addition, affiliation does not require any medical formalities or waiting periods.”

Hospi via Payroll guarantees simple administration for both the employer and employees. Employers are no longer at risk of being late to report new affiliations, because all employees on the payroll join immediately via the SD Worx payroll processing system. The employees can use the Vanbreda HealthCare App to report hospitalisations and submit medical expenses in a very simple way.

To find out more about Hospi via Payroll, visit

Karolien Goethals

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