Employee-benefit packages offered by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fall below the insurance industry body's suggested level, according to a Manulife survey. The coverage for outpatient visits and surgical expenses provided by the schemes often fails to reach the guideline levels, the figures suggest. For general practitioners, HK$150 is the most common amount paid by schemes for outpatient visits. The level of benefit suggested by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers is HK$220. For specialists, the most common benefit coverage is HK$300 per claim. This compares with the figure of HK$500 suggested by the federation. The survey was conducted by Canadian insurer Manulife (International), which studied 2,572 employee-benefit schemes. Up to 90 per cent of the schemes are offered by SMEs with fewer than 50 staff. The findings reflected the fact that many SMEs tended to mix employee benefits with individual employee insurance. It also showed benefits tended to improve as companies grew.