Two years have passed, and the Covid19 virus is still on the rounds of making devastating impacts to many. With this, many are placed beyond fear of how it may affect their family should Covid19 hit them. Yet, the threat is more significant, health-wise and financially, to those unprepared.
How and when this pandemic ends remains uncertain, and for now, getting good health insurance is the most brilliant move you can make. For one, it will protect your savings while giving you and your family peace of mind from life’s many uncertainties. Read on as we guide you on everything you need to know about getting health insurance in Singapore.
What Is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is a flexible medical plan that pays for medical expenses incurred when the insured falls ill, injured, or disabled. If you have one, you can either have medical costs reimbursed or have the insurance company settle the hospital bills directly. It may also provide additional coverage for the following:
- Critical illness
- Personal accident
- Day surgery
Health Insurance Singapore: How Does It Work?
Any Singaporean or permanent resident must be enrolled under the mandatory MediShield Life. While MediShield Life can cover basic public hospital treatments, it does not cover the entire cost of the medical bill. You may still need to shell out substantial out-of-pocket costs without additional health plans.
To avoid this, get supplemental health insurance plans depending on your needs. Permanent residents and citizens may opt to avail of these plans from private insurance companies in Singapore, including
- Great Eastern
- NTUC Income
- Raffles Health Insurance
Integrated Shield Plans Vs. MediShield Life
For adequate and wider coverage, health insurance plans like Integrated Shield Plan (IP) could be helpful. But to know if you need more coverage than what MediShield Life offers, you also need to understand its features and benefits of IPs. As mentioned, you may avail of IP from private insurers in Singapore, but you can still use Medisave to pay its premiums.
Check out below how it compares to the MediShield Life plan’s basic coverage.
|MediShield Life||Integrated Shield Plan|
|Claim / Withdrawal Limits||S$100,000/year||Up to S$2,000,000/year|
|Hospital Accommodation||B2/C wards at public hospitals||B1/A wards at private hospitals|
|Coverage for Pre-hospitalization and Post-hospitalization||Hospitalization expenses only
|May cover pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses|
|Pre-existing medical conditions
|With coverage||No coverage provided|
IP Insurance Coverage
- Hospitalization Wards. IP can become helpful as ward rates, especially at private hospitals, can be expensive.
- In-patient Psychiatric Treatments. You can file a claim for psychiatric treatments with IP subject to a fixed coverage limit.
- Surgeries. Surgical procedures covered under MOH’s table are also eligible for claims under IPs.
- Pre-hospitalization and Post-hospitalization Treatments. IPs may also cover pre and post-hospitalization treatments subject to some conditions.
- Outpatient. Treatments like dialysis, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, others may also be eligible for claims under IPs.
Other Types of Health Insurance Plans
Below are some types of health insurance plans or riders to consider as an add-on to your IP. However, you need to pay additional cash for these riders as you cannot use your MediSave to pay for their premium.
1. Hospital Cash Insurance
This health insurance plan provides you with fixed daily cash payouts for hospitalizations more than 24 hours. You can also get double this cash benefit in case of ICU admissions.
2. Critical Illness Insurance
With critical illness insurance, you’ll get a lump sum to cover medical expenses once diagnosed with a major illness like cancer, heart attack, or stroke. You can use this amount to cover the hospitalization stay, tests, and treatments.
3. Terminal Illness Insurance
This health insurance policy works similarly to critical illness insurance. With a terminal illness plan, you will get a lump sum payment with a terminal illness plan once diagnosed with end-stage disease.
4. Disability Income Insurance
This health insurance policy provides a monthly fixed amount if you get disabled or become unfit to work. Some insurers offer up to 75% of your average monthly salary and covers the time of disability until you fully recover or resume work.
5. Long-term Care Insurance
While all Singaporeans are enrolled under CareShield and Eldershield supplements, they may still get long-term insurances from private companies. Long-term care plans can help you pay for costs associated with old-age diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Who Should Get Health Insurance?
Anyone is still inevitable to illnesses such as those from Covid19. Thus, good health is not guaranteed at any point in life, and it is ideal for everyone to have a health insurance policy.
1. The Young And Healthy
While still young, healthy, and free from health issues, it is best to upgrade for better coverage as the insurer may exclude a range of that in your policy.
2. Immediate Family Members
Immediate family members of breadwinners should also have adequate coverage as medical emergencies and public or private hospital costs can be stressful. Deductibles and co-insurance payments should also be considered affordable for the long term.
3. Senior Citizens
Check the link to see if you are still covered under CPF’s CareShield or ElderShield supplements. If not, you may speak to private insurance agents to opt back in or enhance these existing plans.
4. Employed Individuals
Those employed may be covered under a company medical policy. Yet, coverage may end when you change employer or retire, so you should have a separate personal health insurance policy as well.
Please don’t wait until you stop working or fall ill to buy a medical insurance policy. By then, you may not be insurable due to age or existing medical conditions. Additionally, premiums are relatively more expensive as you age.
What Are MediSave and MediFund, And Are They Enough?
Medisave is a savings account scheme for citizens and permanent residents administered by Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF). It is paid by both the employee and the employer and is only intended for various healthcare expenses.
Like any other savings account, a MediSave account can also deplete when faced with financial crises due to illnesses. Thus, your MediShield and different health insurance plans become essentially helpful during these trying times.
Should MediSave and MediShield not be sufficient to finance your healthcare costs, MediFund could be one of your last resorts. MediFund provides a safety net that targets financial assistance to the needy and struggling to pay their remaining hospital bills.
Singaporeans and permanent residents may be protected with CPF’s MediShield, CareShield, and ElderShield plans. Yet, with healthcare inflation and costly medical expenses, one should always consider getting more coverage.
- Insurance needs can change dramatically during different life stages.
- Protecting your loved ones from the financial implications of the pandemic and other health risks is always a good plan.
- It pays to shop around and compare some medical insurance plans before buying one.
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