Health insurance is an insurance plan that covers all financial expenses (medical and surgical) incurred when you suffer from a serious illness or a grave accident that requires immediate treatment at any stage in your life. A health insurance requires a premium that needs to be paid yearly, quarterly or monthly. Most people realise the importance of health insurance only when they are faced with a number of health issues, which happens invariably when they grow old.
However, you should opt for health insurance while you are still young, as premiums will be cheaper, there will be more options to choose from, and other benefits. You can opt for health insurance in Singapore until you reach 75 years, that will cover all your hospitalisation bills and the costs involved if you require help of caregivers. But, you need to consider a few things first before choosing a health insurance policy:
- Age limit
- Policy exclusions
- Inflation rate
- Geographical coverage
All major health insurance plans come with an age limit, so you will not be covered throughout your old age. Hence while choosing a policy always make sure it has an age limit suited to your needs.
If you are thinking of purchasing a health insurance plan after 60, look at the premium that you will have to pay. As you may not be drawing a regular income, it is important that you have enough money to pay the premium over a long term to get yourself covered.
Most health insurance plans will come with a number of policy exclusions that lists out various instances when benefits will not be given to policyholders. These policy exclusions vary from company to company, but one common exclusion will be that of ‘’pre-existing conditions’’. For instance, if you have diabetes when you are purchasing a health insurance plan, all related illnesses that occur as a result of diabetes will not be covered by the policy or you may be charged a higher premium.
There are many health insurance policies that you cannot renew once they expire. You must ideally opt for a health insurance policy that you can renew once the current term expires. If not, you may have no other option but to take up another policy when the current one terminates.
When it comes to the payment of your premium, always make sure to consider the rate of inflation so that you can afford to stay covered for a longer period of time.
Always make note of asking your insurer whether they provide coverage across the world or limit you to a particular geographical region. This is an important factor in case you are planning to move overseas during your retirement. Insurance companies also may have different payment policies for your treatment that takes place outside Singapore.
Benefits of health insurance
Depending on the type of policy you choose, some of the advantages of health insurance are listed below:
- Tax benefit
- Cashless financial assistance during hospitalisation
- Financial assistance to your family members’ medical expenses
- Long-term care
- Reimbursement for hospital expenditure
- Medication cost
- Medical check-ups
- Cash income during hospitalisation
- Disability income
- Financial cover for prolonged treatments like chemotherapy and dialysis
Eligibility criteria to apply for a senior citizen health insurance in Singapore
- You must have a valid Singapore identity card like NRIC or work permit.
- Your age must be between 50-75 years.
- You must be living or working in Singapore or outside Singapore for not more than 180 days at a time.
List of the best health insurance plans for senior citizens in Singapore
There are numerous companies that provide health insurance to senior citizens with different options to suit their needs. A few of them are listed below:
- AIA Health Insurance
- AVIVA Health Insurance
- Great Eastern Health Insurance
- Manulife Health Insurance
- AXA Health Insurance
With improved healthcare services, life expectancy has increased, but there has also been an increase in healthcare costs and senior citizens are finding it very difficult to pay for their hospitalisation. However, health insurance companies these days are becoming more responsive and coming to the rescue of seniors by providing payouts for home care services as well.