Buying health insurance is a very vital decision to make as a new adult. You never know when your health could take a toll on you. While you are hale and hearty is when you should buy health insurance. Also since medical treatment is getting expensive, you need to be financially prepared for any medical emergencies, so that when sick, you don’t have to worry about paying your bills.
You could consider an individual health insurance plan, which would cover your medical bills in the event(s) of your ill health and treatment. In case you want coverage for your family, you could opt for a family or group health insurance plan. However, individual health insurance plans provide coverage to only the policyholder. Therefore, the premium may be lower than for a family plan.
Key features of an individual health insurance:
- An individual health insurance plan will provide broad coverage for medical emergency expenses, medical check-ups and cost of medicines among others.
- This wider coverage of medical needs simply means you may have to shell out more as premium.
- You could customise your plan, choosing what you need, rather than having coverage for aspects you might not require.
- There are various riders that can be added on.
Example of riders available with AXA are:
- AXA offers Basic Care that is coverage on deductibles and coinsurance and General Care which includes care for your immediate family.
- AXA General Care offers a cover on alternative medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine, medical treatments done outside the country, emergency outpatient care in case of accidents.
- AXA Home Care offers a cover for care and treatment at home like physiotherapy or house visits by General Practitioners (GP) and a home nurse. This could be extremely useful for the elderly or even for others recuperating at home.
Some like Cigna offer a rider on dental treatment and MSIG offers cover on emergency evacuation.
Do note that adding riders might take the premium upwards.
- Private health insurance companies might also offer coverage for alternative medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Buying a health insurance plan could get you a tax exemption.
Companies that offer health insurance plans in Singapore:
- AXA Health Insurance
- NTUC Health Insurance
- AVIVA Health Insurance
- Prudential Health Insurance
- Liberty Health Insurance
- AIA Health Insurance
- AIG Health Insurance
Some of the health insurance plans for individuals and their details are given below:
AXA Shield Executive
- AXA Shield offers a vast range of benefits to cover your healthcare needs.
- It promises to pay the bills directly to the hospital, when you are charged the bill.
- You could choose your preferred hospital.
- In case you undergo a surgery, radiotherapy or organ transplantation, it offers to pay for these as well according to your eligibility.
- There is a discount if you opt for co-payment.
- If you are between the ages of 18 years and 65 years, you are eligible to apply for this health insurance plan.
- The maximum age for renewing is 80 years.
Liberty ProMedico Essential
- It offers an annual payout of maximum S$50,000 with a monthly deductible of S$38. However, how much you claim may have an impact on the premium you pay.
- It promises worldwide coverage, with a co-payment policy of 20% in Japan, United States and Canada.
- However, you will not be able to transfer the plan should you move overseas.
- You could choose your preferred treatment and doctor.
- All claims are reimbursement based.
Things to consider before you buy an individual health insurance:
The manner of payment of your medical bills could be either a cashless/direct method or through reimbursement. For reimbursing, you are required to pay the bill first and then produce the supporting documents like bills or test results from the hospital to the insurer. The insurer will then verify the expenses and pay you back the amount.
Exclusions of an individual health insurance plan:
- Pre-existing conditions
Most health insurance companies offer health insurance to individuals while they are fit and fine. There are, however, some exceptions. Such insurers demand a higher premium from individuals with a pre-existing condition. One of the names that provide coverage for pre-existing conditions is AXA . Yet, it is advisable to buy health insurance while you are young and healthy.
- Injury treatment
If you are injured while harming others, like participating in a riot or scuffle, or even self-mutilated, you must pay for it yourself. Health insurance companies do not cover these injuries.
- Purchase of assistance appliances
If you need certain special appliances to function normally, for example, a dialysis machine, your health insurance company will not be paying the bill.
- Cosmetic surgery
Your surgeries to enhance your aesthetics will not be reimbursed by your health insurance company. However, if the need for a cosmetic surgery arises from injury in an accident or a medical condition, some health insurance companies cover the expense.
- Dental treatment
Only in case of accidental injury, the health insurance company will reimburse the bill.
- Infertility treatment
Treatment for infertility could eat up into your expenses as they are very expensive, especially in Singapore. Infertility and assisted conception are under government subsidies, but the amount would vary depending on whether you are a Singaporean, PR or foreigner.
Do note that some of the above may be available as riders under certain health insurance plans.
Since choosing a health insurance completely depends on your medical needs, you need to carefully consider which plans suit you.