If you are unsure of whether you are qualified for health insurance or what type of insurance should be purchased, you can always consult a financial adviser or an insurance intermediary (regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore).
It is crucial that you inquire about the adviser on whether he has all the health insurance qualifications and credibility required to guide you. In order to check this, you can refer to the Financial Institutions Directory on the MAS website.
Secure your family with health insurance
A healthy lifestyle will always pave the way for better health. However, you also need to be prepared for unprecedented illnesses that may drain you financially at the hospital. Health insurance is considered mandatory to help you cope with unexpected medical emergencies.
Be transparent with your insurance company
An insurance policy is a contract that is based on trust and good faith. Before applying for insurance, you will need to ensure that you are fully transparent with the insurance company. You will need to include valid information such as age, occupation, illness, pre-existing health conditions, and disability (if any).
At the time of medical emergencies or insurance claims, the insurance company will process your claim request based on the information provided to them. They will not be able to process your insurance claim if inaccurate information is furnished at the time of claim or when applying for the insurance policy. In such cases, your insurance contract may be nullified or considered invalid by the insurance company.
By default, MediShield Life provides basic insurance coverage to all Singapore citizens. The subsidised treatments in public hospitals are available in class B2/C wards. If you prefer Class B1 or higher ward class, you always have the option to upgrade the policy for an additional premium.
Accepting your insurance application
Once you submit the application, the insurance company will review your application and decide to either accept or reject it. If you are in poor health, the insurance company may consider the following options:
- Provide insurance coverage at a higher premium.
- Provide cover with certain exclusions and conditions.
- Reject your insurance application.
Factors to be considered before buying health insurance
Some insurance companies only provide coverage till you attain a certain age. You will need to check with your insurance company on the maximum age limit coverage.
You can choose from a variety of insurance options in Singapore based on your budget and requirements. The premium of your insurance will increase as you grow older.
It is also crucial that you keep a watch on your insurance claims. This is because, as and when you utilise your insurance claims and medical benefits, the premium also is bound to increase gradually.
Whether you are looking for a short-term insurance cover or a comprehensive one, you are only covered when your insurance premiums are paid on time within the renewal period. If you are planning to opt for long-term insurance coverage, ensure that the policy is affordable before any purchases are made.
Your insurance may cease to provide coverage due to the following reasons:
- You do not renew your policy on time.
- You have crossed the permissible insurance coverage age limit.
- You have already reached a cap on the maximum benefits that can be utilised under your insurance plan.
- Your insurance company cancels the policy.
If your insurance policy has lapsed, you can always contact your insurance company to get your policy renewed. The insurance company may consider your age, health condition, and other factors before offering a suitable insurance plan for you.
Most insurance companies will have exclusions. This means that some benefits or claims may not be available depending on your health condition. Therefore, it is important that you read the terms and conditions of your insurance document carefully for information on any exclusions.
If you are not sure, it is recommended to check with your financial adviser or insurance intermediary for more clarity.
Policy exclusions will mainly include pre-existing health condition or diseases. If you are having any pre-existing health problems at the time of buying insurance plans, your insurer may not provide coverage for any health problems arising from your existing health condition.
Some insurance companies provide coverage to pre-existing conditions at an additional premium. Therefore, you are required to furnish precise and complete information about your existing health condition to your insurance company while submitting your application.
The decision to provide coverage for pre-existing health conditions solely depends on the insurance company.
When you are admitted to the hospital
You can expect excellent healthcare and world-class medical treatments in Singapore. However, the cost of medical care hugely differs between private and public hospitals. Upon your admission to the hospital, you should consider the following:
- Check the room and medical treatment charges recommended by the doctor.
- Check the eligibility of your ward class and tariff covered by the insurance company.
- Check the medical costs covered by the insurance policy.
- Select the hospital ward that is covered under your insurance policy.
Before applying for any insurance plans, you will need to choose the right plan that suits you. You will be delighted to learn that some of the insurance companies provide worldwide coverage. This means that you are eligible to get insurance coverage anywhere in the world.
However, certain insurance companies have geographical limitations. You may be covered in few countries and few regions but they may not give you the coverage you require during any medical emergencies. Therefore, it is best discussed with your insurance intermediary for the right guidance prior to buying any insurance plans.
Insurance plan portability:
If you prefer to switch to a different insurance company from your existing insurance plan, you will need to carefully evaluate the benefits, annual premium costs, and coverage before selecting any other policy. You will need to check if the new insurance plan is better than your existing one before switching it.