I have been in Singapore for more than six years. Before that, I was in USA for more than three years. In Singapore, there are many medical insurance products to choose from.
I will share with you how to choose your own hospitalisation insurance.
5 local medical insurance plans for foreigners in Singapore
Medical insurance plans reimburse your medical bills.
They do not give you a compensation or a benefit. You'll need a life insurance plan for that.
The AVIVA Myshield is only available if you are a dependent of a Singaporean/PR. The AXA shield on the other hand does not allow a foreigner application currently.
Plans only allow the highest tier plan (private hospital) for purchase.
- AIA Healthshield Gold Max A (currently plan with highest local coverage limit of $2m)
- Great Eastern Supremehealth
- Raffles shield
Plans which allow Private or Government ward coverage for purchase
- NTUC Incomeshield (only plan that you can buy B1 government hospital level coverage)
If you're looking for basic coverage or the cheapest plan, possibly the NTUC Incomeshield Advantage is a good option. I've arranged it for some private client's parents.
NTUC Incomeshield Plan Advantage for foreigners in Singapore
This is the only plan that can allow you coverage for government A ward (under Advantage plan) or B1 ward under (Basic FR plan).
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If you are age 21-30, premium for plan Advantage is only slightly more than Basic or Enhanced C.
The plan advantage gives you higher coverage limits and you can choose up to A ward in government hospitals. Most of my private clients have selected this option.
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If you are looking for a more comprehensive coverage, consider the AIA Healthshield goldmax A (foreigner plan). Limits are higher.
Premiums of my private clients from Taiwan and Philippines are usually from $600-$1,500/year based on age and plan chosen.
Local vs International Medical Insurance Plans For Foreigners
The local health insurance plans are definitely cheaper than the international insurance plans you'd find in the market such as Aetna, Raffles Health, Cigna, Nowhealth etc.
However, if your concern is ONLY medical bills or hospital bills when you are in Singapore, it is certainly sufficient. Do note that the local health insurance plan requires you to be residing in Singapore.
International Medical Insurance Plans however allow you to get coverage globally.
Premiums are hence at least 2x higher because of the flexibility.
I already have a group medical insurance by my company. Should I still buy my own medical insurance
I have a friend who came from the Philippines and is a senior executive with a bank in Singapore.
The benefits are very good and his company provided medical insurance coverage for him and the whole family. After we explored the following questions, he chose to buy a personal insurance in addition.
Is your company's group medical benefits also with a $10,000 or $15,000 cap?
Do you know the co-insurance for major medical conditions?
What if you change a company or if you can't work?
If these are your concerns, then buying your own medical insurance makes sense.
I may not necessarily live in Singapore for a long time. If I am not in Singapore in the future, is it necessary to buy it now?
I bought a personal medical insurance for myself even though I'm open to opportunities overseas in future.
The main thing is medical insurance can be cancelled anytime.
If you move overseas, just cancel the plan. Unused amounts will be refunded.
So go ahead, get coverage before anything major happens!
If I am buying in Singapore now, what if I am hospitalized outside of Singapore?
The local medical insurance plans that are offered to foreigners are mainly for inpatient in Singapore.
Only in emergencies can the plan reimburse for bills incurred outside of Singapore.
If you are based frequently abroad, consider buying an annual travel plan or consider the more expensive international medical insurance plan instead.
If you have a history of hospitalization before or you have medical history, can you still buy insurance?
If you have chronic diseases like high blood pressure and cholesterol, it is possible to still get a coverage depending on insurer and depending on your medical readings.
If there is a history of hospitalization, it will likely be deemed "pre-existing condition". Most often, the coverage will have an exclusion clause.
But hospitalisation insurance will still cover for all other conditions nonetheless.
On a further note, I've had a colleague's client who previously implanted a steel plate on his knee.
When he first entered a medical insurance plan, the insurance company excluded conditions associated with the knee.
However after a few years of full recovery, he appealed against the exclusion and it was subsequently waived.
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What is the annual and post-hospital reimbursement limit for each company's products?
Each company is slightly different for annual limit. It is usually around a $1m.
For post hospitalization reimbursement limits, it can vary even more.
Some allow only 90days while some allow claims of 13 months post hospitalisation.
Do the medical insurance for foreigners have a "pre-settlement" procedure that waives off any deposits needed by the hospital?
The amount of "pre-settlement" limits is different between different insurers.
At present, most plans have a "pre-settlement" limit of SGD$10,000.
Aviva's can reach SGD$100,000 in the establishment of physician hospitals.
Great eastern, AIA and raffles hospital can even give fully "pre-settlement" limits to waive off some parts of the deposits needed subjected to their terms and conditions.
How I can help you as an Independent financial adviser
I works as an independent financial adviser unlike a tied agency adviser who has only one selection of plan for you. In my role, I can help you get insurance plans from various insurers.
Here are some questions I typically ask before a preliminary meeting.
1) How much does your company cover for you?
2) Do you have existing medical conditions?
3) Are you familiar with costs of medical treatment in Singapore?
Do note that if you are a foreigner, any filing for reimbursements will be done manually.
If you have further questions, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via the WhatsApp button below. Thank you
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Last updated on June 8th, 2020 at 09:56 pm