Chances are, your employee insurance benefits don’t offer enough coverage for you and your family. Here, our friends at Pacific Prime Singapore fill us in what to know about most group insurance plans, and why it’s important to consider top-up insurance as an expat living and working here in Singapore.
Group insurance vs individual insurance benefits
Provided by businesses and organisations, group insurance policies give people access to high-quality healthcare. Though it’s not a requirement in Singapore, many employers provide health insurance benefits for employees. That’s great news because medical treatments in Singapore can be quite costly; and health insurance premiums are some of the highest in the region. This is why basic insurance packages are an extra incentive for talented job candidates.
So, what makes group insurance different from individual or family health insurance policies?
Group insurance policies typically cover pre-existing conditions. Even so, you can’t expect them to cover all of your needs. In fact, employer-provided group insurance plans aren’t as comprehensive as you might think. Many group insurance plans only offer a minimum level of insurance benefits for employees.
The problem with group insurance plans
Businesses must be smart about their costs, and group insurance can be a considerable expense. Placing restrictions on health insurance benefits for most employees can help make it more affordable.
When it comes to employee insurance benefits, some of the most common cost control measures include:
#1 Restricted network of healthcare providers
One common way of keeping costs down is to restrict coverage to a preselected network of providers. That way, policyholders have limited access to expensive medical facilities in the area – which Singapore has plenty of.
#2 Low limits and coverage
It might look like your group health insurance plan covers everything you can think of. But how much it covers is another story. If your policy has low maximum benefits, all costs exceeding these limits will likely have to be paid out of your own pocket.
#3 Excluded treatments
In some cases, group health insurance plans may cut out all benefits for certain treatments. This is usually based on the demographics of the group and the historical use of the plan.
#4 Gaps in group insurance plans in Singapore
Having assisted many corporate clients in Singapore with their group health insurance solutions, Pacific Prime has noticed several areas where group insurance plans leave gaps. For example, where:
- insurance coverage only applies in Singapore;
- there is no portability option;
- there are no dental, maternity or wellness benefits; and
- there’s no vaccination coverage.
#5 Critical illness exclusions
Exclusions on pre-existing conditions are also common with group insurance plans in Singapore, removing the one thing that often makes these plans stand out. These are just some reasons that may lead you to realise your existing health insurance coverage simply isn’t enough – and top-up insurance may be the answer.
How top-up insurance can help
Once you’ve decided your employee insurance benefits don’t offer the level of protection you need, it’s time to consider your options. The good news is that you might not have to purchase an entirely new health insurance policy when top-up insurance options are available.
What is top-up insurance?
Top-up insurance is a tailored insurance solution that considers your existing insurance benefits and adds where your plan’s benefits are lacking. For instance, you could purchase a top-up insurance plan to add more coverage so you don’t have to pay for treatment out of pocket if you exceed the annual maximum limit on your group insurance plan.
Similarly, you can add insurance benefits for conditions that aren’t covered, or additional features like dental, vision and maternity insurance.
The benefits of top-up insurance for expats
Top-up insurance is ideal for anyone who feels their existing health insurance benefits may not be enough to protect them. However, as an expat, top-up insurance may be especially appealing, as you don’t have access to public healthcare options like Singaporeans do. It’s also important to consider whether you want coverage outside of Singapore since most group insurance plans don’t offer it.
If you purchase a comprehensive international health insurance plan, you can have your medical costs covered in Singapore and around the world with just one plan.
Having said that, in some cases, top-up insurance may be sufficient. The only way to know for sure is to carefully go over your options with a reputable insurance broker like Pacific Prime Singapore. Get in touch for impartial advice and a free plan comparison today.
Read on for more about insurance and other health and fitness topics in Singapore.
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