Heading back home, moving to another country or changing jobs? The excitement (or stress) of change may distract you from one very important thing — transferring your health insurance. You’ll want to ensure that you’re still able to get the same level of coverage overseas or when you leave your company. This is especially crucial if you’ve been under an employer-provided insurance policy. Is it better to keep the plan and transfer from a company policy to an individual policy, or to look for a new one? We hear from Head of Sales & Renewals Alejandra Perez Coria, head of sales and renewals at Pacific Prime Singapore, about what you’ll need to know about transferring your health insurance plans.
Can all plans be transferred?
Not all company health insurance plans are transferable. Some employers may have negotiated a clause that allows departing employees to continue coverage; however, many do not. If not, the change from a company to individual policy will be at the discretion of the insurer. Your best bet for getting a transferrable insurance policy would be at major global firms rather than small local firms.
What should I look out for?
Be sure to find out what the cost is if your insurer can continue your coverage and if there will be coverage differences. Insurers that are willing to transfer a company policy to an individual one may make adjustments to coverage, increase premiums and add “loadings” (extra fees on top of premiums to guarantee coverage) for certain conditions. The reason why this happens is because company plans are generally cheaper than personal plans. Company plans enjoy a group discount and insurers share the risk across all members.
It’s likely that your new premium will be higher than the premium paid by your employer. Also, any pre-existing conditions that your company’s plan included may come with a “loading”. Some insurers may even refuse to cover certain pre-existing conditions if they are serious enough.
Should I get a new plan instead?
Sometimes when you leave an employer, the best option might be to seek out a new insurance plan altogether. This can be a lot cheaper than transferring your plan, particularly for those without pre-existing conditions. If you are concerned that your health issues currently covered under your company plan will not be covered with a new or transferred plan, speak to a broker. They can help you find out what your options are.
How do I go about it?
The best way to negotiate getting your company insurance policy transferred to an individual plan is to go through a broker such as Pacific Prime Singapore. Brokers often offer better coverage plans for lesser cost than if you deal with an insurer directly. They can also advise you on whether a new plan with a different insurer might be a better choice for your needs.
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