For expats, health insurance is a high priority, since the unexpected can happen anytime and anywhere (hence the ol’ term unexpected, right?). In Singapore there is no shortage of options for medical coverage, ranging from bare-bones minimalistic plans to all-encompassing comprehensive coverage that only those with their own private islands can afford. However, what if you fall somewhere in the middle, looking for affordable protection with real merit? Even more concerning to some, what do you do to get affordable coverage if you have a pre-existing condition? We delve in and discover the best way to sign up for health insurance with a recurring injury or illness.
What are pre-existing conditions?
In insurance speak, a pre-existing condition can be any health condition that was present prior to a customer’s new insurance coverage starting. These can include, major health problems such as past injuries, cancer that is in remission, diabetes, viral infections, etc. They can also include minor health conditions like asthma, an old knee surgery, or a skin condition. They can also include some predisposed conditions such as certain cancers for high-risk groups (i.e. lung cancer for smokers). For most people with a pre-existing condition, insurance companies are happy to provide them with coverage, but they will exclude any and all care related to their pre-existing condition according to their policy’s rules.
Can a pre-existing condition ever be covered?
Thankfully the answer is usually yes. While not every insurance provider offers these type of coverage benefits (usually called pre-existing condition inclusion or medical history disregarded coverage), there are still plenty of companies that do.
Unfortunately, most local Singapore-based health insurance providers tend not to offer these coverage options since it is often deemed too risky to provide this coverage in such a competitive domestic healthcare market. However, many large international health insurance companies have one or several plans available that include pre-existing condition coverage as a standard or optional benefit. However, as might be expected, the policy cost will have to be adjusted depending on the specific condition being covered.
Alternatively, some international health insurance companies will even include your pre-existing condition as part of standard coverage if a specified amount of time goes by in which no (or sometimes very limited) care to treat the condition is needed. This amount of time varies between insurers, but it is definitely worth inquiring about. Plus, international health insurance comes with the added benefit of going with you wherever you go, so it is super convenient for frequent travelers and people that are currently or will be living abroad.
Where can you find this kind of coverage?
Shopping around for health insurance is pretty low on most people’s fun-o-meter. So calling or researching every international health insurance company individually isn’t very appealing. Thankfully, health insurance intermediaries have made it their business to know what kinds of insurance will work for your needs and budget, and they can do the comparison for you. Pacific Prime is one such company with a long history of servicing the medical insurance needs of expats throughout Asia, and around the world, and offers free consultation, great rates, and coverage from dozens of the world’s best insurance companies. It’s super easy to get in touch too – check out the site or give them a call on 6346 3781.