Health insurance is going to be one of your major needs and costs while you’re living in Singapore. Families come in all shapes and sizes – and each has specific health insurance needs, so make sure you have the right insurance cover and are safe. Expat Living looks at two different scenarios and asks insurance companies to provide their recommendations.
Peter and Sally move to Singapore in March from Australia. Peter is employed, but Sally is not and will be looking for a job. They married in December and hope to start a family in the next 18 months. They would like to travel extensively in Asia, are keen trekkers and plan to travel to remote destinations. Sally’s brother had bowel cancer at an early age, so she needs to continue to undergo regular health screenings. Peter’s employer has recommended a health insurance policy, but they want to compare it with other options.
“We would recommend Cigna Global policies for this couple’s international coverage, as they are keen to travel to many countries. As they plan to start a family in 18 months’ time, they should look at our Gold and Platinum policies, which provide cover for inpatient and day patient maternity care. Sally needs to be covered by the policy for 12 months or more beforehand. Cover includes hospital, obstetrician and midwife fees for routine childbirth and postnatal care.
For Sally’s health screenings, she can consider options such as the International Health & Well-being module, which provides cover for screenings, tests, examinations and counselling support: pap smears, mammograms, bowel cancer screening and more.
The couple could also consider International Medical Evacuation, which allows for reasonable transportation costs to the nearest centre of medical excellence in the event of an emergency requiring treatment that is not available locally.”
2. Busy Family
Jo and Dominic arrive in Singapore this month with their three children (8, 5 and 2 years old), intending to live here for at least three years. They are concerned about the costs associated with becoming pregnant with a fourth child, which they are considering in the next year. Also, as they have an active and sporty lifestyle, they do worry about the costs of physiotherapy, chiropractic and so on.
“It’s important for them to protect their family with a comprehensive medical insurance policy. If they plan on expanding the family, maternity insurance is a must, due to the need to satisfy waiting periods, typically 12 months, before making a claim. A policy that includes maternity benefits will cover prenatal scans, the delivery and any unforeseen complications, as well as postnatal care. The plan will also ensure that the baby is covered from day one, which is important when you consider that even a short stay in the neonatal intensive care unit can cost upwards of $30,000.
A comprehensive plan will not only cover any hospital stay, but will also offer the option to claim for doctors and specialists visits. For the sporting enthusiast, it also covers treatment for the occasional injury, including physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment. You can even include dental benefits, in some instances. As an added convenience, many insurers offer direct billing for GP visits, which means the doctor sends the bill to the insurer – so you don’t have to pay upfront, submit your claim and wait for reimbursement.
As parents, Jo and Dominic should also consider term life insurance to protect their family from the financial impact of death or critical illness. Should either of these occur, their family would receive a lump sum payment to compensate for the breadwinner’s inability to financially support them.
Another option is whole life insurance, which contains both a protection element and a savings element. The protection element continues for life, and guarantees a lump sum pay-out in the event of death, whether premature or eventual, or terminal illness. The savings element, which allows for a slow accumulation of cash value over time, can be a useful savings vehicle for retirement, as you can withdraw some of that cash value later in life if you choose to do so.”
Looking for more? Check out our Living in Singapore section.