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Health insurance: 3 tips on comparing plans

Looking for health insurance can quickly become a chore as you wade through the hundreds if not thousands of plan options and insurers. Health insurer Pacific Prime Singapore recently released a handy infographic designed to help people sort through the various health insurance options to find the best fit. Alejandra Perez, Head of Sales at Pacific Prime Singapore shares her top tips when it comes to purchasing the right health insurance for yourself and your family:

Look at the price

This may seem obvious, and most people do choose a plan based on cost, but make sure you know what that plan actually covers your for! The easiest way to do this is by using an online health insurance comparison tool. These tools allow you to quickly and easily view and compare plans from many different insurers.

When looking for plans online it’s important to take note of what is covered and the level of deductible (that’s the amount you have to pay before an insurance company will pay its share) as this will vary your premium considerably.

  • Some plans include deductibles: This is an amount you need to pay for medical care before the insurer will take over and provide coverage. Some plans are on a per-use basis (as in you need to pay the deductible each time you seek care), others are on a per-year basis (you need to pay that amount each year before the insurers will start to cover care).
  • Some plans will offer different levels of coverage: Insurers often develop plans with different levels of cover and claim limits. Generally speaking, as you add more types of coverage (discussed more below), the price you will pay for the plan will increase.
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Make sure you do your research and know what your plan actually covers you for!

Consider the level of cover

Beyond price it’s important to also consider the level of cover each plan offers. In Singapore most plans will be built to offer one of three levels of cover:

  • Inpatient only: These plans will only cover care where you have been admitted to the hospital by a doctor.
  • Inpatient + outpatient: These plans cover inpatient care plus care from outpatient facilities like clinics and doctors offices.
  • Inpatient + outpatient + maternity: These plans add on maternity coverage along with other types of coverage that will vary depending on the plan. Insurers often refer to these plans as “full-cover”.

One important thing to be aware of here is that with full cover plans, there are insurers out there who require males to also maintain maternity coverage if their partner secures it. Beyond that, full cover plans may also cover things like dental and optical care. At other plan levels these extra coverage elements can be added but will require an additional premium to be paid.

Consider how you will use the plan

Some expats may have existing conditions that need to be covered or may need to see a doctor on a regular basis, if this is the case it should be noted that some insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions. Some may even deny coverage outright while others will cover it if you pay what is called a loading (an extra premium).

If you are not planning on seeking care outside of Singapore then there are other plans out there that may be better suited for your needs. Consider maybe a plan that offers coverage only in Singapore or in the region.

It should also be said here that the service level offered by insurers will vary drastically. For example, some insurers will be quick to settle claims and repay any payments you have made, while others may take months to get a claim settled.

Presented by Pacific Prime Singapore

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