Finding the right health insurance plan that meets you and your family’s needs and budget is challenging. Reading through policy details and clauses can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when you’re unsure of what you need. Three years back, French expat GRÉGOIRE RASTOUL was in the same position, and it led he and his best bud Clément Bouthelier to start UEX Global. He tells us what we can expect from the health insurance platform.
Give us a bit of background to the launch of UEX Global.
My co-founder and best friend Clément and I both grew up in Singapore – our parents were expats here. After studying and beginning our careers in France, we came back to Singapore with our families; we found it difficult at that time to understand how to get the best health insurance coverage.
Having worked in insurance brokerage for a long time, I’m aware that an insurance product is actually pretty simple, yet it can seem complicated to many people. It can be hard to understand what you’re covered for and what you pay for. It’s also easy to forget that insurance is meant to care for us and help us cover risks. Expats in Singapore are often used to public healthcare in their home countries and are not aware of the costs here.
That’s why we founded UEX Global three years ago. We want expats in Singapore to understand their health insurance coverage and the financial risks they face if they don’t get sufficient cover.
Why should people come to you?
We strongly believe that health insurance should be personalised and catered to individual needs. UEX is not an insurance company but an online health insurance platform. On our platform, you’ll be able to do everything on your own, from the customisation of plans to subscription and payment. We built this tool to make procedures more efficient and convenient so we can focus on giving advice to our customers. Filling in forms takes time, whereas providing answers to customers’ questions and helping them understand how healthcare and insurance works in Singapore is able to benefit them. This is a way we bring value to our customers.
We don’t just cover individuals but also companies, and we recently developed a new platform for SMEs. HR departments can personalise and manage employee coverage, choosing different plans depending on the profile and needs of the employee. They can also add and remove employees in just minutes directly on the platform.
Our platform allows us to focus on our customers; we provide the necessary information and our advisors are able to answer specific questions from customers.
Why is health insurance so important, especially for expats?
Health is something we cannot play with. As a father, I’m concerned about what could happen to my son and I want the best for his health.
Expats are typically used to the healthcare system back home and often don’t deal with private insurance. However, in Singapore, hospitalisation or a consultation with a paediatrician, for example, is expensive. We don’t have access to the public healthcare system, so it’s essential to cover ourselves and our families in order to avoid unnecessary or excessive costs.
When choosing a health insurance plan, what are some key things to take note of?
First of all, you should understand the coverage you need by analysing your habits, such as thinking about the risks you face during your daily life and hobbies. For example, do you need to cover just yourself or your family? Do you travel a lot? Will you need local or international coverage? Are you planning to have children in Singapore and, if so, have you thought about maternity coverage?
It’s also important to be aware of healthcare costs in Singapore. The price of a birth, for instance, can start from $3,200 for a four-bedded room in a public hospital to more than $9,700 for a single room in a private hospital. That can double if there are complications. A simple surgery at a hospital, such as an appendix surgery, can go as high as $20,000.
To me, it’s essential to understand the financial risks you could face so you know if you’re prepared to handle it, or if you need a cover. UEX offers information about these kind of costs so our customers can be well-informed.
Finally, if your company provides health insurance coverage, read your policy details and check if it’s enough to cover your needs. Some employer health insurance plans cover only hospitalisations, while others only cover you but not your family. We have insurance advisors that can help customers understand their current coverage and if a top-up is needed.
What coverage should a young family living in Singapore sign up for?
At UEX, we believe that health insurance can’t be standardised. Each family and each family member has different needs. On our platform, you can personalise and cater your insurance coverage to the needs of every family member. For example, while a mother may choose international health insurance with maternity coverage, the father and children could get on a local plan. Our advisors will be able to help them choose a coverage that best suits their needs and pre-existing conditions.
Anything else to look out for?
We are growing and will be opening new offices elsewhere in Asia soon.
We’re also always searching for more insurers to enhance our health insurance offerings and cater to customer needs. We’ve recently partnered with April Insurance, offering new options for maternity plans, inpatient-only cover and flexible international plans.
Read more in our Health and Fitness section.