If you’re an expat who relocates regularly, you won’t want the extra hassle of changing insurance plans each time you move. And you’ll pretty much always need medical insurance, right? So, it pays to get a plan that gives you coverage wherever you happen to be. Even if you have insurance coverage from your employer, they often only offer partial coverage (or none at all) for spouses and children. To find out more about the other conveniences of international health insurance plans, we asked online insurance company FWD to list five key features of their policies. It’s useful to know these things, even if you’ve been happy with your current coverage.
#1 Insurance cover wherever you go
International health insurance offers coverage for hospitalisation and surgery not just in Singapore, but also when you’re overseas (and for expats, that can be quite often). This includes major expenditures such as:
- hospital stays;
- relevant diagnostic tests;
- ambulance transport; and
- doctors’ consultation fees.
In addition, you’ll be covered for medical evacuation if you fall ill or become injured in a place where there are no proper medical facilities.
You’ll also have the option to have access to medical care worldwide – FWD has a global network of medical facilities. Policyholders have four areas of coverage to choose from: Worldwide, Worldwide (excluding USA), Asia (excluding Hong Kong, China and Macau) and ASEAN. Like most international health plans, FWD’s plans are also portable to most countries. The only thing to keep in mind is that there could be changes to your premium and coverage.
If you’re just travelling for a short period and thinking of getting a one-off travel insurance plan to cover you during your time overseas, be aware that such plans often insufficient, and lacking the high levels of medical coverage you might need. Also, coverage under these travel insurance plans is only meant for short-term medical treatment to get you well enough to return home for further care. Having international heath insurance, on the other hand, allows you to travel with greater ease, knowing that you’ll have access to the same standard of care that you would get in your own country.
#2 Higher coverage compared to local plans
Hospitalisation benefits for FWD’s international health insurance plans range from $100,000 to as high as $3,000,000 annually. This is much higher than local insurance plans. Local medical insurance plans may have lower premiums, but most of them come with low expense limits and co-pay arrangements. So, you’ll end up paying out of your own pocket if your medical bills are too high.
As an expat living in Singapore, you won’t have access to subsidies at government hospitals and medical centres. So, you’ll likely end up going to private medical centres that are comparatively more expensive. That’s why the higher coverage that international health insurance offers will definitely come in handy.
What’s more, with international health insurance plans at FWD, if you don’t make any hospitalisation claims for two years, your annual limit will be doubled for free, giving you even greater coverage in the future.
#3 Great for families
The high coverage of international health insurance plans will also be a huge plus if you have youngsters who are prone to childhood illnesses. Many of these illnesses can result in multiple doctors’ visits and even hospital stays, which can quickly add up in cost. For international health insurance with FWD, you’ll be able to add children (21 years and below) onto your insurance plan.
And, if you’re planning on adding more little ones to your brood, you can supplement your current plan with maternity coverage (from $8,000 to $20,000 annually). Maternity benefits at FWD includes the cost of delivery, pre- and post-delivery treatments, check-ups and even coverage for newborn congenital conditions (60 days from birth).
#4 Simple to make claims
When you visit FWD’s network of medical facilities, show your membership card and FWD will settle your bill with them directly. This makes the process easy and straightforward; you won’t face the hassle of manually filling in forms and following up to get your claims back. This will also be helpful as claim procedures may vary across countries (and there could a language barrier).
#5 Easy to add benefits
You can customise your plan according to your needs and those of your family, with the option of riders such as outpatient, dental, vision and maternity coverage. Outpatient benefits at FWD range from $5000 to full coverage a year, including GP visits, routine health checks, vaccinations and even Traditional Chinese Medicine. As for dental add-ons, they cover regular dental appointments, extractions, implants and crowns.
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