Different stages of life call for different ways to approach choosing the insurance plans you need. With so many plans on the market, though, how do you know exactly what to get? We run through some common scenarios and get some insurance experts in town to offer some advice on life and health insurance.
Scenario #1: Family with young children
International Health Insurance
What does it include?
If your children are under three years old, an international health insurance plan allows you to be fully reimbursed for consultations with general practitioners and specialists, such as paediatricians, in both Singapore and abroad. Vaccines are also covered, up to a certain limit. An international plan is a more secure option compared to a local plan as it offers higher limits of reimbursement. You can choose to insure your entire family under the same contract, but with different coverage levels; parents can choose a local insurance plan for themselves but pick an international plan for their children so their medical costs can be covered anywhere in the world.
Childhood illnesses are common in young families and often result in multiple doctors’ visits and sometimes hospital stays. Even if it doesn’t happen often, hospitalisations represent the main and most expensive cost you can incur. What’s more, healthcare in Singapore doesn’t come cheap, so the cost of going to hospital due to illness or accident can add up quickly. Just as one example, a simple appendix operation in Singapore costs around $20,000.
You may have a health insurance plan with your employer, but check if the coverage offered is sufficient and whether your family members are also covered.
Scenario #2: Young couple who relocate frequently
Term Life Insurance*
What does it include?
A way to safeguard your and your family’s desired future lifestyle is to get a life insurance policy that provides a lump-sum payment in the event that a family income earner suffers from a severe critical illness, total and permanent disability, or death. The term of the policy will usually match the number of years until the income earner’s planned retirement age. The premium won’t increase each year as you age. Not having adequate cover could have severe financial consequences for the whole family such as future sacrifices in children’s education, retirement or even the re-possession of the family home.
Choose term life policies and riders that are internationally portable and can be continued when you leave Singapore. And be sure to get a policy that offers a choice of major currencies, such as USD, GBP and AUD, which can come in useful when insuring overseas liabilities or future expenditure.
Review your policies at least once annually, as your circumstances and goals change. Also, try to get cover when you are young and healthy as coverage gets more expensive as you get older and develop medical conditions.
For more advice, contact Ryan Cotterell-Walsh at email@example.com or at 8231 6356.
Scenario #3: Individual whose employee insurance offers insufficient coverage
What does it include?
Top-up insurance supplements insufficient employer-provided cover by offering higher overall plan limits and, most importantly, higher limits for outpatient kidney dialysis and cancer treatments. This is essential because most local health plans and group insurance plans have relatively low limits of $10,000 to $25,000 annually. Outpatient cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can easily cost over $5,000, so plans with low limits will only cover around two to four sessions.
In addition, limits on group insurance plans for certain inpatient surgical procedures tend to be quite low as well, at around $25,000. This amount is barely sufficient for a knee surgery or an appendectomy in Singapore. In the case of a prolonged stay in a hospital or an expensive surgery (heart surgery, for example), you’ll end up needing to pay exorbitant amounts out of your own pocket.
Top-up insurance plans are great options as they are tied down to you. Even if you leave your company, you’ll still be able to keep the coverage.
Read more in our health and fitness section:
*This information is not intended as an offer or recommendation to the purchase of any insurance plan. It does not have regard to your financial situation, specific investment objectives and any of your particular needs. Kindly obtain the required product disclosures and seek advice from a financial adviser before making a commitment to purchase any insurance plans. The information has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.