Renewing your medical plan is usually an annual affair. But instead of just blindly signing away another year’s worth, it’s good to evaluate if your current coverage is the best option for you and your family. Here, Pacific Prime Singapore shares some helpful tips about what to look out for when renewing health insurance in Singapore.
How does the renewal process work?
You should receive a notice in the mail before the expiry date of your current policy. This is to give you a heads up that you need to renew your coverage if you want to continue having access to health insurance benefits in Singapore. It’s at this point that you can either accept another annual contract with your current insurer or switch to another one. Even if you’re pretty satisfied with your current provider, it still pays to check out the market.
Look out for:
#1 Price increases
The premium is what you pay in order for your coverage to be valid. The unfortunate fact for almost all health insurance consumers is that premiums always rise. Some rise a little, while others do so exponentially. What you need to know is whether the amount your next annual policy will increase by is in line with market expectations. If you’re being asked to pay above market prices, it might be time to look elsewhere.
#2 Changing benefits
In addition to changing prices, be on the lookout for any changes to the policy details. This doesn’t necessarily mean you might lose benefits – an insurer might even make the decision to increase benefits for the plan you’re on to make it more competitive in the market! Make sure you know what changes are made and how they may specifically affect you before you renew your policy.
#3 Amended levels
A way that insurers can amend a policy is to change the maximum level of benefits a policyholder can claim from it. This might be seeing your S$100,000 limit drop to something like S$50,000, or see it rise to double the original amount. The reasons for the changes will vary. So make sure you know what levels and maximums are being changed as it may affect how you use your medical coverage plan.
There may be changes in the way insurers expect you to co-finance your own care. Excesses and deductibles are handy ways to help both insurers and consumers lower the price of an insurance plan. Beware that having a high co-pay may see you pay a lot more for coverage than what the market might offer elsewhere.
Finally, every plan comes with a list of doctors, clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals that are covered. Getting healthcare within your network tends to be the cheaper option. However, these networks can change every year, so you should check that the place you’d like to go to for medical care is still included.
What else should I keep in mind when renewing health insurance?
You’re definitely not just meant to sit there and be told what’s happening. As a consumer, you have the right to request changes to any of the above features of your plan to ensure that they better meet your needs. Was the co-pay too much? Consider reducing it and paying a bit more on your premium. Were the limits too high? Reduce them and save some money.
A good way to approach renewing health insurance is to note down all of the good things about your coverage and the things you wish could change. There’s always space for negotiations when it comes to choosing your health insurance plan. Where you feel you’re not getting the coverage or service you’re paying for, remember that there may be a better policy out there.
What’s the best way to secure the best renewal outcome?
Processing a review and renewal of your policy by yourself can be easy, but it can also be made more fuss-free by engaging the services of a comprehensive health insurance broker like Pacific Prime Singapore, especially when it comes to plan comparisons. Whether you’re looking to renew your expat health insurance, family insurance, or other types of insurance plans, they’re able to compare health insurance plans to ensure you get the right one for your needs and budget.
Read more in our Health & Fitness section.