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Top 10 health insurance FAQs in Singapore

Whether you’re new to Singapore or a seasoned expat, everyone can benefit from re-examing their health insurance from time to time – to ensure their coverage is really filling their changing needs.

Saying that, we appreciate that it can get pretty complicated, so we’ve decided to lend a hand before you start hunting for a new policy. We asked insurance agent Pacific Prime to hand over their most commonly asked questions regarding health insurance, to address the points that most of us struggle with. If you have any concerns or need more clarity, talk to one of their expert advisers.

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Beverley and Michael Froud, with daughter Ellie and housekeeper Annavi


Q:        Is health insurance a “Singapore-only” policy?
A:         No. In fact, Pacific Prime policies generally provide coverage far beyond just Singapore. All coverage plans available to our customers, both expatriate and Singaporean, include comprehensive coverage benefits that protect you both in Singapore and abroad.

Q:        Does that mean that I covered whenever I travel, too?
A:         Absolutely. Most plans comes with global coverage benefits as standard. This also means that they are portable if you decide to relocate elsewhere in the future.

Q:        What about the USA, is that covered?
A:         The majority of Pacific Prime’s policies do not include benefits while the insured is in the United States. This is because the cost of medical treatments is drastically higher than in nearly any other country. However, if someone does need coverage in the USA, there are policies and add-on coverage options that can be purchased to provide that protection. Otherwise, a Traveler’s Insurance policy specifically for a single planned trip to the United States can serve its purpose very affordably.

Q:        Does this coverage cover all accidents, or just hospitalisation?
A:         Policies cover both accidents and hospitalisation – with no minimum stay required.

Q:        Can I choose my own doctor?
A:         Yes. Any doctor or hospital that honors your insurance is covered.

Q:        Are alternative therapies and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) covered?
A:         Pacific Prime has policies available that cover both of these treatment methods. This can extend to osteopathy, chiropractors, homeopathy and TCM, among other types of ‘softer treatments’

Q:        What is an excess amount or a deductible?
A:         As with all forms of insurance, a policy deductible, sometimes called excess, is the amount of money the policyholder is required to pay either per condition or per year, depending on the specific plan, towards their own medical care. After that amount is met then the remainder of care is covered by the insurer up to the policy limit. Some policies or benefits can come with a ‘zero deductible’ meaning that the treatments will be reimbursed in full

Q:        Can I cancel whenever I want?
A:         Yes. If you are ever unhappy with your coverage, you are free to cancel at anytime and for any reason, but most policies would offer a refund only if no claims were made. Also, some companies charge admin fees or ‘short-term rates’ which are generally higher than standard premiums, i.e. some insurers charge for 2 months more than effectively used.

Q:        Do I need a referral before seeing a physician?
A:         This will depend on the specific policy that you select, but most of our plans do not require referral. Just let us know how much freedom you require and we will be sure to connect you with the right coverage for your situation.

Q:        Can Pacific Prime cover my home and other property too?
A:         Absolutely. Pacific Prime has coverage for home, motor, health, property and more. Just talk to us about your needs and our advisers can create a convenient coverage plan that covers as much or as little as you need.