Choosing the right health insurance is always tricky. As an expat, being covered while out of your home country is even more complex. Here are five insider tips to help you sort out which cover is right for you and your family.
1. Get a plan to suit your lifestyle
You might already have insurance sorted through work, but it can be a good idea to check out private insurance, which will follow you even if you or your partner switches jobs or your employer changes your current policy. Although it’s great to have coverage as an expat, your employer’s one-size-fits-all cover won’t necessarily take into account your lifestyle or needs.
2. Are you getting what you need from your plan?
No insurance plan is tailor-made and there may be a few holes in yours. Have a good think about what’s essential for you and your kids – now and in the future. For example: does your six-year-old look like needing braces? You’ll be wanting good dental. Are you planning another baby? Tick yes to pregnancy cover. Does your hubby have high blood pressure? That’s a pre-existing condition and you will need to find the right insurer to take care of his health. Take a good look at your needs and then find a plan that doesn’t leave any gaps.
3. Do I need to be covered outside of Singapore?
Do you fly regularly for work and often escape Singapore on extended family holidays? Standard travel insurance is a short-term solution and is generally best for lost luggage, missed flights and medical emergencies. If you’re a frequent flyer, look for an international plan, one where you’re covered no matter what country you’re in. Make sure it offers full medical coverage abroad, including hospital costs and any pre-existing conditions.
4. What does your host country offer?
Before signing on the dotted line do a little research. Are you covered by Singapore’s public system? How much is this going to cost you as a expat? Are your required to have private health insurance by law? Is your Singapore employer automatically making deductions from your salary for certain healthcare benefits? Are there differences in quality between state and private hospitals?
The Singapore public healthcare system is different to what you’re used to at home. Being able to access it will depend on whether you’re Permanent Resident or here on an Employment Pass. Having a good knowledge of Singapore’s healthcare system means you can make the best possible choice for you and your family.
5. 24-hour access
No matter where you are when an issue arises – Singapore or abroad – you want to know you can get help immediately. A 24-hour phone line where a real person can speak to you, understand what you need and act on it is essential. If it’s a simple matter of a stolen camera or a serious injury you want to know there’s someone waiting to help.
Presented by Cigna Health Insurance
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