Whether or not you need to top up your medical insurance may depend on what brought you to Singapore and what has happened since you arrived. Many of those who come for new job postings are provided with a health plan as they don’t have access to government subsidies or insurance. The quality of a company’s insurance can vary, though, so you’ll want to cover all bases – including getting top-up insurance where necessary. Here, the team at APRIL International explains some of the things we should think about when making a decision.
First of all…
The first question you should ask is whether you need to top up your health insurance at all. Maybe your employer has pulled out all the stops and provided a top-class plan. If it covers everything you need and has high limits, you may not need extra coverage. On the other hand, if your employer-provided plan doesn’t include what you desire, you might want to consider getting your own plan.
# 1 Gaps in Coverage
If your main health insurance plan doesn’t cover you for more serious treatments – kidney dialysis or cancer treatment, for example – or if you want additional benefits like dental, maternity cover, vaccinations or physiotherapy, then it may be worth getting an additional policy to fill in those gaps. Be sure check what benefits your existing plan offers and, if there’s anything essential you feel is missing, it’s probably time to look for a top-up plan.
#2 Low Coverage Limits
Ensure your current medical insurance plan won’t leave you paying out of your own pocket for healthcare when you use it. If you have an unexpected accident or illness, particularly in cases where the treatment may require an extended stay in hospital or repeated trips to the doctor for tests or treatment, you’ll want to make sure that your policy has a coverage limit high enough to cover the cost.
This can be especially important in Singapore where healthcare for expats can be expensive – even more so for larger families – and where the bills can mount up. A top-up plan can help cover any expenses over your basic plan’s limits.
If you’ve been in Singapore long enough that a change in employment is a distinct possibility, you may want to take out your own policy in addition to your current company one. This will guarantee you have protection in place in case of any unexpected health issues when you’re in between jobs. Alternatively, if there’s a chance you might have to move to a new country or relocate overseas with your company, you may want to sign up for an expat health insurance plan – that is, one that’s portable and can travel with you to your new destination. This will allow you to keep the same plan in your new home, so there won’t be any waiting periods or new pre-existing conditions.
# 4 Coverage outside of Singapore
If you frequently travel overseas for work or holidays, you may want to check whether your existing policy covers medical expenses while abroad. Having an accident or requiring medical emergency outside of Singapore will be enough to deal with without having to worry about paying out of your own pocket for treatment as well. In cases like this, having an international medical insurance plan as a backup can be a huge lifesaver. It not only offer cashless billing for inpatient treatment, but emergency medical assistance globally.
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