We all know how important it is to stay healthy, and taking care of our eyes should be no exception. This is especially so in the light of the rise of vision- and eye-related conditions in Singapore, including cataracts, myopia and glaucoma. In fact, a study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute and the National University of Singapore estimates that five million Singaporeans will have myopia (short-sightedness) by 2050! From driving to reading (and everything in between), our day-to-day activities depend on good vision. So, what can you do to keep your peepers in the pink? We speak to leading vision insurance broker Pacific Prime Singapore about steps we can take to maintain good eye health, and how vision insurance can help cover the high cost of vision treatment in Singapore.
Regular eye exams
Make a date with your optometrist for a routine comprehensive eye examination to check for shortsightedness, astigmatism and more serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma (which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness). This is especially the case if you’ve already blown out the candles on your 40th birthday cake, as this is when the onset of presbyopia (long-sightedness) usually occurs.
Don’t forget your sunglasses
Did you know that your cornea can become sunburned? Whether Ray Ban or Gucci, sunglasses are way more than just a fashion statement. Choose a pair with a minimum UVA/UVB protection of UV 400 to help block out harmful rays that can cause a number of eye conditions and lead to the development of serious conditions, such as cataracts.
Take a break from your screen
Anyone who spends hours glued to technology will no doubt be familiar with dry-eye syndrome, a common eye condition that leads to feelings of dryness and temporarily blurred vision. This is because we blink less frequently when we’re staring at the screen (regardless of whether we’re working or watching Netflix!) and the solution is simple – look away from the screen and at something at least 20 feet away or further for 30 seconds or more at least a few times an hour. Alternatively, consider choosing eyeglass lenses that include an anti-reflective coating to relieve eye strain.
Vision insurance plans in Singapore explained
Generally speaking, you should be able to get vision insurance as an add-on benefit to your current health insurance plan – similar to dental and maternity insurance. Of course, there’ll be an additional premium charged depending on the insurer, plan and level of coverage, but it’s worthwhile investigating, as the cost of vision care can be eye watering!
Typical coverage benefits include an annual routine eye exam, frames, prescription sunglasses, eyeglass lenses and, in some cases, contact lenses in lieu of frames. Most vision plans don’t cover corrective eye surgery as it’s considered elective. However, many provide discounts for surgeries such as LASIK, as well as discounts on upgrades to frame lenses (such as anti-reflective coating).
Some plans will involve a co-pay system, meaning that you’ll need to pay a sum every time you access a vision-related service that is covered by your policy. Though it’s worth noting that the swish Tom Ford frames you’ve had your eyes on will likely exceed your coverage limit, so you’ll have to chip in for the balance yourself here!
Insurance jargon can be confusing, so it often pays to speak to an established broker like Pacific Prime Singapore about the best insurance plan for your needs. They’ll ensure you’re clued up on the policy terms, such as waiting periods (which can be anywhere from one to 24 months) before you’re eligible to claim any benefits.
Want to know more about the ins and outs of health insurance in Singapore? See our tips on competing plans.