5 Questions Singaporeans Should Ask Themselves When Choosing Medical Insurance
Singapore has one of the best universal healthcare systems in the world. Should they need medical care and certain outpatient treatments, Singaporeans can count on MediShield Life, the public health insurance system. In case the cost of their medical needs exceeds the coverage of the basic healthcare insurance, patients are expected to shoulder the premiums and deductibles. MediSave is a national medical savings scheme that can help cover out-of-pocket payments. These 2 services form the core of the health insurance system in the country.
Private insurance is also an option for Singaporeans who want to extend their coverage or obtain care from private wards and hospitals. It’s a good idea to get private insurance if you want to provide yourself and your family members with an extra safety net in case of illness, injuries, or medical emergencies. Private medical insurance comes in different forms, and it can be a challenge to choose the right option for you and your loved ones. So how do you end up with the best medical insurance in Singapore? Here are some questions you should ask when evaluating and narrowing down your options:
Considering your MediShield Life cover, how much should you aim for in terms of medical insurance?
All in all, how much do you need in order to ensure that all your medical costs for the foreseeable future will be sufficiently covered? Of this amount, how much is already shouldered by MediShield Life and how much do you need to pay for on your own? Many private medical insurers have Integrated Shield Plans, which offer benefits that are different from that provided by MediShield Life. Integrated plans are only available to those who have MediShield Life coverage, such as Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Aside from this option, there are also private medical insurance plans offered by for-profit companies that are not integrated with MediShield Life. These private plans have services that overlap with MediShield Life, and they’re the go-to option for many expats.
If you have another individual health insurance policy, what does it cover?
Some people feel the need to put up multiple safety nets for themselves and their loved ones. If you’re in the same boat, you might want to be covered by different medical insurance plans simultaneously. Consider, then, if you want your new medical insurance plan to cover possible weaknesses in your existing policies or if you want it to have the same provisions and coverages as the old ones under your name. Read over your existing policies and take note of their coverages and limitations, then decide on your minimum requirements for your additional medical insurance plan.
If your company offers health insurance as a regular benefit, what happens when you leave your job?
Many companies offer their employees private health insurance as a regular benefit. You can count on this plan to shoulder the cost that you might have to pay out-of-pocket while you’re a part of the company. If you’re planning to change workplaces or careers in the near future, though, will you continue to benefit from this private health insurance policy? If not, will your remaining medical insurance policies sufficiently cover all your health needs, or will you need to sign up for a new policy that offers similar benefits as the medical insurance that your company currently offers?
How will your choice of medical insurance meet your needs?
Some people have pre-existing conditions, while others are looking for medical plans that will help them maintain their health in their golden years. Some people are planning on having children soon and are looking into plans with maternity coverage, while others want a medical plan that will cover the needs of their whole family. Still, there are others who only need dental insurance. What are your personal considerations when it comes to your health and that of your family? What changes are you anticipating and how can a new medical insurance policy help you meet your current and future needs? What are your non-negotiables for your new health insurance policy, and are there riders or add-on services that you are keen on buying?
What will the medical insurance cost and how much can you afford when it comes to premiums?
You must be able to pay for premiums to enjoy the benefits of your medical insurance, and you need to factor in this additional expense to your monthly, quarterly, or annual budget. How much can you afford to pay for additional health insurance? Considering your current and foreseeable financial situation, decide on an amount that you are willing to pay to secure a robust financial and medical safety net for yourself and the members of your family.
Answering these questions will allow you to significantly narrow down your medical insurance options. Also, knowing the answer to these questions ahead of time can help you ask the right questions to your financial advisers and insurance agents. If you want to look at the medical insurance options that answer your particular needs, check out CompareFirst, a tool that’s designed to help Singaporeans compare and find suitable insurance products.