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Should I Buy Or Not?

Have you ever consider to buy insurance when you are a work permit/ SP / EP / PR holder in Singapore? Should you buy a private insurance to protect yourself or your company insurance is good enough to go? There are many out there in the forum discussing about insurance. I would like to share some of my experience and findings about medical insurance in Singapore.

When I came to Singapore to work the first time, I never thought of want to buy a medical insurance. Just simply because I have my company medical insurance. Thought of there is more than enough tho because I still have my own medical insurance coverage in my home country, Malaysia. Few years down the road working in Singapore, getting medical insurance prompt to be one of my wish list to check. It happened during when I have a bad stomach flu that cause me to admit the hospital for a serious check up. End up, I have bill shock. Thank God my company insurance covered most of the cost. Soon or later, I dig all over the internet to check on all medical insurance in Singapore. I did comparing, reviewing each of the benefits on the insurance. Some people will probably think why I wasting my time on researching, why not just get one reputable insurance company and get done. Well, I am the person who wanted to know each dollar I spend and what I am buying for. And finally, I decided to get my first medical insurance after 3 years I am staying in Singapore.

For those who are not sure to get insurance when you are working in Singapore. If you are working in short term (likey 1 year or 2 years max), I would suggest you to check with your home country insurance agent if there have an extension insurance policy for oversea medical insurance before purchase in Singapore. Of course, having one always be good. Prevention is better than nothing.

Based on my personal experiences, most people who want to get medical insurance (staying short term)are they having their wife and kids in Singapore. If you are single, your company insurance maybe is sufficient for you depends on your preferences. You can check if your company HR to know more details about what the insurance covered. OR you can check out the bank insurance product such as DBS / POSB. They offer competitive insurance which pays less than $10/per month health plan. The minimum is you need to have at least a medical insurance while you are studying or working in Singapore.

If you are planning to stay long term here, doesn't matter you are a student, SP / EP holder / PR, you may want to consider to get yourself personal medical insurance would be the good to go for you.

There are many insurance company in Singapore out there, the most common you heard from others would be AIA, Prudential, Aviva, NTUC, Great Eastern (also known as GE), etc. I would said most of the products likely the same just the product name is different.

You probably will find a lot of jargons such as “co-insurance”, “riders” etc in the insurance policy. You need to find out from your agent on your favourite product covered cost and all those jargon terms policy. DO NOT ASSUME JARGON TERMS. It is always the catch of the insurance company and customers always trap on it.

For instance, AIA (Healthshield gold max essential), NTUC (Enhanced Shield / Income Shield ) and Prudential (PruShield Extra) have 100% covered cost provided you add on the “riders” service.

Co-insurance : The insurer (which is you) is responsible for paying a portion of the total bills. Usually is 5% -10% of your total bills. For example: If your total hospitalization bill is $100,000 , and co-insurance is 10%,

$100,000 x 10% = $10,000

Your insurance will covered 90% of your bills, but you need to pay $10,000 from your total bills.

However, if you have “riders” on top of your medical insurance, you are good to have 100% covered by your insurance. In this case, I am referring to AIA (Healthshield gold max essential)and Prudential (PruShield Extra). You might need to do your own research on others insurance company.

Here is the guides to help you to identify on purchase medical insurance.

  1. What is your goal in medical insurance?

As my goal is pretty simple, my insurance need to cover my medical bills, surgery cost and outpatient bills that covered cost is up to 100%. I do not want any saving insurance plan like ILP (Invest Linked Product) or any investment etc because I already have these products on my hand. I does not need anymore and my focus is just want my medical insurance to pay my medical cost in my future when I get old without much hassle.

If you are clear on what you want, there is more easier for you to go to look for an agent. You probably will find some of the agent who try to sell you other products. If you are not clear on your goal, end up you maybe buying insurance product that you may not want. So, is better that you have clear goal what you want to get out from it when buying a medical insurance.

2. How much is your comfortable level to pay for your premiums ?

Having said that, you have to pay your insurance either by monthly or yearly. So, ask yourself how much would you willing to pay for your insurance. However, medical insurance is a standard premium according to your age. If you are locals/ PR , good things is you have CPF to cover partial of your premiums.

3. Is your insurance covered outpatient treatment? How long?

In this case, outpatient treatment is refers to non-hospitalize treatment. For instance, if ones is in cancer, he/she does not required to stay in the hospital whole time. He/she just need to receives chemo treatment. So, in this case best is the insurance covered the outpatient treatment. Beware that there are policy is in 90 days coverage. After 90 days, there is not covered by the insurance anymore. Else, we often heard people said “why this xxxx insurance agent never cover this?” “Lying or cheating.. whatsover”. So, make sure you have clear understand on the terms in your insurance policy.

4. Deductibles? Why some people can't claims full amount although they buy insurance with "riders"?

Deductibles : The part of an insurance claim to be paid by the insured; an excess.

If the amount of your co-insurance is less than deductible amount, you are not entitled to claim your amount. Meaning to said that for instance,

If your total medical bills is $10,000, with "riders" you have co-insurance 10%, your insurance deductibles amount is $1,500.

$10,000 x 10% = $1,000 ( co-insurance: the amount that you need to pay)

In order to enjoy your deductibles: your co-insurance amount has to be more than $1,500. In this case, it is only $1,000. Therefore, the insured is not entitled to claim back the amount.

If you ask me, if medical insurance is important. I would said YES because it would be the most basic insurance everyone should have to pay their hospital bills.

P/S: The info maybe vary from your findings, it is just a reference for you. Hopefully it can help you in making your own decision. Good luck!

**This is not a paid ads and I am not agent. Is just sharing and personal thought for you who might have facing the same problems and experience like me.