What Types of Health Insurance Can Singaporeans Get?

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Sean’s financial consultant advised him to get a health insurance as soon as possible. With a small monthly or yearly premium, a medical insurance would help Sean cover his and his family’s medical expenses, cover his and his family’s hospitalisation expenses, and also help look after his aged parents’ medical needs.

However, when Sean started searching for a health insurance policy, he realised that there were many types of insurance covers, and each has different policies from a variety of insurers.

How many kinds of health insurances in Singapore do you know?

There are 5 main kinds of health insurances in Singapore, although some companies may offer a few more kinds or have variations of these.

  1. Medical expense insurance
  2. Critical illness insurance
  3. Hospital cash insurance
  4. Long-term care insurance
  5. Disability income insurance

Apart from these, you also have the government MediShield policies that come with your Central Provident Fund (CPF) Medisave account. Let’s look at each kind and see how they help you.

Medical expense insurance

This is the most basic kind of health insurance policy available. A medical expense insurance will help you pay for selected hospitalisation expenses incurred if you get admitted or meet with an accident.

Most medical expense insurance policies are not fully comprehensive and each policy will have a list of illnesses covered by it. Some companies may exclude pre-existing illnesses from the policy. There may be a limit on the number of claims you can make during a lifetime. You might also have to wait for a certain period before you can make your first claim, and there might also be waiting periods between 2 claims. MediShield Life offered by the government is a type of medical expense insurance.

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Critical illness insurance

Critical illness insurance is of great help if you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, such as cancer, stroke, paralysis, heart attack, bypass surgery, or kidney failure at a certain stage. However, you do not get reimbursements for the expenses occurred during the tenure of the illness; you get a lump sum amount upon diagnosis or undergoing an emergency surgery.

Critical illness insurance comes both as a single policy and as an optional rider along with a life insurance or health insurance policy. This policy is subject to waiting periods – a time between buying the policy and claiming a payout. You will also have to check the definitions of the illnesses mentioned in the policy as only those meeting the policy requirements to the T can be claimed for.

AXA Singapore’s Early Stage CritiCare is an example of such a policy.

Related: 6 Common Misconceptions Singaporeans Have When It Comes to Life Insurance

Hospital cash insurance

Another type of health insurance is the hospital cash insurance. Hospital cash insurance gives you a pre-agreed fixed amount for each day that you spend in the hospital for treatment or surgery. This policy is also subject to waiting periods and the number of days spent in hospital. There may also be limits on how many days of hospital benefits you can claim in a year or in your lifetime.

Hospital CashPlus by MSIG Insurance Company is a good example of this type of plan.

Long-term care insurance

If one of your family members – be it parents, child or spouse – is suffering from a disease or syndrome that prevents them from performing Activities Of Daily Life (ADL) without help, then you must take a long-term care insurance in their name.

Most policies have a minimum and maximum age requirements for an applicant to get a long-term care policy. Some policies may make payouts for a specified number of years, while some may give you life-long reimbursements. ElderShield offered by the government is an ideal example of a long-term care insurance.

Disability income insurance

Unfortunate situations are unpredictable and possibly one of the worst circumstances to befall on us is our inability to work and earn an income. Say, you’re the provider for your family and you’ve met with an accident. The physical, mental and emotional repercussions alone are unfathomable for you as well as your family members. But as you’re the bread earner, you’ll also be riding on guilt due to your inability to support your family financially.

But if you have a disability income insurance, it will prove to be the most useful during such a tough time in your life. With a payout of up to 80% of your monthly salary, your only focus will be on recovering and getting back on your feet again. You don’t even have to stress yourself over recovering quickly because there are policies that offer cover of up to 10 years or up to the age of 65.

However, if you get employed again, you will no longer receive the benefits, even if you are underemployed or underpaid. Each insurance company has different eligibility criteria for getting the payouts from this policy. Aviva Singapore has disability insurance riders in many of their plans.

While these are the broad categories of health insurance plans available in Singapore, several insurance providers may give schemes and optional riders that cover many kinds of illnesses, hospitalisation, medical expenses, and other health-related issues. Before you decide which insurance is best for you, read up on everything you can!

Read next: Is Buying Travel Insurance From Your Airlines a Good Idea or Not?


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