Singapore and Health Insurance
Singapore has one of the best health care systems in the world. In fact, it has a very low mortality rate, and more people live longer, even past 80 years old. This is because the government takes care of its people real well. Besides that, there are good private health insurance policies, as well as government-sponsored health care plans you can choose.
Government Health Care Plans
Singapore follows the universal health care. This means that as long as you’re a resident of the country, your medical expenses can be taken care of by the government. However, for them to be able to do that, you need to contribute, usually through deductions from your salary.
As a worker, your salary is deducted for the Central Provident Fund. So far there are three known health care plans offered by the government.
The first one is called Medisave. Everyone is required by law to participate in this health care scheme, but is only applicable to permanent residents and citizens of the country. Your Medisave forms part of your CPF account. With Medisave, you will be able to pay for your health care expenses. Moreover, you can use the funds to pay off low-cost insurance policies offered such as Medishield and Medishield Plus.
The most basic and low-cost insurance coverage for health care in Singapore is called Medishield. Again, only those who are PRs and citizens of Singapore can utilize this. It is very cheap and can be used to finance class 2B/C. The more expensive but more comprehensive insurance coverage is Medishield Plus. You pay the premiums through your Medisave account. Know, though, that these two insurance policies are not mandatory. You have the option to opt out and keep your Medisave accounts for something else.
Other Types of Health Insurance
There are also other kinds of health insurance policies you can pick. For example, if you want to have more control over your medical expenses, you can opt for the hospital cash insurance. This means that the insurance company will provide you with money to pay off your health care needs regardless of how much your total bill is.
However, there are some issues with this kind of insurance. First your bill may be bigger than how much you’re going to receive. Thus, you may end up spending more. Moreover, it doesn’t kick in immediately. It has its waiting period.
You also have the disability income insurance. From its name, you already know that the health insurance policy aims to compensate you and your loved ones of your income loss because of disability. Nevertheless, this doesn’t last for the rest of your life. Once you’re already well and working again, the insurance coverage no longer applies. Also, it doesn’t substitute all of your income. At the most, it covers 80 percent of your income. It also has its waiting period. For a certain period of time of your disability, you may not be able to receive anything. It also has duration. Normally, it can be used if you’re less than 60 or 65 years old and may last no more than 10 years.
If you can no longer perform a lot of things, especially daily activities, then you can use the long-term care insurance. This is also ideal for the elders. The policy aims to cover the costs of hiring nurses and aides to help you out.
You need to watch out, though. “Activities of daily living” is interpreted in various ways by the insurance company. Hence, what this policy can cover varies from one company to another. For example, company A may consider dressing as “activities of daily living” but company B may not. The insurance coverage becomes void once you no longer meet the minimum daily activities.
You may also look into early critical illness or advance stage critical illness plans to protect you from non communicable diseases such as the famous cancer, heart attack and stroke
The long-term care insurance can work together with the ElderShield scheme. This is intended for the severely disabled and the very old. The government will provide you of funds you can utilize for out-of-pocket costs. Once you reach the age of 40 and you have a Medisave account, you are immediately enrolled in ElderShield.
Purchasing a Private Health Care Insurance
You’re always free to apply for a private health insurance, on top or without the government-promoted ones. There are so many of them in Singapore. You simply need to ensure they belong to the Insurance Association of Singapore, and you meet all of their requirements.
The premiums may be a little high, but you can go for deductibles. These are amounts you pay before your health insurance kicks in. If you increase that, premiums can go down. Moreover, you can reduce your payments by applying while you’re still healthy and young.
Health care insurance policies can differ in terms of coverage. Some may cover only private rooms in hospitals or for a limited number of hospital stays. Assess each of them and compare properly before you make a choice.