For those of you who are planning to migrate to Singapore together with your family, there are plenty of things that you need to consider to lead a substantially good life. One of which is getting health insurance. Now, there’s no mistake in investing on one’s health because it’s what supports us to do and enjoy more in life. But what exactly are the things that you need to know about medical insurances if you’re an expat or a foreigner living in the Lion City?
Singapore sits at #2 in terms of healthcare efficiency in the whole world. It’s not surprising to note that with Singapore’s tiger-strong economy almost all aspects of society have flourished in the last two decades.
Expat’s Guide to Health Insurance: How to Pick an HMO
Singapore’s Ministry of Health has taken great strides to improve the healthcare system in terms of sufficient government funding and legislative support in regulating rising health costs, as observed internationally.
If you are a Singaporean national or a permanent resident (PR), the government has your healthcare needs covered through the Central Providence Fund (CPF), a mandatory national savings fund. However, expats do not have access to this national subsidy as they are not required to give contributions for this budget. This means that expats can avail medical insurance either through their work, or right out of their own pockets.
The rise in healthcare costs can deal a great blow for expats’ families since living in Singapore can be quite expensive. So, it’s highly important that we select a comprehensive insurance plan that has both local and international coverage; takes advantage of your place of residence’s health and medical services; and, does not dry up the well of your savings. Don’t worry – most global insurance companies have already taken these things into consideration so the following tips are basically to narrow down your preferences.
- Pick an insurance policy that fits your own means and lifestyle.
As we’ve mentioned, most expats get their insurance from work, but if you think it doesn’t suit your lifestyle and activities, it might also be a great idea to look outside for private health insurances. The company’s generic insurance plan may cover the necessary basics, but private insurance companies can do some tweaks and adjustments that you’d find especially helpful for you and your family.
- Get right down to the details.
The key to enjoying the benefits of your health insurance plan is proper planning. Think about what you need now and for the future. If you have a wife, and are planning for a baby in the future, tick pregnancy coverage. If you have kids who may be needing braces soon, then tick dental. Do you have high blood pressure or any other pre-existing medical conditions? Then look for a plan that can help you take care of your current health situation. Evaluating your needs as a family can point you to the right kind of insurance plan that would cater to all your medical needs and health goals.
- Consider coverage outside of Singapore.
How often do you fly out of Singapore? Are you the kind who likes to take your family on extended vacations? If that’s you, then consider getting yourself an international plan to make sure you are covered wherever you may be on the globe. Just see to it that your plan provides complete medical coverage abroad which includes hospitalization and pre-existing health conditions.
- Check what your host country offers.
As mentioned, Singapore entitles natural citizens and permanent residents subsidized healthcare coverage. Foreigners need to check which category they fall under so that they can explore their options, whether they go for what their company offers (if any), get an upgrade, or avail of private insurance elsewhere. Also, it’s important for expats to be guided with the available facilities and health services packaged under their insurance plan.
- 24/7 Access and Quick Response Hotlines
The worst thing that could happen in any emergency is to have no one attend to your concerns whether you are in Singapore or elsewhere. Choose an insurance plan that provides round-the-clock phone service and accessibility where an actual person would readily take your concern/s and provide the help needed in a timely manner.
With these things in mind, expats and OFWs can narrow down their options and hopefully select the most suitable insurance plan for them and their family.