The Importance of Insurance for Foreigners

You may have overheard from your friends and colleagues that “one is better off dead than to be gravely ill in Singapore”. Many would frown at such statements but a quick scroll through the Healthcare Schemes & Subsidies section on MOH’s (Ministry of Health) website will reveal an extensive list of schemes. Many of which are applicable only to Permanent Residents or Citizens. Rule of the thumb is once you come across one that promotes an Integrated Shield Plan, it more often than not points to the MediShield Life that foreigners will not be eligible for. So the question is, how would you benefit from this?

First thing to note is that as an expat, you are eligible for local insurance plans so long you have a valid visa. Thus, for our clients, local insurance is the way to go to showcase their commitment to Singapore in making it part of their long term plan for relocation. Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely international insurance plans from local insurance providers and non-local insurance providers but those don’t really prove your plans of cementing your future/near-future in Singapore do they?

Regardless, we have taken the initiative to outline the providers of both local and international insurance & their plans for your reference:

Prudential Assurance – PRUShield
American International Assurance (AIA) – Healthshield Gold Max
NTUC Income – Incomeshield
Great Eastern Life – Supreme Health
Aviva – MyShield

International Insurance Providers
AXA Singapore (local insurer) – GlobalCare Health Plan
Liberty Insurance (local insurer)– myHEALTH International Health Insurance
Cigna Global – International Health Insurance
Aetna International – International Health Insurance
William Russel – Global Expat Health Cover Plans

Co-Payment Factor

Following new laws that have just kicked in, co-payment is now required of local health insurance policy holders when they make claims.

This means that you will have to pay out of pocket a percentage of every dollar that you manage to successfully claim.

Let’s say you make a claim of $10,000 and have a deductible of $4,000. Your co-insurance is 10%.

After paying the deductible, you’re left with $6,000 of claims money. But that $6,000 claim is subject to co-insurance of 10%. That means that you will only receive $5,400, as you must co-pay $600.

The need to be hospitalised to make a local insurance claim

Oh bummer. Insurance plans targeted at Singaporeans usually only offer payouts if the policy holder is hospitalised. If you are hospitalised, you can also make claims for outpatient treatment you spent on before and after the hospitalisation.

International policies usually give you outpatient coverage if you decide to purchase a relevant add-on. In this case, if you sprain your ankle but do not need to be hospitalised, you might be able to make a claim nonetheless.

In summary, do take note that insurance is a key factor of consideration for relocation to Singapore at least for the medium term. If you are able to prove “loyalty” to the country in ways like these, you will then put yourself/your family in a better position for serious consideration from the authorities. Think with us, why would the Government approve a candidate without proper coverage and will become a potential liability to the system in the case where a mishap takes place after PR approval? Food for thought.

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