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Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Discuss the different insurance options from car to health insurance.
Tomfox
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Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by Tomfox » Thu, 24 Dec 2020 10:05 pm

Dear all,

First things first, merry Christmas to all of you :)

I am currently looking for a job in Singapore and would bring my wife with me, who would not work at least the first couple months. I think I understand CPF, MediShield and IP, however I am still not sure about certain details. Could you kindly provide me with your experiences and advise? Given the circumstances:

* my wife would be a dependant
* I will move to SG and get a local contract (I will not be sent from an employer to SG) in the financial services / banking industry

1) I would still fall under the regular CPF scheme, right? So health insurance is covered by MediShield and I could add IP!?
2) Could I skip CPF completely and insure us both with an international health insurance plan?
3) Would my wife be covered as well from my contribution to CPF? If not, what would make sense to cover her?
4) Is it typical for local employers to take care of this fully?
5) if you want to share: how much do you spend monthly on health insurance, everyone included?

In the end I am not really sure, given I have full flexibility, how to combine all options to cover us both (we are both healthy In our 30s, no pre conditions).

I appreciate your time and effort to help me on this. Thank you :)

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by singaporeflyer » Fri, 25 Dec 2020 5:27 pm

Tomfox wrote:
Thu, 24 Dec 2020 10:05 pm
Dear all,

First things first, merry Christmas to all of you :)

I am currently looking for a job in Singapore and would bring my wife with me, who would not work at least the first couple months. I think I understand CPF, MediShield and IP, however I am still not sure about certain details. Could you kindly provide me with your experiences and advise? Given the circumstances:

* my wife would be a dependant
* I will move to SG and get a local contract (I will not be sent from an employer to SG) in the financial services / banking industry

1) I would still fall under the regular CPF scheme, right? So health insurance is covered by MediShield and I could add IP!?
2) Could I skip CPF completely and insure us both with an international health insurance plan?
3) Would my wife be covered as well from my contribution to CPF? If not, what would make sense to cover her?
4) Is it typical for local employers to take care of this fully?
5) if you want to share: how much do you spend monthly on health insurance, everyone included?

In the end I am not really sure, given I have full flexibility, how to combine all options to cover us both (we are both healthy In our 30s, no pre conditions).

I appreciate your time and effort to help me on this. Thank you :)
CPF is only for Singaporean and permanent residents. Not for Employment pass holders.

Tomfox
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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by Tomfox » Fri, 25 Dec 2020 5:32 pm

Thank you singaporeflyer. I could apply for PR though if I worked more than 183d a year!?.. but without PR it means i would only be charged for income tax and could use the portion that would have gone to cpf for international health insurance....

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by singaporeflyer » Fri, 25 Dec 2020 6:06 pm

Tomfox wrote:
Fri, 25 Dec 2020 5:32 pm
Thank you singaporeflyer. I could apply for PR though if I worked more than 183d a year!?.. but without PR it means i would only be charged for income tax and could use the portion that would have gone to cpf for international health insurance....
People who have worked here on Employment Pass for 5 years are finding hard to get PR. How can you get PR in 183d a year? Only if you are Scientist or popular Surgeon, etc

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by malcontent » Fri, 25 Dec 2020 7:23 pm

Even if you were to somehow get expedited PR, you don’t get full CPF contributions until the 3rd year. Basically you are on your own - and one would reasonably expect that your employer should provide some kind of coverage for you and your dependent.

My employer spends about S$6,500/year on my health insurance through a group plan with Great Eastern. On top of that they self-insure several things like outpatient & specialist up to S$5,000/year, dental S$400/year and a flexible spending account S$1,800/year, of which I spend S$600/year of that to opt-in my family for the health insurance cover.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 26 Dec 2020 3:51 pm

The ability to start paying into CPF at the full rate from the get-go does exist. However, it has to be agreed upon by the employee AND employer. Other than than, there are no issues with forgoing the reduced rates for the first 2 years.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by malcontent » Sat, 26 Dec 2020 4:38 pm

That is a good point - although in practice, I believe it is pretty rare.

My company is considered pretty generous by local standards and they do NOT offer full contributions for the first two years.

However, for EP holders, they do contribute the employer share of CPF to SRS instead. They also contribute 10% to SRS on salary above $6k for all employees up to the SRS limit.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by Myasis Dragon » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 1:44 am

Tomfox wrote:
Thu, 24 Dec 2020 10:05 pm
Dear all,

First things first, merry Christmas to all of you :)

I am currently looking for a job in Singapore and would bring my wife with me, who would not work at least the first couple months. I think I understand CPF, MediShield and IP, however I am still not sure about certain details. Could you kindly provide me with your experiences and advise? Given the circumstances:

* my wife would be a dependant
* I will move to SG and get a local contract (I will not be sent from an employer to SG) in the financial services / banking industry

1) I would still fall under the regular CPF scheme, right? So health insurance is covered by MediShield and I could add IP!?
2) Could I skip CPF completely and insure us both with an international health insurance plan?
3) Would my wife be covered as well from my contribution to CPF? If not, what would make sense to cover her?
4) Is it typical for local employers to take care of this fully?
5) if you want to share: how much do you spend monthly on health insurance, everyone included?

In the end I am not really sure, given I have full flexibility, how to combine all options to cover us both (we are both healthy In our 30s, no pre conditions).

I appreciate your time and effort to help me on this. Thank you :)
Mr. Tomfox: A large dose of reality is in order for you.
Tomfox wrote:I am currently looking for a job in Singapore and ...
I will move to SG and get a local contract (I will not be sent from an employer to SG) in the financial services / banking industry...
I don't mean to rain on your parade, and, your chances of securing employment are somewhere between zero and nothing. Unless you have some magical specialty that cannot be found in Singapore, you're not going to get hired.
  1. Banking and finance is one area that the government wants to see reserved for Singaporeans.
  2. The government makes it very hard for companies to employ foreigners when locals are available.
  3. Companies don't want the hassle, expense, and uncertainty of hiring a foreigner when a local is available.
  4. 90 percent or more of all employment passes issued are done so because multi-national companies are transferring their employees into Singapore.

Never mind PR, never mind CPF, never mind insurance. The job is your problem. Unless you are exceptional, it isn't going to happen.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by Tomfox » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 2:02 am

Dear Myasis dragon,

Thank you for putting in some reality, I think it will help me eventually. I am sure you are right and it’s appreciated.

I’ll add this to my expectation management and see how far this goes ;)

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 2:30 am

Very true - I feel both fortunate & unique to have been hired on local terms under EP by an MNC here. My company thought it would be easy to get me an EP, but it wasn’t. And yes, about 90% of the EP holders in my company were sent to Singapore by the company (on an expat package), and that is also a rare opportunity that fewer than 1% back at our home office will ever get to experience.

We typically average 25-40 western expats in our office at a given time, which is maybe 10-15% of our total white collar workforce. Out of those, there might be 2-4 expats like me, hired on local terms but on an EP. Sometimes these can be trailing spouses, or those formerly on expat packages who decide to accept a local package to stay permanently. Many of those will eventually get off EP and onto PR.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by Tomfox » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 3:00 am

Malcontent, may I ask what your profession is? You must be a real Specialist then.

Oh boy, this does sound challenging now.....

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 9:35 am

When I was first hired, it was a generalist position, entry-level, essentially back-office administration. My first EP application was rejected, appealed and rejected again (only a maximum of two appeals are allowed). At first MOM wouldn’t tell me what was needed, but one officer finally suggested having the company come in and explain why I was needed versus a local employee. Fortunately I had worked in a subsidiary of this MNC before arrival and was familiar with the systems, so they explained how it would take up to a year to train up a local on the systems. That worked, but in total it took me a total of 5 months to get a 1 year EP! On a positive note, once the first EP is secured, renewals are much easier. However, I did progress in my career which may have helped too.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 3:37 pm

Tomfox, also to note, things aren't as easy today as they were when malcontent came here around two decades ago. Things have tightened up immensely and all the more difficult. We are not trying to put you off, but to give you and others a realistic synopsis of how things are today. We try not to blow smoke as it can result in somebody making a very expensive mistake.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Dec 2020 4:05 pm

Very true, things have only gotten tighter and tighter, all the more so during Covid now.

I would have never bothered to go through the whole ordeal if not for my GF at the time (now wife). Singapore was my ONLY option at the time, due to her unbreakable family obligations. I was going to stay or die trying.

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Re: Health Insurance Advise - Moving to SG with local contract and dependant (spouse)

Post by x9200 » Mon, 28 Dec 2020 8:17 am

Tomfox wrote:
Sun, 27 Dec 2020 3:00 am
Oh boy, this does sound challenging now.....
If you like to have some further reality check, I would suggest posting some info on your education and work experience. Same for your wife if she intends to find here a job.

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