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Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendation

Discuss the different insurance options from car to health insurance.
SuperJJ
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Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendation

Postby SuperJJ » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 7:52 pm

Hello all,
I’ve tried to search the past discussions, but wasn’t able to locate a adequate answer that I am looking for, so thought I reach out to you guys.

I am a American living in Tokyo, and soon to be relocating to Singapore. I have recently learned that my future employer in Singapore only provides the health insurance to its employees and not their spouse and child(s). I thought it was bit strange, but looking at past topics here, it seems to be quite normal in Singapore.

I am in need of a health insurance for my wife and my 4 month old daughter. Along with the normal/standard coverage, I am particularly interested in the following.
- Vaccinations for my daughter
- Dental
- Maternity coverage as we are planning to have our second child in about year or two

Thanks in advance for your help.

JJ

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 8:49 pm

There are actually only few more serious players around. You should be able to find all of them searching this forum and then comes the part you also have to do by yourself - analyse the packages. They vary pretty much esp. when it comes to maternity and dental coverage. The premium varies from ca $S3k to close to $S20k annually. If you are on a very tight budget you can also consider an insurance with the co-payment.

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Fri, 26 Mar 2010 9:36 am

To start, please note that I am not an insurance agent, so don't ask me specific questions that an agent will probably know. I did similar checks last month because myself and my boyfriend are re-looking at our insurance plans. Both of us works in financial institutions, hence we are quite meticulous and are generally able to understand the technical insurance related documents.

Here are our "findings":

1) Major insurance companies like AIA, Prudential, Great Eastern have basic "shield" plans, that foreigners can buy as well. For Singaporeans & PRs, they may use their CPF to pay while foreigners need to pay cash. They cover key things like hospitalization bills, surgery, etc. Depending on the type of plan you subscribe to, it will determine the type of rooms/beds you get to stay when you in a hospital. For these type of policies, you need to purchase the Shield Plan (covers you on the stuff mentioned above but have a co-insurance/deductable) and a supplementary Plan (this covers all the co-insurance/deductable portion).

The shield plan (most expensive one), I'm paying less than $200/annum and the supplementary plan is less than $250/annum. The major insurance companies' pricing and coverage are quite similar.

2) For female, I would strongly recommend your wife to take up a female policy. Maybe I am SUPER PARANOID, but I have 2 friends who just went for a female related surgery. AIA and Prudential offers pretty comprehensive female policy, which includes a female medical checkup every alternate year. Sorry, no such plans for guys. :roll:

I can't remember exactly how much I paid, but I think it is less than $250/annum.

3) AIA and Aviva (I didn't check all insurance companies) that offers the "international plan" that covers everything, ranging from seeing the doctor, dental, hospitalization, maternity (yes, these are the only ones that cover maternity!), etc. However, they are EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. This cost up to $4 - $5K/annum, depending on the type of plan, etc.

For some weird reason, private dental are fairly expensive in Singapore and the expensive insurance do have a cap of $750/annum for dental benefits. These $750/annum may not be sufficient if you have some major dental issues.

In total, it will cost about $700 to get all 3 plans for myself and less than $500 for 2 plans for my boyfriend. Our company also provide the basic insurance for basic clinical visits, etc.

Hope these info are helpful for you!

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aster
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Postby aster » Fri, 26 Mar 2010 4:11 pm

I need to get something similar as I'm not sure how well my overseas insurer has me covered here.

Where did you get your shield plans? And is the female plan also a shield plan, or is it something on top of that? Just thinking whether I can get a shield plan for the entire family (+wife & kid), or whether the female plan for my wife cannot be combined with this. Any thoughts?

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Fri, 26 Mar 2010 4:37 pm

Aster, do you plan to stay in Sg for long term or do you plan to go back home in the future?

Another thing about medical plan is, it does not cover pre-existing conditions. For example, if you plan to eventually go back to your own country, its good to maintain your current overseas insuer's policy, while exploring Sg options. Do note that most of the time, once you leave Sg permanently, you won't be covered by the insurance policies anymore.

I got mine from AIA (HealthShield Gold Prestige plus Essential). The "Shield" plan covers the major medical & hospitalization bills, illness, etc and the "Essential" covers the co-insurance and deductable portion. Prudential, Great Eastern and Aviva all have similar products, but the names are slightly different. Pick your favorite insurer because the product features are very similar. You can go to their website directly and you will be able to compare the rates as well as see the various plans/premiums/coverage. Of course, the rates assume that you are healthy and have no weird medical history. :roll:

On the other hand, if you plan to return to your own country (and if its UK/US), you might want to pick a US/UK based insurer and ask them if you can convert your policy to another similar policy when you return to your own country (without medical underwriting requirement). Medical underwriting requirements means you have to go for medical checkup and if they spot any health issues, they will not insure you or they will raise the premium amount. This is very important because you tend to be more healthy when you are younger, and all the "weird" problems start popping up after you pass 30 years old...

Yes, you can get a shield plan for your family and if you are a PR, you can use your CPF to pay for the shield plan for yourself, your wife and your biological :wink: kid.

The female plan is a totally different plan, and from what I know, AIA have 2 female plans, and Prudential have 1 female plan. The coverage is slightly different but most of the key features are somewhat similar. I have not heard of any other insurance company that have female plan (that comes with bi-annual free medical check up). If anyone knows, it will be great to share!

I just took up one policy this year, and plan to get another next year. This way, I get free (female-specific) medical check up every year instead of alternate year. The friend who had an operation recently had a full medical checkup a year ago, and it was clean! A month ago, they found a 5cm lump inside her womb. The rate that the lump was growing totally freaked me out!

Its just unfortunate that female seems to always be the one with all these problems. I rarely heard about guys going for any "male related operations" or maybe, they just don't talk about it. :shock:

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby ruebenlim » Mon, 14 Jun 2010 4:33 pm

SuperJJ wrote:Hello all,
I’ve tried to search the past discussions, but wasn’t able to locate a adequate answer that I am looking for, so thought I reach out to you guys.

I am a American living in Tokyo, and soon to be relocating to Singapore. I have recently learned that my future employer in Singapore only provides the health insurance to its employees and not their spouse and child(s). I thought it was bit strange, but looking at past topics here, it seems to be quite normal in Singapore.

I am in need of a health insurance for my wife and my 4 month old daughter. Along with the normal/standard coverage, I am particularly interested in the following.
- Vaccinations for my daughter
- Dental
- Maternity coverage as we are planning to have our second child in about year or two

Thanks in advance for your help.

JJ


Hello JJ,

Insurance does provide dental benefit and maternity coverage, but none offer vaccination benefit.

Do get a health insurance soon; usually, there is a 10 months waiting period for maternity coverage.
At moments of decision, your destiny is decided.

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Postby anp » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:08 am

Right now is the best time to think about your health insurance and get one for your family! If your employee doesn't provide it just searhc online for international health insurance companies and they have different types of policies, so you will be able to choose among them.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:25 am

Spidey-sense is tingling!

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Postby fxman » Mon, 03 Oct 2011 1:45 pm

If the below is only what you are more concerned on.

- Vaccinations for my daughter
- Dental
- Maternity coverage as we are planning to have our second child in about

Just get it from BUPA. No need to look elsewhere.

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby Wd40 » Wed, 24 Dec 2014 6:59 pm

Excellent overview about Singapore health insurance there by Girl_Next_door!
I did some research mainly AIA,Prudential and Great Eastern and I noticed the main difference is Pru lets foreigners take plans that are restricted to restructured hospitals whereas AIA and GE forces foreigners to take the most premium plan that lets you go to Private hospitals also. This makes PRU much cheaper if you are ok with going to only restructured hospitals.

I am inclined to go with Pru shield+Extra(covers deductible and co insurance) but limited to restructured hospitals only. Is there any reason, I should consider private hospitals also? From my research some of the major hospitals like Changi General Hospital(closest to my house) and KK Hospital are restructured.

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby curiousgeorge » Thu, 25 Dec 2014 9:39 am

Wd40 wrote:Excellent overview about Singapore health insurance there by Girl_Next_door!
I did some research mainly AIA,Prudential and Great Eastern and I noticed the main difference is Pru lets foreigners take plans that are restricted to restructured hospitals whereas AIA and GE forces foreigners to take the most premium plan that lets you go to Private hospitals also. This makes PRU much cheaper if you are ok with going to only restructured hospitals.

I am inclined to go with Pru shield+Extra(covers deductible and co insurance) but limited to restructured hospitals only. Is there any reason, I should consider private hospitals also? From my research some of the major hospitals like Changi General Hospital(closest to my house) and KK Hospital are restructured.


Look at something like the NTUC shield plans then, they have restructured hospital-only plans, and you can choose the expensive one (single room, Aircon) or the cheap one (shared room, no Aircon). Some even give you cash if you take a lower-class ward. Even the expensive shield plans for restricted hospitals are half the price of private hospital plans.

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby Wd40 » Thu, 25 Dec 2014 9:54 am

Yeah its a toss up b/w ntuc and prudential now. Also the basic plan is so cheap, I wonder why kept postponing it for the last 6 months. It's like $260 per year for both my wife and daughter combined and it covers any major hospitalizations minus the 2500 deductible and 10% copayment. I think every foreigner should have this as a minimum. Then I need to pay additional $559 to cover the deductible and copayment, which I think is discretionary, since those amounts are not really massive.

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby the lynx » Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:25 am

Isn't health insurance something that is covered by employers?

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:57 am

the lynx wrote:Isn't health insurance something that is covered by employers?

Yes, but most local, even reputed ones cover only the employee and not their dependents.

Some MNC Investment banks cover dependents.

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Re: Relocating to Singapore - Health Insurance Recommendatio

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 30 Dec 2014 1:53 pm

Another piece of useful information (in my opinion), based on a recent surgery that my husband had to go through recently. It was neither a major nor minor surgery. He had to fix a bad shoulder injury and had to stay in the hospital for 3 days post surgery with a hospital bill exceeding $30K.

If you have one of the shield plans with the major insurers (AIA, Pru, GE, etc) and a supplementary plans to cover the deductibles and co-insurance portion, it doesn't mean that you pay zero cent from your pocket. It all depends on which hospital you are staying. If you choose to stay in a private hospital, you will still have to pay for the hospital fees (ideally via credit card). The hospital will simultaneously do an e-filing. After the insurer has processed the claims, they will pay to the hospital directly and the hospital will do a reversal of the hospital bill to your credit card. The timing of all these is dependent on the date of the surgery, the cycle of your credit card bill and how soon the insurer can process the claims. There is a possibility whereby you have paid for the hospital bills because your credit card bills is coming due and the claims processing is not completed yet.

If you do not want to pay a single cent for the hospital bill, you would need to stay in either a government hospital or a re-structured hospital (you can wiki for the list of them in Singapore). For these hospital, I understand that the hospital will resolve the bill directly with the insurer.

After the surgery, we did a review of the hospital bill, and honestly, the private 1-bedder room he had, is not the most expensive item on the bill. Hence, if you are well-covered, you should just go for a 1-bedder. I assume doctors working in private hospital charge a high premium for everything compared to doctors working in restructured/government hospital.


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