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medical insurance question

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 10:25 pm

aster wrote:The insurance you guys are talking about, do you have to pay anything by yourself and then claim or do you just show a card and they take care of things "back-stage" so to speak?

Myself - big things (i.e. the delivery, laparoscopy etc): no prepay (direct charging to the insurer), petit things: pay and claim. It seems unwritten but works this way so far. For some time the insurer also provides the option to go completely cashless for everything for the price of limiting yourself to selected clinics (large number) but we don't use this option.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 10:40 pm

biomarker wrote:PURELY LOCAL. We would travel a lot but I plan to take a separate travel insurance for that. Health care coverage in North America or Europe is not a consideration.

Maybe I am wrong but I don't think the difference between local and non-local is THAT big. I mean clearly there is a difference in the premium but it is because of the co-payment and higher standard offered. If you need a transplant, the co-payment of the "local" can ruin you anyway. I started in Singapore with a local one (A.I.A) and for that very reason soon switched to my current one, full coverage with no co-payment no deductibles.
The difference between local and non-local can be significant if the non-local one include North America and sometimes Japan.

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Postby stiwi » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:02 pm

Choosing insurance is not an easy decision. I spent quite nice time to check roughly 20 insurers, compared their benefits, exchanged emails and asked questions but there is no best insurance option which would suit everyone. There are certain things to consider and pre-existing conditions are one of them.

I can recommend you website where you can easily download most of the leading expat insurance providers brochures for your own comparison:
http://www.medibroker.com/about-april-m ... iders.html
(you click on the name and then on the left side you can download a brochure).

I have not used MediBroker to purchase the insurance, although their website was certainly helpful to obtain brochures / premiums. As for deductibles, I came across two options used by insurance companies:
- fixed amount that you pay towards your treatment per year (e.g. BUPA )
- amount that you pay towards treatment per each medical condition per insurance year

In first scenario you choose an amount from predefined ones, e.g. US$1000. It means that regardless of how many medical conditions you will have, you will always pay first $1000 out of pocket. In second example, deductible is lower by default (e.g. US$100) but you pay it first for each medical condition. So if you have one medical condition you are better with the second option.

You can always choose no deductible option but it is very expensive and doesn't make much sense.

I have not considered local insurance options. When I roughly checked the offers, they had either very low coverages (S$100). I don't understand also in local offers why they exclude GST... So if you go to hospital, and the total bill will be 100k + GST, you have to pay 7k.

If someone think S$100k / year is a good enough insurance here, then think twice. Simple wrist surgery $6k, minimally invasive back surgery $35k (based on my experiences) but that's nothing and perfectly fine if everything goes well. The real costs kick in if you have a heart attack (e.g. during surgery) or some serious complications.

Most of the insurance providers work on reimbursement basis for out-patient claims and pre-authorization (letter of guarantee, direct settlement) on scheduled surgeries. In emergency cases when you are admitted to hospital they usually can arrange direct settlement as well upon being informed.

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Postby Hidy Ho » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:21 am

x9200 wrote: Maybe I am wrong but I don't think the difference between local and non-local is THAT big.


I'm still trying to work through my healthcare difference between US and here ... I get something like 5-6 K per year here that include medical and flex spending. It seems like a like but I'm eating through this pretty fast with a bunch of lab testing, doctor visit and prescriptions.

I used to be covered for Humira back in USA (this costs over 2kUSD/month) but it looks like it will need to come out of my pocket once I cap out.

Also I used to get my regular prescriptions in "bulk" (3 months supply) back in states through online pharmacy. I don't think prescriptions are that cheap in Singapore .. or I haven't found a right place yet. I just got Lipitol prescribed here and the hospital is charging me something like SGD100 per month. Back in US, I think I just pay 5 or 10 per month through my insurance.

So if someone has a condition that requires regular visits, check-ups, tests and prescriptions, they will really need to study up on what's being offered by the company. In my case, my HR people aren't that helpful or knowledgeable.

biomarker
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Postby biomarker » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 4:40 am

Thanks Folks.

It sure is confusing. I have asked my HR to help me understand this and will also look at the link.
Will share my 2 cents worth knowledge ...if I do end up understanding this!!

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 24 Mar 2012 3:28 pm

I used a good broker here, Expat Insurance (google them). They were very helpful at sorting through what coverage we had through our employers (crap as it turned out) and what we realistically needed to fill the gap. Luckily we aren't American as that was the killer for global coverage - price went up by 10x if global coverage included the US! Anyways, drop them a line they're usually happy to answer questions.

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Postby stiwi » Sat, 24 Mar 2012 10:42 pm

movingtospore wrote:I used a good broker here, Expat Insurance (google them). They were very helpful at sorting through what coverage we had through our employers (crap as it turned out) and what we realistically needed to fill the gap. Luckily we aren't American as that was the killer for global coverage - price went up by 10x if global coverage included the US! Anyways, drop them a line they're usually happy to answer questions.


If I am not mistaken, Expat Insurance sales office is located in Riverwalk. I personally had no luck with some other local comprehensive insurance brokers when I was choosing my life insurance, as they were simply not getting back to me, so I had to do the homework on my own.

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Postby Eddie the Eagle » Sun, 30 Mar 2014 12:21 pm

I had an encounter with Expat Insurance. I was stupid enough to pay them for a policy which I had not seen the details of. They did not need very long time to deduct the money (Yes, they claimed they will pay me back, but God knows how long that will take them). Only afterwards did they specify that the policy was valid for a much shorter time than than I had requested. And they never informed me that the policy indeed wasn't valid for me at all, since I'm not a Singapore resident (despite the fact that I made it very clear to them that I'm relocating out of Singapore). I would strongly advice against doing any kind of dealings with this company.

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Postby meklavier » Mon, 31 Mar 2014 4:16 pm

Most of the people working here have access to company insurance called employee benefit.

Most Employee Benefit covers Panel Private Clinic Visit, Dental and Hospitalization and Surgical Coverage.

Furthermore in Singapore, Some of the Insurance Company allows those on EP to purchase the private integrated shield plan (which is much cheaper than those private medical plan) using cash instead of using the Medisave.

So I do not understand why people keep going to these expat brokers who want to sell us expensive private medical plan?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 31 Mar 2014 5:14 pm

Ever try using your employment based plan outside of the country? There'll be your answer.

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Postby Beeroclock » Mon, 31 Mar 2014 5:48 pm

meklavier wrote:Most of the people working here have access to company insurance called employee benefit.

Most Employee Benefit covers Panel Private Clinic Visit, Dental and Hospitalization and Surgical Coverage.

Furthermore in Singapore, Some of the Insurance Company allows those on EP to purchase the private integrated shield plan (which is much cheaper than those private medical plan) using cash instead of using the Medisave.

So I do not understand why people keep going to these expat brokers who want to sell us expensive private medical plan?
I guess shield plans will only work for PR/SC, as you need CPF medishield as a base, right ? So for others here on EP etc those are not an option. Any company insurance I guess it depends on a) if your company has an acceptable policy that meets your desired level of cover and b) if you desire to have your own cover to protect against risk of job loss/change etc . If you're very unlucky and get sick/ill while in transition you might miss out under existing employer cover, and still not be covered under new employer policy if it's now a pre-existing... So I can see there might be some reasons people here, especially conservative types, will look at these options.

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 8:45 am

My medical needs are covered under insurance package by my employer. So it is only applicable within Singapore (depending on packages, even Johor Bahru in Malaysia - mine is under AXA and it does).

So best to get something else on your own outside Singapore. For me, my travel insurance and PA insurance (mine also covers me as long as I am still residing in Singapore) is sufficient. And of course the life insurance.

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Re: medical insurance question

Postby garvi » Thu, 22 Jan 2015 3:54 pm

Beeroclock, shieldplans can bought by all, regardless if you are Singaporean or PR. Just 2 main considerations
1. If you are on EP for eg, you will have to bear full cost of the insurance plan yourself, without the medisave subsidies that Singaporeans and PRs have.
2. Country of residence must be Singapore. Generally, plans will no longer be in force if you leave Singapore. But if you will be working in Singapore for more than a year, this should not be an issue.
Regarding company insurance. Yes, they tend to cover a myriad of areas, but their limits are often quite low, since the company itself will have to bear the cost of the insurance plan. You would ultimately need a personal plan for yourself or your family. You just have to decide which makes more sense to you; an international plan that has extended coverage but can be rather expensive (I know a lady that is paying 400 a month with BUPA), or 2 plans, one that covers just for your home country, and the other that just has coverage in Singapore. (which can be cheaper even after adding both up)


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