According to the Ministry of Health, the number one reason for hospital admittance is accidents, with the second most common reason being critical illness like cancer. Also within the top ten reasons is heart disease, heart attack, stroke and lung disease.
In Singapore, most expatriates are between the ages of 31-55. This also happens to be the age band in which serious health issues tend to be discovered. Given these alarming statistics, it is important to bear certain issues in mind and know the level of coverage your medical insurance provides for you and your family.
Medical Insurance Advice
If you need help understanding your current level of coverage, limits and exclusions or need advice on an appropriate policy for you and your family, you can contact Expat Insurance for a free medical insurance review and professional insurance advice.www.expatinsurance.com.sg
Tips for Medical Insurance
Local or Global Coverage? – ensure your medical plan offers coverage wherever you need it, be it in Singapore or abroad. If you want to be treated in your home country for an illness, then you need to consider a global plan.
Government or Private? – many local plans require you to visit Government Hospitals and Public Clinics for treatment. Check if your plan has this restriction or provides for Private Care. It is also important to know whether your coverage pays for private or shared/warded accommodation.
Freedom of Choice – your policy should allow freedom of choice of your family doctor and specialists. Many policies restrict your visits to a specific list of panel doctors, with the objective of keeping costs down. To avoid restrictions, make sure your plan is not on a referral basis or restricted to visits with in-network/panel doctors.
Maternity Benefits – benefits are typically subject to a 10-24 month waiting period, so you must purchase well in advance of pregnancy. Birthing at Private hospitals is costly, so choose a plan with high maternity limits.
Cancer and Critical Illness – coverage is limited or excluded from most medical plans. Choosing a policy that offers unlimited medical expenses or a lump sum payout will ensure that best long-term treatment is affordable.
Complementary Medicine – most policies do not cover for items such as health checks and travel vaccinations. Benefits such as physiotherapy, chiropractor, acupuncture and osteopath are rare and found in only the most comprehensive policies.
Portability – as an expatriate, investing in a health insurance plan that travels with you regardless of where you are relocated is important. Your policy should be as mobile as you are.
For a family with children, frequent visits to the doctor mean frequent claims submissions and outstanding bills awaiting reimbursements. The benefit of direct billing is that you simply present your medical insurance card at the time of visit and International Medical Clinic (IMC) and International Paediatric Clinic (IPC) will deal directly with your insurer to settle payment.
Hassle-free claims and direct cashless billing is not a benefit available under every insurance plan. IMC and IPC has agreements with a number of insurance groups that allow patients to visit all of the IMC and IPC facilities on a cashless basis. Enquire with IMC and IPC to know if your insurance company has such an arrangement. www.imc-healthcare.com
Brought To You By International Medical Clinic (IMC)
With two General Practice clinics and a specialist Paediatric clinic, IMC have serviced the international community of Singapore for over 15 years and strive to provide a high standard of healthcare in friendly and familiar environment.
Their highly qualified and experienced doctors and medical professionals are from a diverse range of countries and can relate to the needs of expatriates. Specialising in family, paediatric and travel medicine, IMC are committed to whole patient care for all members of the family. www.imc-healthcare.com