What began as an outbreak in China at the end of 2019 has now become a global pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has brought on several shocks – in various degrees – to countries worldwide. Countries globally are experiencing seismic shifts in healthcare, business and social environments.
What staggering insights can we draw from around the world?
- Aviation faces a deep dip, with over 90% of the global fleet grounded.
- Global trade is projected to fall by record 27%.
- Locally, tourist arrivals plunged to 239, 899 in March from about 1.7 million in January.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has tested the capabilities of global healthcare systems to the maximum, bringing to light the flaws of many institutions worldwide. It has brought renewed attention to insurance needs, services and facilities.
Healthcare systems are facing the pressure in unprecedented ways – no in-person visits, limited resources and a demand for technologically-enabled solutions are just some of the new developments. As global pandemics become more likely in our futures, healthcare resources are being shifted to the forefront of human needs in a modern society.
According to Gavi, there are a couple of reasons why this is so. Global travel, increased urbanisation, climate change, increased human-animal interaction and a shortage of health workers all contribute to the greater risks of outbreaks.
As the leading health insurance broker, here at Expat Insurance, we have an experienced team of specialists capable of designing health cover plans for individuals, corporations and families. In unprecedented times, it can pay off to secure your health coverage needs in cases of emergencies.
Expat Health Guide: Care & Coverage
We recognise two key reasons in this climate for expats living and working in Singapore to pay closer attention to their health cover.
Over time, we are seeing higher correlation rates between the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions and the contraction of Covid-19. For instance, the fatality rate for people over 80 with Covid-19 is over 15%. Why is this so? Older people are much more likely to have conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease and lung disease, which effectively lower the strength of their immune systems and ability to fight disease.
As we observe the ripple effects of contracting the coronavirus, we are also noticing an increased curiosity and focus on hospital, medical and specialist insurance plans. Although the government here in Singapore has been absorbing Covid-19 related costs, the fact that infected individuals could be spending up to 30 days in hospitals indicates how expensive medical costs can be. Coronavirus or not, spending up to even 3 days in a hospital ward can rack up a bill – having an insurance plan will help you offset some of these costs.
Another problem we imagine happening is a shortage of services if there is an unbalanced focus on Covid-19 patients. As cases mount, patients with other medical issues unrelated to coronavirus could face a shortage – be it in doctors, nurses or services in healthcare institutions. These situations point to a pressing need for individuals – expats and locals alike – to realign on the type of health cover they have.
Then comes the hard questions – what type of insurance do we need? How necessary are some plans? It can be difficult to navigate in an already saturated market, what more with an uncertain time like a pandemic.
A good first step is to compare insurance plans, secure the basics that will cover you at both general practitioners and hospitals as well as match your financial capabilities. Some types of health insurance plans recommended include:
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance is a coverage that is necessary for everyone, including expats in Singapore. Many people make the mistake of not getting critical illness insurance simply because they are healthy and physically fine at the given moment in time.
However, just as how pandemics are unprecedented, sudden and unexpected accidents can occur – affecting your loved ones. Safeguard your loved ones from the unpredictable aspects of how certain major ailments can progress with critical illness insurance.
Find out more about our Critical Illness Insurance plan here.
Hospital Insurance Plan
Knowing that you will receive the necessary treatment during a medical emergency can be reassuring. A hospital insurance plan covers your actual expenses due to an illness or accident. It can be doubly frustrating to live in a country with a robust healthcare system and yet not gain access to its services. Getting a hospital insurance plan will protect you through times of uncertainty, like today.
Find out more about our Hospital Insurance Plan here.
A future with more epidemics is one that compels us to rethink our existing health policies and work towards securing a better future for us and our loved ones. Schedule a discussion with us today.
Healthcare Facilities & Services
We may not have realised this at the start, but the pandemic is indirectly affecting marginalised, disadvantaged or vulnerable groups in different ways.
In Singapore, the circuit breaker measures along with certain laws have shed light on some unexpected difficulties. For instance, families aren’t allowed to visit their elderly grandparents or relatives in nursing homes. Patients with other health issues are waiting longer to be seen by doctors. Elderly folks find it hard to move around and the isolation only worsens their mobility and accessibility when they need it. They are also digitally isolated.
In a future where healthcare becomes priority, institutions need to reinvent and innovate facilities for the future – specifically specialised facilities and improved healthcare for the vulnerable in our societies. Technologically-enabled solutions are also necessary to meet these gaps.
Preempting and planning for these improvements may potentially increase healthcare costs. The best way to prepare would be to put in actionable steps and acquire relevant insurance plans for a secure future.
Future of Healthcare Post Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is bringing to light a lot of issues we have in our current healthcare systems. However, this could be a chance for society to rethink and remodel the ways in which we view healthcare and how we serve societies.
It also is a significant reminder to not take our health or security for granted. Expats and locals in Singapore need to proactively manage adequate hospital, medical and specialist insurance plans for these unprecedented times.
Let us help you navigate these uncertain times. Get in touch with our team.