As an expat employee living and working in Singapore, you may receive an employee benefit and wellness based plan that includes medical insurance. When you go about insuring your health and wellness with an insurance plan in Singapore, it is pivotal for you to inform your broker and insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have.
If you are looking at buying an expat-focused health and wellness insurance policy in Singapore, you will most certainly be asked about any pre-existing medical conditions you have had up until this point in your life. This applies to any employee or personal medical insurance that covers your health and wellness.
Recently, we have been receiving a number of questions regarding the topic of pre-existing medical conditions. As a result, we have whipped up a quick guide encompassing reasons to declare, what sort of conditions are considered pre-existing as well as the implications (if any) of your declaration.
Navigating this decision can be tricky for any employee or individual who is acquiring medical insurance for the first time. If you have any questions, get in touch with us and our team will be happy to assist.
Health And Wellness Insurance Plans in Singapore
What is considered to be a pre-existing medical condition?
As rules can vary across insurance providers, there is no hard and fast definition when it comes to defining what constitutes pre-existing medical conditions. A good rule of thumb is to consider any illness, injury, symptoms, or surgery that existed or occurred before you had taken on a health or wellness focused insurance policy in Singapore. Regardless of how far back your condition had occurred, your broker still needs to know!
When you are in the process of taking out an employee or individual based medical insurance, you will be asked a series of questions pertaining to your health. Brokers and insurers trust that you will answer these questions honestly, which includes disclosure of any pre-existing medical conditions or history that you aware of even if these conditions are not currently active.
Insurers often word questions in different ways, hence it is essential to be aware of the need to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have with full transparency. Unsure about the necessary conditions to disclose? Send us an email and our team will help you with any queries you may have.
Before taking out any health and wellness focused insurance plans in Singapore, individuals are encouraged to evaluate and consider their health conditions in the past. Many are often under the impression that disclosing a pre-existing medical condition can affect the chances of getting insured. However, that is unlikely to be the case when it comes to either employee or individual medical insurance policies. What it could instead translate into would be a higher premium on your health insurance to ensure coverage. Alternatively, your policy would exclude the specific condition. This, however, changes depending on the insurer.
Thus, it is essential that you are transparent about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have that could impact your wellness, and ultimately, the coverage on your insurance plan taken up in Singapore. If you need assistance, getting in touch with our team can enable us to consult insurers on your behalf for any clarification.
What Are Some Examples Of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
Not all of the pre-existing medical conditions are easily observable – many actually go undetected or have been dormant for a good number of years. Some pre-existing medical conditions happen regularly, while others are triggered by external situations or factors. Take a look at some of the commonly known medical conditions that are considered to be pre-existing.
Diabetes is one of the biggest pre-existing medical conditions that goes undetected – intentionally or otherwise. Due to the nature of diabetes, individuals often require ongoing health check-ups and treatments are almost always expensive. Oftentimes, when emergencies arise due to diabetic conditions, insurers are not inclined to cover you.
Hence, before you sign on an employee benefit-based or personal medical insurance, it is crucial that you declare your diabetes condition. Moreover, with a medical insurance at hand, insurers need access to all of your existing medical records when they are investigating a claim. Hiding your medical history is not advised. Neither is leading your medical insurer to believe that you are not enclosing everything. If it so happens that your insurer requires a deeper analysis of your health history and happens to discover a pre-existing undeclared medical condition, it could spell bad news for the sake of your wellness – with you losing the insurance cover in Singapore. Divulging all of your medical details in the beginning is the best course of action to keep your medical insurance in good faith. Have questions? Get in touch for a confidential discussion.
For illustration purposes, let us assume that you have received treatment for cancer in the past, been medically cleared and are living cancer-free for years. Though you may currently be in good health, you are still advised to inform your insurer of the pre-existing medical condition. Disclosing this will ensure that your health and wellness is taken care of in the best possible manner. Your insurance cover in Singapore could be built on the basis of ensuring the best cover for you in the event that your cancer returns. The possibility of building a medical insurance such as this is highly dependent on the provider, as cases vary from individual to individual. If you are keen to find out more, our team will be happy to assist you.
3. Other Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Other pre-existing medical conditions such as eczema, asthma and anxiety disorders can lie dormant for years and rarely flare up. Your asthma may not have been triggered in years, your eczema may have only affected you during your teenage years, or you received medication for depression only during a couple of years in your life. Nonetheless, with your overall health and mental wellness at stake, it is important to let your medical insurer know if you are receiving or had received treatment for any ongoing medical condition. This will ensure that you get the best possible medical insurance coverage you can, given the circumstances.
There have been instances of when an insurer may impose a certain waiting period (1-2 years) during which you are unable to claim for any treatment that may arise from these illnesses. Again, it highly depends on the insurer as well as your circumstances. Our team at Expat Insurance will be able to liaise with the insurer on your behalf to secure you medical insurance that best suits and covers all your healthcare needs.
Taking Up A Health And Wellness Personal Insurance in Singapore
What if I choose not to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions that I have?
It is almost impossible to get away with it, so our expert advice would be to remain honest and transparent during the process of taking out either employee or personal medical insurance plans. If the insurers come to know of any pre-existing medical conditions that you have, there are several consequences that could potentially hurt the chances of you keeping your medical insurance cover:
- You may have to pay in full for any or all treatments pertaining to your pre-existing medical conditions.
- You could risk having your employee or personal medical insurance plan being cancelled with immediate effect or upgrade your premiums in addition to paying for your treatments.
- You may have to change insurers and seek out another insurance plan. This is unfavourable when it comes to mandatory waiting periods that needs to be served like maternity cover.
Likewise, if you are currently in the process of having your medical insurance approved, your process could be prolonged. It is important to keep in mind that pre-existing medical conditions do not translate to a lack of insurance coverage. The most effective way to handle the situation would be to adopt a policy of transparency for the sake of your wellness. Not disclosing the condition could leave you vulnerable to risks in the long-run.
Schedule a discussion with our team to help you secure a comprehensive and well-protected health and wellness medical insurance plan in Singapore, in light of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.