Perhaps the most complicated insurance to determine adequate coverage for is medical insurance. In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not require employers to provide a minimum level of medical cover to expatriates holding an EP pass, although many expats employed under an EP pass do in fact receive employee benefits.
The question is, to what extent are you covered and how will your policy respond in a time of need? Natalie Drummond – a private client advisor at Expat Insurance explains.
“Many clients come to us to secure medical cover while living and working in Singapore because their employer does not provide any cover under their employment contract whatsoever. On the other hand, when an employer provides cover under an employment contract, the level of medical cover associated with an employee benefits program will vary from one employer to the next. This is why it is important to understand how your policy will respond if the unexpected was to happen and to furthermore consider an additional medical top-up cover to alleviate the financial burden associated with the cost of health care in Singapore – in effect, to fill the gap between cover and financial risk.”
According to the Ministry of Health, the number one reason for hospital admittance in Singapore is accidents, with the number two reason being critical illness like cancer. So how will your employee benefits cover respond if the unforeseen was to happen to you?”
A private client recently contacted Expat Insurance to activate a medical top up program to cover expenses associated with accident and critical illness, above and beyond those covered under his employee benefits program. Natalie adds, “Unfortunately he experienced a freak accident while on a night out with his girlfriend on Duxton Hill. In the process of alighting the taxi he accidently tripped, fell and severely hit his head on the curb. Experiencing excruciating pain to the face, neck and jaw, the couple immediately rushed to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) emergency department where upon closer inspection, he was diagnosed – and subsequently treated for a broken jaw.”
After 4 days in hospital he was released – not before having to settle a $20,000 hospital bill for treatment and his hospital stay, not to mention the additional cost of approximately $8,000 for the post-operative care he required in the weeks immediately following the accident. This out-of-pocket expense was actually reimbursed under his top up cover while the $20,000 hospital bill was fully covered by his employee benefits program.
Not the case for an expat on a minimum level employee benefits program without a top-up, who is diagnosed with a critical illness like cancer.
Employee benefits are generally not designed to support long term or critical illnesses. This is why it’s important to consider a top up policy to bridge the gap between employee benefits cover and actual ongoing costs. Certainly, employee benefit programs do generally cover some costs associated with critical illness, but this cover remains low at $10,000 to $20,000 – nowhere near the coverage required to alleviate the financial burden associated with the burgeoning costs of medical treatment for a critical illness in Singapore.
In 2016 cancer treatment in Singapore can cost in excess of $150,000 and that’s not including the ongoing treatment a patient will require along the road to recovery. In this case, if a top up cover was in place – the initial costs and the cost associated with on-going treatment would be covered, fully!
Having evaluated the numerous products available in the Singapore market, Expat Insurance has identified those that offer the broadest coverage, catering to the unique needs of expatriates. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Check your benefits’ limits in your existing employee benefits medical insurance policy. If you need help assessing the coverage under your current health insurance plan, Expat Insurance provide free, no-obligation advice. We are here for you.
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Expat Insurance is registered as an independent insurance broker with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore). We work directly for our clients, so when you engage our brokerage we focus on your needs and understanding your family’s needs before recommending appropriate products and solutions in the market. We are licensed to work with all carriers regulated in Singapore, so you have access to a wide range of products. Our job is to take great care of you and your family to ensure you get the best value for money coverage available.