For expatriate teachers, Singapore is a fantastic country to work abroad. With a large expat population, an abundance of international schools, ease of travel and a high level of English, teachers inevitably fall in love with Singapore expat life!
While many international schools provide medical benefits for their staff, we recommend reviewing the coverage to ensure it meets your needs during your time working in Singapore. The healthcare system in Singapore is one of the best in the world, however as an Expat, if you don’t have insurance, it can become very expensive if you unexpectedly require medical treatment or specialist opinions. Having the right type of medical coverage could mean saving you significant financial burden down the road, should the unexpected occur.
Here are Expat Insurance’s top 5 tips for teachers when reviewing their coverage plans with their school or Insurance agent.
If I change schools, will my current health insurance cover me?
Most health insurance plans offered to teachers by schools have a set start and end date. While coverage typically lasts one year, some schools may have a condition that they will terminate insurance coverage on the last day of your contract.
This means that if you are leaving at the end of the school year, and starting at a new school after the winter/summer break, you may not be covered by your old school’s plan during the switch. Should something happen, you will be required to pay for any medical costs out of pocket.
Do I have coverage for medical care outside of Singapore?
Different insurance plans offer various levels of coverage. Some health insurance policies provide you with cover anywhere in the world, while some policies have ‘geographic limits’, which means that treatment provided outside those limits will not be covered. Speak with your school or insurance agent to understand the level of coverage you will be receiving. Topping-up an insurance plan is an option if your existing plan doesn’t offer the level of protection you desire.
Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?
Depending on the insurer, the condition and your profile, terms may be offered to extend coverage for certain pre-existing conditions. In this instance, coverage can be extended to cover the condition with the payment of additional premium. Your agent will be able to recommend the best plan for your individual needs.
Is my family covered too?
Typically, your employer will offer you the option to add dependants to your existing coverage for an additional fee.
What level of coverage does my plan offer?
Most insurers in Singapore offer three levels of coverage.
Inpatient – Covers treatment that requires hospitalisation. This covers all treatment once you have been admitted to the hospital. Different plans will offer different coverage limits.
Inpatient + outpatient – Covers treatment both in and out of the hospital. This level of plan includes the inpatient coverage mentioned above as well as treatments that don’t necessarily occur in the hospital e.g., clinics, physio, etc.
Inpatient + outpatient + maternity – Combines the coverage elements of the two plans above with maternity coverage. This is the best option is you’re planning on starting on expanding your family. Note that maternity plans usually have a 12 month waiting period.
If you’d like some guidance regarding the level of care provided by your employer, we invite you to contact the Expat Insurance team to review your current plan and if necessary, recommend top up options too.
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