Why is Life and Medical Insurance Important For Foreigners?

Why is Life and Medical Insurance Important For Foreigners?

In Asia, Singapore ranks 14th  globally for quality of life and standard of living, according to the 2021 U.S. News Best Countries rankings. The Republic is known for its political stability, safety, cleanliness and thriving economy. It’s no surprise that many foreigners consider Singapore when thinking of cities to move to. If this is you, finding out the type of healthcare you need before you move could help to ensure you’re fully prepared if you have a health emergency in Singapore. In this article, we provide you with all the reasons why insurance is essential and how to go about choosing a plan.

Why is it important to be protected? 

The cost of healthcare in Singapore has risen steadily over the last few years. According to data by Statista, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of healthcare in Singapore in 2021 was more than twice than the figure in 1990 – indicating rising inflation levels. What does this mean for those seeking healthcare treatment here? If, for example, one develops a sore throat or breaks an arm, having access to the right medical treatment can help you heal quickly. If you contract a critical illness, like kidney failure or major cancer, being provided financial aid can help you cover the cost of treatment sessions and basic necessities like food and rent.

Medishield is the insurance plan offered by the Singapore government to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs). As a foreigner living in Singapore, however,  the same subsidy benefits for healthcare do not apply In order to not have to foot heavy hospital bills, having the right insurance plan that comprehensively covers you is key. This ensures you wouldn’t have to dip into your savings, take out a loan, or borrow from family and friends. 

Benefits of medical insurance 

Getting treatment at private hospitals can be expensive. The cost of treatment for private hospitals averages $1,800 to $3,700 per day. Your employer might provide you access to a basic healthcare plan, but this may not be enough to cover all your needs or that of your family. Private medical insurance plans can help to plug any gaps in these plans. There are also specific instances where foreigners would need top-up insurance. If you’re planning on having children, adding on maternity insurance will provide you peace of mind from conception to post-delivery. If you already have a family in Singapore, buying family insurance will help cover your family’s needs. 

Benefits of life insurance 

Life insurance, such as critical illness insurance and Total Permanent Disability (TPD) offers protection in the form of a lump sum payout. For example, if you contract major cancer or have a stroke, having a pay out can be helpful to cover treatment costs. You might also not be able to continue working, which can mean a loss of income. Having financial assistance can provide assurance and peace of mind by ensuring you don’t have to pay expensive bills. With a Total Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance rider add-on, you can also be assured that you will be protected in the event you lose your sense of sight or experience a loss of limb. 

How to choose a health insurance plan?

When choosing a health insurance plan, it’s important to consider several things, such as your budget, your needs, the deductible amount and the coverage offered by the plan. Your goal is to have comprehensive coverage while taking on a plan with an affordable premium. Ensure that you are able to set aside this sum after deducting the cost of your basic necessities, such as food, rent and transportation. Take note of the deductible amount – the amount you pay before your health insurance pays out. The benefit of a lower deductible amount is that what you pay out of pocket is less, but you will have to pay higher premiums.

Some companies offer their staff employee benefits through group insurance. This insurance solution offers coverage in the form of hospital and surgical insurance, term life, critical illness, personal accident and dental. Find out what your employee already covers you for, and speak to your insurance provider to find out what gaps you might have in your plans. In this way, you can determine how you can supplement the plans you currently have, including the ones you might have from back home. 

Protect yourself and your loved ones with Expat Insurance

Having access to healthcare when you need it is vital. As a foreigner living in Singapore, you can protect yourself from incurring high expenses by helping to cover the costs of medical care by having health insurance. Speak to our insurance advisors at Expat Insurance to have your current plans looked at and for us to walk you through the benefits of our various plans. We are keen on providing you with the best coverage by proposing insurance plans most suited to your needs so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Authored By Jozemarie Sison

Head of Private Client Insurance

Amassing 8 years of industry experience in Switzerland and 5 years in Singapore, JM has spent more than 13 years of his career in the…


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