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How to tell if your employer-provided health insurance is right for you

What’s worse than getting sick? Getting sick and having a massive medical bill to pay out of pocket. Many assume that just because they have employer-provided health insurance, they are covered for almost everything. But that’s often not the case, as all corporate plans vary in terms of the level of coverage benefits offered. For example, some plans only offer very basic hospital insurance benefits, while others offer more comprehensive cover like dental or maternity.

Finding out whether your current corporate health insurance is right for you can, however, be quite tricky. That’s especially true for those of you who are not as well versed in the world of Singapore health insurance. Fortunately, our team of experts at Pacific Prime Singapore have provided the following tips on how to decide whether your group health plan is the right fit for your needs.

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Ask yourself these questions

Out of all the different types of staff benefits, did you know that 95 percent of employees consider healthcare-related perks to be the most important? If you have employer-provided health insurance, that’s great, but be sure to keep in mind that every corporate plan is different. This is where reading the find print of your corporate policy and asking yourself or HR the following questions becomes imperative:

What do I have to pay?

As health insurance premiums continue to increase, so too does the number of companies introducing corporate health plan cost containment measures like high deductibles and copayments. This is a key thing to watch out for, as high deductibles (the amount you pay before your insurance starts to pay), or copayments (the fixed amount you pay for each health service), can really add to your out of pocket expenses.

Is my doctor covered by my employer-provided health insurance?

Another popular method companies use to lower their employer-provided health insurance costs is by limiting cover to a restricted network of healthcare providers. This network represents the facilities that are contracted to your corporate health insurance plan. Because it is very likely that you will have to pay more for out-of-network care, it is important that you check whether your current GP, specialist, or any other medical facility you visit regularly are listed under the network of providers.

Will it pay for my pre-existing conditions treatment?

Have you previously had, or currently have an illness or injury that you receive(d) care for? If you have a condition that requires regular treatment (e.g. allergies that need ongoing allergist visits and medication), your medical expenses will likely be pretty high – especially if you do not have access to the Medisave system.

It’s therefore important to confirm whether your corporate health insurance covers pre-existing conditions. While it was once common for group plans to cover pre-existing illnesses, it is becoming an increasing occurrence for corporate health insurance plans to exclude this benefit completely.

How comprehensive is the plan?

Beyond hospitalization cover, what other benefits does your employer-provided health insurance offer? When reading your policy fine print, here are a few things you might want to look out for:

  • Outpatient cover – This refers to care that does not require hospitalization (e.g. GP, specialist visits, prescription medication). Sometimes alternative treatments like Traditional Chinese Medicine will also be covered.
  • Preventative care – Does your corporate plan cover the cost of preventative services like vaccination, cancer screenings, and general health check-ups?
  • Dental, vision, and maternity insurance – More comprehensive plans will also cover auxiliary health services like dental and/or vision care, as well as maternity expenses (e.g. prenatal scans, delivery).

Other common coverage gaps to look out for

In addition to the above, our newly released Singapore Top-Up Guide 2017-2018 has further uncovered a range of common coverage gaps employees should look out for. These include:

  • Low overall coverage limits
  • Limited cancer or kidney dialysis benefits
  • GP referral is required when seeing a specialist
  • No portability option (the employee won’t be able to continue their plan after they leave the company)
  • No wellness benefits
  • Coverage only in Singapore
  • And more

My corporate plan isn’t enough for my needs. What are my options?

If you’ve decided that your employer-provided health insurance doesn’t protect you the way you want it to, what do you do? Before you go to such great lengths as to buy a new health insurance policy from scratch, there’s also the option of obtaining top-up insurance.

Designed to complement coverage gaps in corporate medical insurance plans, top-up insurance can be the most cost effective way of ensuring that all your healthcare needs are met. To learn more about top-up insurance and the solutions available to you, be sure to read our free Top-Up Guide today!

Do you have any more questions? If you’re not sure whether your current employer-provided health insurance is enough for your needs, or would like help finding a top-up or health insurance policy, you’ve come to the right place. Our friendly team at Pacific Prime Singapore have years of experience selecting the best health insurance plans for expats and their families living in the little red dot. Contact us today for impartial advice from our insurance experts, as well as a free plan comparison and price quote!

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime Singapore
Serena Fung is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, a global insurance brokerage and employee specialist serving over 1.5 million clients in 15 offices across the world. With 2+ years of experience writing about the subject, she aims to demystify the world of insurance for readers with the latest updates, guides and articles on the blog.

Serena earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. As such, she is an avid advocate of mental health and is fascinated by all things psychology (especially if it’s cognitive psychology!).

Her previous work experience includes teaching toddlers to read, writing for a travel/wellness online magazine, and then a business news blog. These combined experiences give her the skills and insights she needs to explain complex ideas in a succinct way. Being the daughter of an immigrant and a traveler herself, she is passionate about educating expats and digital nomads on travel and international health insurance.
Serena Fung