Family Travel Insurance Policy – Before spending your hard earned money, it’s common practice to do some homework. If you’re planning to try this new Korean BBQ restaurant in town, you’ll likely be looking for reviews online. Also, if you are looking for the best TV to stream your favorite movies, you can watch review videos online to make an informed choice.
However, many people forget the importance of researching their health insurance. A survey of millennials in Singapore found that while 68 percent of respondents planned to purchase insurance policies, only 44 percent felt they were knowledgeable about the insurance market. Often, individuals are unsure about what they are buying and what their insurance plans cover. They mainly rely on word of mouth or recommendations from insurance companies.
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If you are not familiar with health insurance, there is no need to worry. Everyone starts somewhere and we’re here to help. Most importantly, be informed and do your research before buying an insurance plan! This way, you can be sure of what you are buying and the insurance coverage you deserve.
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In this first installment of Money Matters, a three-part series on basic financial literacy, we’ll walk you through the basics of insurance in Singapore and offer guidance on choosing the best plan for your needs.
Insurance coverage is like buying an umbrella. Just as you buy it to protect yourself from the rain, you buy insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events like accidents or illness.
When shopping for an umbrella, you are looking for an umbrella that is large enough to protect you from wind and rain. Also, when buying insurance, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of coverage. There’s no point in spending an exorbitant amount of money on a large umbrella that doesn’t suit your needs.
Just like holding an umbrella won’t protect you from getting wet in the rain, insurance won’t prevent accidents or mishaps. Instead, insurance can provide financial security and peace of mind for you and your loved ones when the unexpected happens.
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Medical insurance helps cover expensive medical expenses. Without medical insurance, you will have to make payments that can put a lot of strain on your finances.
The good thing is that since 2015, all Singaporeans have basic medical insurance in the form of MediShield Life. The scheme provides Singapore citizens and permanent residents with lifetime protection against high hospital bills and out-patient charges for life. Regardless of your age or health, you will always be covered for life.
MediShield Life is designed to cover subsidized bills and subsidized outpatient treatment/day surgery incurred in B2/C category wards in government hospitals. If you choose to go to class A/B1 or private hospitals, MediShield Life will cover a small portion of your bill.
Use the MediSave and MediShield Life claim calculator to estimate how much you can claim from MediShield Life and get back from MediSave for your medical care.
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Did you know that MediShield Life premiums can be paid with savings from your MediSave account?
An insurance premium is a payment you make to an insurance company to keep your insurance coverage active. Think of it as a subscription fee that helps protect you financially if something bad happens.
Government subsidies are also available for people who need help with their MediShield Life premiums. MediSave add-ons are also available as part of the Merdeka and Pioneer generation packages.
Integrated Shield Plan (IP) is an optional health insurance offered by private insurers in Singapore. These plans provide additional benefits in addition to MediShield Life, such as higher coverage for stays in private hospitals or B1/A category wards in public hospitals.
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However, this extra cover comes at a price – you’ll have to pay a higher premium using MediSave savings or cash. These premiums increase with age, so be sure to consider this before purchasing an Integrated Shield plan.
Many Singaporeans are not fully aware of their insurance coverage, even though about 69 percent of them have an IP.
Based on historical data, subsidized treatment in government hospitals (B2/C wards) accounts for two-thirds of all Singaporean admissions. For these patients, MediShield Life would have provided sufficient cover for high hospital bills and may not need the additional cover provided by IP.
So, carefully consider whether you need an IP for your health care needs, as the extra premiums can be expensive!
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Life insurance provides a lump sum if your ability to earn regular income is affected. This can be due to reasons such as disability or death.
If you have dependents, such as children or elderly parents, life insurance can take care of their financial needs in your absence.
Even if you are single, life insurance is still worth considering. This is because sudden tragedy can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, health or family status.
Think of term insurance as a type of annuity subscription plan. Your subscription is valid only for a fixed period and you pay a fixed amount to enjoy the insurance cover. Term life insurance is generally only sold to people under the age of 75.
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One advantage of term plans is their affordability. This allows you to enjoy a higher level of coverage at a lower premium. Another thing to consider is that premiums on term life insurance generally do not increase over time. This makes it easy to plan your budget accordingly.
Unlike term insurance, which only covers a specific period, whole life insurance provides coverage for the entire life of the insured. Even if you live to age 99, your whole life insurance will cover you until you die.
Although whole life insurance is more expensive than term insurance, it offers a “cash value” component that grows over time at a fixed interest rate set by the insurance company.
The cash value increases the longer the policy is held. If necessary, it can be transferred to an insurance company and you will receive a lump sum payment that you can use for major expenses such as retirement or traveling around the world.
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Buying whole life insurance at an early age can help you save money in the long run because the premiums are cheaper. However, if you surrender your policies early, the cost may be less than the premiums you paid for overtime.
When transferring a life insurance policy, be sure to consider factors such as long-term ability to pay premiums, dependents, and insurance coverage.
Whole life insurance is an expensive insurance product and requires a long-term financial commitment. Always be sure to read the terms and conditions, including the return policy, before making a purchase.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Singapore, accounting for 26.4 percent of deaths in 2021. Critical illness insurance can be helpful in providing financial support during such difficult times. It pays a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer or heart attack. Some policies also allow multiple claims, which can be useful when dealing with more than one critical illness at the same time.
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Why sign up for critical illness insurance when you already have a hospital plan to cover your medical expenses? Unlike medical insurance, which only covers the bill, critical illness provides a lump sum payment that gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want with it. You can use it to pay your care expenses or even tick things off your bucket list.
Critical illness is generally considered a “good option” after medical insurance due to relatively high premiums. Premiums are calculated based on the ‘sum assured’, which is the lump sum payment you receive in case of critical illness. If you want a higher sum assured, you will have to pay a higher annual premium.
From dengue fever to sports injuries, unexpected accidents can happen at any time. Personal accident insurance pays a lump sum if you are injured or disabled as a result of an accident. It can be used to cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses and loss of income due to being unable to work.
Accident insurance has a lower premium compared to life and critical illness insurance. However, it is important to note that you can file a claim only in the event of an accident.
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A low personal accident cover plan may suit your needs if you have a desk job and live a low-risk lifestyle, such as not riding a motorcycle. This is because the chance of an accident is naturally less in such cases.
Even people who are considered to be in good health can have disabilities. This can result in significant financial costs due to higher medical costs and potential loss of income.
Disability insurance can provide a safety net to cover these costs and provide financial support during recovery.
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