Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by Parentology
Singapore is a great place but if there is one problem that everyone can agree on, it’s that it is not cheap to get sick here. There have been surveys done that show over 40% of residents in Singapore are worried about affording proper healthcare and this number has been steadily rising. Fortunately, healthcare in Singapore is actually quite affordable if you know how to use the tools and programs at your disposal.
Medisave is a great program that can help you pay your medical bills, but it can also be utilized for health insurance policies, to ensure you are getting the healthcare you need. And the healthcare system has numerous tiers of protection, which makes sure no citizen will be denied healthcare because they are unable to pay for it.
There are four different tiers that you can access. The first tier is the most basic but due to government subsidies, every single citizen will be able to access it. The second tier is Medisave, which is a medical savings account where individual Singaporeans are able to pay for medical treatment without worrying about their finances. The third tier is MediShield, which is insurance for serious or intensive medical care and the last tier is called Medifund. This is a medical endowment fund created by the government to provide a safety net for lower income citizens.
Besides the government provided healthcare system, you may want to consider some third party programs to further improve your safety net if the unexpected were to happen. One such program you may want to consider is the CPF or Central Provident Fund. This is a savings fund that you will be able to use for a number of things, including treatments and medical bills.
So, how can you get the most out of your healthcare insurance? Here are three pointers that you can use, so you can take advantage of the health programs at your disposal effectively:
Finding a Good MediShield Hospitalisation Plan
The first thing that you will want to consider is the various Integrated Shield Plans (that complements the MediShield) available. MediShield is crucial to have because it is designed to help pay for expensive hospitalization bills in C class or B2 class wards. This offers a safeguard that will protect your finances, so you won’t have to worry about losing everything because an accident occurred or because you or a family member has fallen ill, while ensuring you can afford treatment.
The premiums for the various plans will range from $50 to over $1000 a year depending on the kind of coverage you opt for. These premiums also get more expensive as you get older. You would also have to pay higher premiums if you would like to be treated at a private hospital or want to stay at a better ward. You can get these benefits by integrating policies offered by third party insurance providers. It is also important to consider the fact that the more expensive policies will have other benefits to make the price a bit more sensible for your wallet.
To make these additional insurance plans more affordable, you can use Medisave to pay the premiums. This means you will not have to pay out of pocket for better coverage. However, when you are comparing the prices of the various plans, make sure to take note of the benefits they offer and not just the cost. You will want to find a policy that fits your needs perfectly, rather than something that is as affordable as possible or even as expensive as possible assuming that it includes everything because it may not.
Some of the benefits you will want to take note of are life-time coverage, coverage for pre-existing conditions, or even free insurance for children. Depending on your needs and what you want, make sure to look at the benefits offered and weigh them carefully.
Expand Your Coverage
There is more to healthcare insurance than just medical coverage. When you are shopping for a good policy for yourself or even for your family, it is important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Rather than just focusing on health, you may want to consider something such as an income protection insurance plan. These policies are a great way to add additional protection once you are recovering.
Health insurance will take care of you when you are sick or injured but you may still need a helping hand once you are discharged and recovering. These policies will provide payouts if you are unable to work because you are recovering, disabled, or sick. Also, if you run out of cash, you can still use your Medifund as a fall back plan.
Utilizing Medisave Effectively
Medisave is a great way to cover some of your medical costs and it can go a long way in reducing much of your out of pocket expenses. It can be used to cover outpatient treatments for certain chronic diseases, health screenings, and it can even be used to pay for your MediShield premiums.
However, just because you can use Medisave for various things, it is important to remember that it does not have unlimited funds. If you use it for everything, it may not have enough money to help you when you need it. So, even though it can be wise to use it to help with other things, you need to be careful and plan accordingly.
You can also earn 4% interest with the funds in your Medisave account, so it pays to keep it topped up with money. It is also important to consider the Medisave Minimum Sum, which is the maintaining balance of your account and even if you have the minimum sum, it may not be enough to provide coverage for your entire life. For this reason, you need to make sure that you keep enough reserve money in your Medisave account to cover any unexpected health crisis in the future.
On the surface, healthcare can look impossibly expensive but if you take advantage of the numerous systems in place, it can suddenly become quite affordable. Just make sure to do your research and find policies that suit your needs and budget.
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