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Navigating Health Insurance: A Guide for Singaporean Seniors

by | Jun 3, 2024 | A Better Tomorrow, Insurance

As we gracefully age, taking care of our health becomes more important. And one smart way to do that is by ensuring we have the right health insurance. After all, it’s not just about staying healthy; it’s about protecting our finances and finding peace of mind. So, let’s chat about what you need to know regarding health insurance as a senior citizen in Singapore.

 

Who Should Buy Health Insurance?

For Singaporeans, basic health coverage is provided through MediShield Life, ensuring access to essential treatments in public hospitals. However, if you seek enhanced services or prefer private facilities, upgrading to an Integrated Shield Plan could be beneficial.

 

Assessing Your Needs

When choosing a health insurance plan, consider your current health status and family circumstances:

  1. Young and Healthy: Evaluate whether your existing coverage is adequate or an upgrade is necessary. Waiting until health issues arise may lead to exclusions in your policy.
  2. Family Coverage: Ensure your family has sufficient insurance against medical emergencies. Check the affordability of deductibles and co-insurance payments for long-term sustainability.
  3. Senior Citizens: Review ElderShield coverage and eligibility. If you previously opted out, Opt back into the scheme, but note the possibility of rejection due to pre-existing conditions.

 

Understanding ElderShield and CareShield Life

Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are covered under ElderShield (now CareShield Life) on specific dates based on birth year. CareShield Life offers improved protection against long-term care costs for severe disabilities.

 

Choosing Coverage Levels

Ask yourself three key questions:

  1. What basic coverage do I already have?
  2. What additional coverage do I need?
  3. What are my available options?

 

Utilizing MediSave

MediSave is a healthcare savings account for various medical expenses and insurance premiums. Please be mindful of the withdrawal limits and guidelines the Ministry of Health (MOH) outlines.

 

Seeking Assistance with MediFund

Singaporean citizens facing financial difficulties settling medical bills at approved institutions can seek assistance through the MediFund scheme. Approach medical social workers at these institutions for guidance.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

Seniors Need Suitable Insurance
Cover your hospital and surgical (medical) costs MediShield Life already covers Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, paying large hospital bills and selecting costly outpatient treatments. You could consider getting an Integrated Shield Plan if you want more coverage.
Receive a fixed amount of cash for each day you are in a hospital Hospital Cash Insurance
Receive a lump sum to help you with expenses if you are diagnosed with a major illness like cancer Critical Illness Insurance
Replace your income when you are disabled and unable to work Disability Income Insurance
Pay for the care you need if you are severely disabled Long-term Care or Severe Disability Insurance (e.g. ElderShield and ElderShield Supplements, and CareShield Life from 2020 onwards)

 

Before you leap into private health insurance as a senior, it’s wise to pause and take stock of your financial situation. Consider your retirement savings, any investments you might have, and your overall income. Assess whether you can comfortably afford the premiums, deductibles, and any out-of-pocket expenses that might come your way with private coverage. While it may offer additional benefits, ensuring that it aligns with your budget and won’t strain your finances in the long run is crucial. After all, your golden years should be stress-free and enjoyable without worrying about financial burdens. By understanding these critical aspects of health insurance, Singaporean seniors can make informed decisions to safeguard their health and financial well-being. Remember, proactive planning today ensures a healthier and more secure tomorrow.

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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