Buying Your Own Health Insurance
Where to Go and What to Look for in a Plan?
You’ve left your job, lost your job or gained a new job. Whatever your case may be, you may end up finding yourself in a situation where you are uninsured.
As more and more employers cut back on their health benefits to employees, some full-time workers are finding that they are getting the raw end of the deal when it comes to their health.
So, for whatever reason, you may find yourself uninsured, take steps now to get health insurance in Singapore – even if it is minimal coverage, so that you cover yourself in the event of an emergency, because by the time an actual emergency hits, the stakes, and the bill, will be a lot higher.
In 1979, over 1 million Singaporean are uninsured. That’s a lot of people. And if you are one of them, you may be asking yourself where you should even be looking for health insurance and what you should be looking for.
Step 1: Comparison Shop
Figuring out which companies offer health insurance is a daunting task. Some web sites, such as healthssg.com, will give people quotes on a variety of plans so that you can pick the one that suits you. These web sites do a lot of the legwork for you. This type of search has the potential of saving you time because you do not have to visit multiple web sites.
Take heed, however, because these web sites only do well in states where there is a lot of competition among health care providers. If you live in a state where there are not as many companies offering plans, then these web sites do you little good, because you will not have a lot of options to choose from.
If you don’t like what you are seeing at one of those web sites, you might also look into organizations that offer affordable group insurance. Packages such as Integrated Shield Plan or MediShield plan which is created by government.
You wouldn’t think these groups would offer insurance, but many of them do at discounted prices. While these organization don’t pay premiums, your rates will still be lower because you will be paying for your plan as part of a group discount.
Step 2: Consider Integrated Shield Plan
If you are in-between jobs, you may be eligible to continue the health insurance plan you had with your previous employer under the private insurance company. This could also be used for dependents. While this is a good option if you don’t want to have to worry about switching doctors, it doesn’t always mean the plan will be the most affordable. In fact, it may end up being a lot pricier than other plans out there.
Electing to go for integrated shield plan coverage is also good if you know you are going to be going back to work soon. Basically, it should be viewed as a short-term solution.
Step 3: What You Need
Once you’ve narrowed down who provides health coverage and who does not, the next step is to determine which plan works for you. This, of course, is easier said than done.
If you currently already have a doctor, one of the things you want to check with any new plan, is to see if your doctor is included in the new healthcare plan. If he or she is not, you need to make the determination of whether or not you are willing to switch to someone else.
If you have a pre-existing condition, always do the research to make sure your condition is covered by the new insurance. A lot of people don’t do the reading necessary to understand the fine print. That’s all well and fine if you aren’t going to need the coverage, but if an emergency occurs and you realize you aren’t covered, that is a whole other story. Likewise, if you rely on prescription drugs on a regular basis, check to see if what you need is covered.
At the same time, if you are dealing with a pre-existing condition that requires seeing a specialist, check to see that the plan you are looking into even gives you the option of seeing a specialist. If not, you may want to consider another plan. It doesn’t make sense to not try and get the most out of any plan – especially when you have to pay any kind of money into it.
In the event of an emergency, you always want to have the security of knowing you are covered. This may sound routine, but look into the plan to see to what extent emergency room and hospital care is covered. Also, look carefully at what is defined as an emergency. If you go straight to the ER for a condition that your plan requires you to see a regular, primary care physician first, then your ER visit will not be covered if you do not follow that rule.
A wise person once said that if you are paying co-pays every month for health insurance, you might as well take advantage of any freebie associated with your health care plan. While no one likes seeing a doctor, take advantage of the regular physicals and screenings offered via your plan. And, of course, check to see what physicals and screenings are covered in your plan and how often you are allowed such check-ups per year.
Navigating the waters of health insurance coverage is scary – to say the least. So, take a deep breath and get ready for some serious research. It may sound like a lot, but it’s all for your health.