Health Insurance Questions You Just Have to Ask, Answered
Voltaire once said “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
Yet, it seems that when it comes to Health insurance, we find ourselves asking leading questions. Questions we already know the answers to. Qualifying questions. Rhetorical questions. Yes/no questions.
When instead, we should be asking the right questions.
GoBear speaks to Olivier Zeller, Pacific Prime on what are the 10 most important questions to ask, when considering a Health Insurance plan.
Q: Oftentimes expats get on their company health insurance plan and find that the limits and benefits are not at the levels they expected. Is there anything they can do?
A: The best way to address the issue of the inadequate benefits that often come with a company or group insurance plan is to avail yourself of what we call a top-up plan. This is an insurance plan that adds to an existing health insurance policy. A top-up plan can raise limits, add benefits for specific conditions or treatments, or include extra coverage for maternity, dental, etc.
Q: Do health insurance plans in Singapore only provide coverage inside Singapore?
A: With some insurers and policies this is the case. However, Pacific Prime’s policies generally provide coverage far beyond the boundaries of Singapore. The International Health Insurance plans that we specialize in provide coverage in most countries worldwide. This means that whether you are a Singapore local or an expat, you can have access to comprehensive insurance coverage even when you are abroad.
Q: So will this type of policy cover me while I’m traveling?
A: Definitely. Not only do our plans provide health insurance worldwide while you are traveling, the portability that is built into each policy allows you to take your plan with you if you move abroad for a longer period of time.
Q: Even inside the United States?
A: This is why I stated previously that our International Health Insurance plans provide coverage in most countries. Due to the tremendous cost of healthcare in the United States, most plans exclude the US. There is good news for Americans, however, in that plans with US coverage are available. Also, for people who only want to visit the US for a short time, single-trip travel insurance plans can be purchased.
Q: Is it only hospitalization that’s covered?
A: Both in-patient and out-patient treatment is covered on our plans. Some people’s company insurance plans only allow for catastrophic illness coverage and in-patient care, so obtaining a plan that includes things like check-ups and day surgery can be a good idea.
Q: Do I get to go to the medical care provider of my own choosing?
A: Another great feature of International Health Insurance plans is that you do get to choose any doctor or medical facility that you see fit. This really allows you to get the best balance of quality healthcare and value out of your plan.
Q: Can I get insurance that covers Traditional Chinese Medicine and alternative therapies?
A: Yes. There are policies available that provide coverage for TCM and other alternative therapies. Great news for the modern lifestyle that includes more holistic approaches to health.
Q: Is a referral needed before seeing a specialist?
A: While some plans do require a referral in some instances, a majority of the plans on offer do not. The focus here is on providing clients with the most freedom as possible to get the best care available in a timely fashion.
Q: When I make a claim, how long will it take to be processed?
A: For shorter trips into clinics and other medical centres, more often than not you will have to pay up front and then wait seven to ten days for reimbursement from the insurer. To keep this process streamlined, many insurers offer online claims and simply allow documents to be scanned to them. Additionally, some insurers have select providers that offer direct billing for this type of treatment. Of course, all in-patient treatment is subject to direct billing, so longer stays in the hospital will not have to be paid for out-of-pocket up front.
Q: Will I have to choose between specific care providers in a network?
A: Unlike other insurers and plans, there is no network with our International Health plans to limit your access. As you can see, without geographic restrictions, referrals, or restrictions on care providers or medical facilities, these plans put an emphasis on keeping your options open.
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