There are a few kinds of health insurance available:
O Hospital and Surgical Insurance
O Hospital Cash Benefit
O Critical Illness
O Long Term Care Insurance
O Disability Income Insurance
Hospital and Surgical Insurance is most immediate, urgent and a must plan for everyone.
Illness and accident can occur to anyone any time, anywhere. So when it is so serious that hospitalization and / or surgery is required, there will be a substantial sum of money incurred. And it is a NECESSITY to get us well and up again so that we can continue to lead our normal life, be it be continue to work, take care of family or to study.
If we buy any shield plan to cover the hospitalization needs, the premium can be paid from your own or family member's Medisave. With an additional small sum of premium, there are now a few private shield plans that covers the full hospital bills for both the government / structure and private hospital. Even if you are financially stable and cash-rich, you may not want the hospitalization to wipe out your savings for business expansion, your child's education, your holiday plan or even your retirement! It is a small sum of premium to pay to enjoy such a great assurance just in case … Touch wood, but disaster or accident always strikes when you least expect it.
There are currently two insurers that offer total coverage (ie as charged) from first dollars, NTUC Income and Prudential. You may check out their websites for the premium and coverage. Note also that even if the medical procedure / operation is covered by the insurance, pre-hospitalization deposit may still be required when admitting to hospital unless a letter of Guarantee is provided for by the insurer.
Hospital Cash Benefit is a benefit plan where the insurer will pay you regardless of the number of policies you have and the actual expenditure you incurred in hospital. It can be used to offset the lost income and personal expenses while in hospital. T pays a fixed sum of money per day, up to 365 days.
Critical Illness varies among insurers but it usually includes heart attack, cancers, stroke, kidney failure, paralysis, major organ transplant etc. It is important to all ages because we will need the money to buy essential medicine, tonics to improve our health once out of hospital. There may be a need to even employ maid to take care of our everyday livings and / or essential aids to help in our daily livings. All this cost money and we do not want to impinge financial burden to our family. Critical illness insurance is about getting ourselves well again from the insurer's payout.
Long Term Care Insurance is designed to meet the cost of care of a person who is physically impaired that he needs help from others to perform the most basic activities of daily living. The activities of daily living include washing / bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, mobility and transferring. Some insurer will start the payout if the insured can not perform any 3 of the activities. Eldershield is the long term care insurance offered by the Singapore Government from age 40.
Disability Income Insurance provides a personal income replacement if the insured is unable to work in the current job. The amount is payable monthly and it is up to a certain percentage (usually 75%) of the salary drawn. The insured has to be disabled for 3-6 months before the insurer will commence the payment of benefits to the insured till he recovers or till a certain age, say 65 years old. This insurance is important to the sole breadwinner who brings beacon to the family.