Here’s where employee insurance benefits may fall short

Chances are your employee insurance benefits won’t provide enough coverage for you and your family. Here our friends from Pacific Prime Singapore tell us what you need to know about most group insurance plans and why it’s important to consider supplemental insurance as an expat living and working here in Singapore.

Group insurance vs individual insurance

Provided by companies and organizations, group insurance provides access to quality health care. Although not a requirement in Singapore, many employers provide health insurance benefits to their employees. This is great news as medical treatment in Singapore can be quite expensive. aHealth insurance premiums are among the highest in the region. This is why basic insurance packages are an added incentive for talented candidates.

So, what differentiates group insurance from individual or family health insurance?

Group insurance policies generally cover pre-existing conditions. Even so, you cannot expect them to cover all your needs. In fact, the group insurance plans offered by the employer are not as comprehensive as one might think. Several group insurance the plans provide only a minimum level of insurance benefits for employees.

The problem of group insurance

Businesses need to manage their costs wisely, and group insurance can be a significant expense. Place restrictions on health insurance benefits for most employees can help make it more affordable.

When it comes to employee insurance benefits, some of the most common cost control measures include:

#1 Restricted Network of Healthcare Providers

A common way to reduce costs is to limit coverage to a pre-selected network of providers. This way, policyholders have limited access to expensive medical facilities in the region – of which Singapore is replete.

#2 Lower limits and coverage

It may seem like your group health insurance plan covers everything you can think of. But how much it covers is another story. If your policy has low maximum benefits, any costs above those limits will likely have to be paid out of pocket.

#3 Excluded treatments

In some cases, group health insurance plans may remove all benefits for certain treatments. This is usually based on the demographics of the group and the plan’s historical usage.

#4 Gaps in group insurance schemes in Singapore

Having helped many corporate clients in Singapore with their group health insurance solutions, Pacific Prime has noticed several areas where group insurance plans leave gaps. For example, where:

  • insurance cover only applies in Singapore;
  • there is no portability option;
  • there are no dental, maternity or wellness benefits; and
  • there is no vaccination coverage.

#5 Critical Illness Exclusions

Exclusions on pre-existing conditions are also common with group insurance plans in Singapore, removing the one thing that often sets these plans apart. These are just a few of the reasons that may lead you to realize that your existing health insurance coverage just isn’t enough – and supplemental insurance may be the answer.

supplementary insurance can compensate for the group insurance benefits you are missing

How Supplemental Insurance Can Help

Once you’ve decided your benefits don’t provide the level of protection you need, it’s time to consider your options. The good news is that you may not have to purchase a whole new health insurance policy when supplemental insurance options are available.

What is supplementary insurance?

Supplemental insurance is a tailored insurance solution that takes into account your existing insurance benefits and adds where your plan’s benefits are lacking. For example, you could buy supplemental insurance to add more coverage so you don’t have to pay a processing fee if you go over the maximum annual limit of your group insurance plan.

Likewise, you can add insurance benefits for conditions that aren’t covered, or additional features like dental, vision, and maternity insurance.

The advantages of supplementary insurance for expatriates

Supplemental insurance is ideal for anyone who feels that their existing health insurance benefits may not be enough to protect them. However, as an expat, supplemental insurance can be particularly attractive, as you don’t have access to public healthcare options like Singaporeans. It is also important to consider whether you want cover outside of Singapore, as most group insurance plans do not offer this.

If you purchase a comprehensive international health insurance plan, you can cover your medical expenses in Singapore and around the world with one plan.

That said, in some cases, additional insurance may suffice. The only way to know for sure is to carefully review your options with a reputable insurance broker like Pacific Prime Singapore. Contact us for unbiased advice and a free plan comparison today.

Written in collaboration with
Pacific Prime Singapore
18 Cross Street, China Square Central, #14-05
6346 3781 | pacificprime.sg


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Amy Greenbourg

Originally from Los Angeles, Amy is passionate about Netflix, sipping rosé at rooftop bars, traveling and all things health and wellness. She enjoys learning about different health topics through her writing, especially critical health issues, food allergies, alternative therapies, and pregnancy and postpartum issues.