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Health insurance and top-up: what you need to know

07 Mar 2018

Health insurance, top-up, annual deductible, co-pay… all this vocabulary can be hard to understand! If you have a local work contract, you will benefit from a “basic” health insurance given by your employer. Indeed, the health insurance plans provided by your company can vary.

A good comprehension of your contract will allow you to decide if you need to top-up or not. However, you ask yourself how to top-up and for how much? We give you a few advices in order to have a better understanding of the subject.

1) Do you need to top-up? Understand your insurance contract to decide

If you are no expert in health insurance or have no idea about the prices of healthcare in Singapore, there a few key points you need to understand in order to know  if you are correctly covered.

Type of coverages, repatriation, coverage zone… it is not always easy to understand your insurance contract! In order to help you in this process, we wrote an article to answer all of your questions.

The health insurance coverage provided by your company can take different forms:

Take into account that there are no legal obligations in terms of health insurance in Singapore. Every company is free to adopt the strategy it wants.

The health insurance plans offered by companies usually covers inpatient. However, this is often not well covered as it is generally limited per disability. This means that the reimbursement of each disability is limited to a fixed amount. In Singapore, the limit usually ranges between $10,000 and $25,000.

However, the cost of a hospitalisation in Singapore can get quite expensive. For example, a surgery without complications at Raffles Medical, will cost approximately $21,000. Without any top-up, the difference between your limit by disability and the price of the operation would be yours to pay.

Why it is important to top-up your employee health insurance

2) How to top-up your employee health insurance?

To avoid any risks in case of illness or surgery, you must make sure you are correctly covered. Depending on the coverage proposed by your company, it can be advised to top-up your health insurance. However, before taking any decision, you need to closely identify your needs:


  1. Check if your family is covered by your employer: some companies also cover your spouse and your children with its health insurance plan. Other companies give you the possibility to add them to your plan at your own expenses. However, the coverages of theses plans can be quite limited and we recommend that you check if it is not more advantageous to take a separate cover.
  2. Check your inpatient limit: you are often covered by your employee health insurance with a limit per disability. In that case, we advise you to opt for a top-up with an annual limit of S$250,000 based on a “as charged up to a limit of”. This means that you are 100% covered for inpatient up to the limit of S$250,000 of accumulated expenses per year.
  3. Check your outpatient limit: There are different ways to secure yourself when it comes to outpatient coverages. Some companies do not cover this part but only give “flexibenefit”. The amount is fix and applies for certain types of consultations.
    It can also cover other expenses like optical or dental care but also for lifestyle expenses. Each company chooses how the flexibenefit can be used for, by its employees. This amount can be quite interesting as you can use it for any family member. However, you must measure the amount versus the cost of outpatient in Singapore.
  4. Check the area of coverage for your health insurance: the area of coverage for health insurance provided by your employer is often limited to Singapore. It sometimes doesn’t even include repatriation or coverages in case of emergency abroad. We strongly advise you to take a top-up that takes into account repatriation and emergencies abroad to be correctly covered when you travel out of Singapore. You can also choose to take an insurance with an international coverage that would cover you abroad for any types of care.


3) How to top-up your health insurance?

UEX offers two options to top-up your health insurance:

With a local coverage , you will also have the possibility to cover yourself and your family. Furthermore, inpatient is covered with a limit between S$250,000 and S$3,000,000 per year, according to the coverage you choose. Outpatient is covered under certain circumstances. This type of coverage at UEX takes into account repatriation and emergencies abroad (see more).

With an international coverage, you are covered abroad and in Singapore for emergency, outpatient and inpatient. This gives you access to healthcare in any hospital or from any doctor in the chosen coverage zone ( world except USA, only Asia, etc…).

However, it is possible to reduce the cost by optimizing the options of your policy. In order to do so, you have two options available at UEX:

You can opt for health insurance with an annual deductible. It will prevent you from paying an amount that is already taken into account by your health insurance provided by your company. In that case, you will only top-up the amount that exceed the coverage of your employee health insurance. This will give you the possibility to optimize the cost of your top-up. To know more about the annual deductible, check out our article.

To conclude, the annual deductible is an amount of money that will be paid by your health insurance provided by your company. Your top-up insurance will pay the rest of the expenses for the hospitalisation. By including an annual deductible in your health insurance, the price of your top-up will drastically shrink.

If your health insurance provided by your employee includes inpatient care, the limit is usually very low. If you choose a top-up with a co-pay option, you can increase your coverage and combine the two health insurance contracts. To know more, feel free to check-out our article on the subject.

Just like the annual deductible, if you add co-pay to your contract, the price of your top-up will drastically drop.

You can also combine a top-up that contains co-pay and annual deductible. For example, you have the possibility to have a copay option of 20% with an annual deductible.  This options is available at UEX.


Check out our Health Guide to find all information about health insurance and top-ups at a glance.


To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand how your health insurance plans cover the healthcare costs, you can approach UEX’s happiness team by email or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

With UEX, you can obtain a quote for a health insurance contract customized to your needs and requirements – all in less than a minute!

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