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Expatriates in Singapore: the Importance of Individual Health Insurance

08 Nov 2019


Whether or not you have health coverage or are covered by your employer’s insurance, having individual health insurance is essential to ensure the continuity of your protection. In addition, what happens if your personal medical and/or professional situation changes? 

Let’s discover the different cases you may encounter together to help you understand better why having individual health coverage in Singapore is essential! 


Case study 1: 


“I am covered by my employer and I don’t see the point of taking out individual insurance”


Let’s take this first scenario: you are covered by your employer’s health insurance and have no particular health problems

In this situation, it is legitimate to believe that individual health coverage is not very useful. But, be careful, this is not always the case! Indeed, your employer’s insurance may not be complete and the reimbursement limits in the event of hospitalisation, for example, may not be sufficient.

Let’s take a simple and fairly common example: Sofia takes a bike ride and breaks her arm when she falls. Once in the hospital, she is told that she must be hospitalised to have braces inserted. The total cost of her operation and hospitalisation in a private hospital is $80,000. The maximum reimbursement limit for her employer’s insurance is $20,000. Sofia will therefore have to pay the remaining $60,000 herself.

Note that in general, employer insurance reimbursement limits vary between 10,000 and $25,000 per hospitalisation.    

In addition, you will not be able to top up your existing insurance with complementary health insurance at the time of the accident, as this will be considered a pre-existing condition and will therefore not be covered

So remember to check your employer coverage, what you are covered for and the reimbursement limits. If your company’s health insurance is not enough, don’t wait until something serious happens to you (an accident or illness) before you think about taking out individual coverage!  

If you do, your newly reported accident or illness will be considered pre-existing conditions. It will likely not be covered by the insurer with whom you want to underwrite. 


Case study 2:  


“I have good health coverage with my employer but for personal reasons I lose or change my job?”


In this case, you already have very good coverage with your employer

However, even if you have good job stability, your employment situation may change, for example, in the event of a serious illness, or if you leave your job and are between two jobs. In this specific case, it is important to take out individual health insurance to ensure the continuity of your coverage, regardless of what your company offers you. 

Let’s take a concrete example: James works for a company that offers him good health coverage, and therefore does not subscribe to personal insurance. Unfortunately, after medical examinations, he was diagnosed with cancer and lost his job. As a result, he also loses his employer’s health coverage. What can he do about it? 

As he did not subscribe to an individual health insurance before being diagnosed, when applying for an individual coverage he will have to complete a health declaration and declare his pre-existing conditions. These will be excluded from the insurance policy and will therefore not be covered

Thus, even if the coverage offered by your employer is good and meets your needs, it is important to consider taking out individual health insurance, which is a real safety net since the stability of your job is not 100% guaranteed.

What solutions do you have if you find yourself in this situation? 

We recommend that you plan ahead by purchasing individual insurance before a condition occurs. 

However, if this is not the case and you lose your employer coverage, you can request a “group outing”. The “group outing” will allow you to continue to be covered with company insurance but on an individual basis. However, it should be noted that few companies offer this option in their coverage and that if so, it will be very expensive for you. 


Case study 3: 


“I took out individual health insurance, I forgot to renew it and I had a health problem in the meantime”


In this case, whether or not you have employer’s insurance, you have decided to take out individual health insurance. That is a very good thing! However, you didn’t think to renew it in time.  A few days after the end of your contract, a health problem occurs. 

Let’s take a more concrete example: Camille did not renew her insurance policy on time. Unfortunately happens to have a heart attack. The problem is that without the renewal of her coverage, her insurer cannot issue her a letter of guarantee for his hospitalisation. It will therefore have to advance the costs. In addition, when renewing her insurance policy, this accident will be considered a pre-existing condition. She must declare it and that can be excluded from her contract. 


What can you do to avoid the above delicate situations?


With UEX you can choose a customisable health coverage that best suits your needs. UEX offers a wide range of AXA and APRIL products with local and international plans

To find out more, feel free to consult our two online platforms AXA and APRIL or contact our advisors Marion or Alizée


If your employer’s health insurance is not sufficient, you can subscribe to complementary health coverage with UEX. 

To better understand how to complete your employer health insurance and the cost, read our article on the subject! 


A pre-existing condition is a medical condition and/or illness that you suffer from when you purchase a new insurance policy or when you renew it.

You will need to make a statement of these pre-existing conditions when you purchase your insurance contract. These may be excluded from your insurance contract, or covered within certain limits. 

This is really on a case-by-case basis and depends on the insurer. The only way to find out the insurer’s terms and conditions for taking charge of your medical history is to make a health declaration. With UEX, you can do it directly online by clicking on “buy coverage”. Don’t worry, it doesn’t commit you to anything and you don’t have to sign the contract!

If you want to know more about the conditions and how to report them, read our article on the subject



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  for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

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

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