- What is medical insurance?
- Why is it important?
- When should I get medical insurance?
- What are the types of medical insurance available?
- What should I look out for when picking a medical insurance policy?
- What are the costs involved?
- How do I choose what medical insurance to buy?
- Additional things to look out for
- Additional resources
What should I look out for when picking a medical insurance policy?
You should be aware of what will be covered under the policy, the various terms and conditions, as well as the cost of the insurance cover. Here are a couple of important things to watch out for:
These are medical conditions that are not covered by your policy. It is always best to look at the policy contract for the full list of exclusions and the specifics of each exclusion. Some common exclusions include:
- Pre-existing conditions
These are conditions and illnesses already experienced by you before applying for the policy. Most insurance companies will not cover these conditions and illnesses.
- Specified illnesses
These are certain illnesses (e.g. tumours and gastritis) that you will not be covered for if they occur or are treated during the early part of your policy. The specific period depends on your policy.
- Qualifying/waiting period
You generally cannot make a claim within a specific time frame (e.g., 3 months) when you first get your policy. The length of time depends on your policy.
This refers to the maximum amounts that you will be able to claim from the insurance company.
A lifetime limit refers to the overall limit covered by your policy during your lifetime. Once your lifetime limit is exhausted, any further medical costs will no longer be covered.
Annual limits, on the other hand, refer to the amount that you can claim in one policy year. You would have to cover any costs that exceed your annual limit from your own pocket. Unlike the lifetime limit, the amount you claim in one year does not affect the following year’s limit.
Renewability of your policy
There are insurance policies with guaranteed renewals and non-guaranteed renewals. For policies with non-guaranteed renewals, the insurance company can deny the renewal of your policy (the insurance company will make this decision based on your medical history and claims record). Depending on your medical history at the time, it may then be difficult for you to purchase a new policy as you would already have a pre-existing condition.
Even for policies with guaranteed renewals, the insurance company may decide to renew your policy with a higher premium. However, any increase in your premium or a decision to not renew your policy will require an explanation from the insurance company.