“I’m young and healthy, so I don’t need health insurance” is something you might have thought to yourself as you dodged nimbly away from approaching insurance agents.
Although this seems to make sense, it’s actually because you are young and healthy that you should buy health insurance. We’re here to give you 3 reasons why!
1. You are unlikely to have pre-existing conditions
Being younger and having a clean bill of health means that you are unlikely to have pre-existing conditions. A ‘pre-existing condition’ refers to a health condition you already have before your policy is active. If the health condition arises after your policy is active, it will not be counted as a pre-existing condition and will be covered for.
Most health insurance policies like an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) will not cover for pre-existing conditions, excluding it from your plan coverage or charging higher premiums for it.
Example A: Bought an IP without pre-existing condition
Ms A bought an IP in 2018 and was diagnosed with High Cholesterol in 2020. Her IP covers her for hospital admissions and pre- and post-hospitalisation visits related to this diagnosis.
Example B: Bought an IP with pre-existing condition
Ms B was diagnosed with High Cholesterol in January 2020 and wanted to get an IP in February 2020 to cover for future medical expenses. However, the IP insurer informs her that her High Cholesterol will be excluded from her coverage, meaning that her IP will only insure her for medical treatments NOT related to high cholesterol or any health conditions caused by her high cholesterol, such as heart attacks or strokes.
2. You pay a lower yearly premiums
If you are younger, the chances that you will need to be hospitalised are much lower. This means the probability of an insurance company having to reimburse your expenses is lower as well. Since you are considered ‘low-risk’, the amount of premiums you pay per year is substantially less compared to an older person, as the risk of having medical conditions increases with age.
For example, with a Raffles Shield A plan (Raffles Health Insurance IP):
- Ms A, 25 years old, would pay $89 per year in Private Insurance premiums
- Ms B, 41 years old, would pay $217 per year in Private Insurance premiums
In comparison, you would have spent $230 a year if you had bought a weekly cup of bubble tea that cost $4.50 #justsaying
Furthermore, unlike bubble tea, the Private Insurance premiums of an IP can potentially be paid fully by your MediSave, so you might not have to make any out-of-pocket payments.
Using the Raffles Shield A plan as an example, your yearly insurance premiums would be fully payable by MediSave all the way till you’re 60 years old!
3. You can protect your savings against unexpected medical bills
Medical expenses can take a big chunk out of your savings. These high costs come from both one-off hospitalisations and ongoing management of chronic diseases. In fact, chronic diseases themselves can cause recurrent hospitalisations because of their complications.
To illustrate this, let’s take diabetes in Singapore as an example:
- One in 10 people have diabetes in Singapore. If you are over 50 years old, that number increases to one in 5, and one in 3 if you are over 60.
- Average Hospitalisation Cost for Diabetes: $3,000 – $7,000 per admission
- Common complications of diabetes include: Strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure
- Hospitalisation Cost for Stroke: $5,000 – $15,000 per admission
- Hospitalisation Cost for Heart Attack: $20,000 – $35,000 for procedure
- Hospitalisation Cost for Kidney Failure: $5,000 per admission
- Kidney Dialysis Cost: $2,500 – $4,000 per month
If you were not covered before the onset of diabetes, it’s highly likely that all the associated conditions would also not be covered, leading to a heavy lifetime cost burden.
By shielding yourself early before the onset of chronic conditions, these associated costs can be largely alleviated by your health insurance plan. The money you save can be used for other life plans with your loved ones instead.
Can I delay purchasing an IP for a few years to save on premiums since I'm still young and healthy?
If you’re worried that insurance premiums will take a toll on your yearly expenses, or are considering waiting for a few more years just to save on premium payments, let’s look at how much you will actually save.
Let’s assume that you’re 21 years old now and wait till you’re 40 years old to get an IP. Using Raffles Shield A plan as a guide:
|Age||Private Insurance Premiums|
21 - 25
26 - 30
31 - 35
36 - 40
Over 20 years, you would have saved $2080. However, the total bill for hospitalisation at a Government Restructured Hospital (GRH) A-class ward amounts to an average of $2210 to $7459, and would probably have risen substantially over 20 years due to rising medical costs.
That’s 20 years of savings wiped out at once, not counting the further expenses of follow-up appointments and medical treatments.
Choose a suitable plan that fits your budget and healthcare needs
In summary, getting a medical insurance plan as young adults or buying one for your child can potentially provide full insurance coverage and help in long-term savings. One thing important to remember in insurance is that if you buy it when you need it, it’s already too late.
So next time, maybe stop and have a listen to those agents and read up on options that are available to you. Choose a plan that you can stick to in the long-run without straining your resources.
With affordable premiums and options available to cater to your budget and healthcare needs, click here to learn more about Raffles Shield, the Integrated Shield plan that Raffles Health Insurance has to offer.