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What are health insurance premiums?
For anyone new to the world of health insurance, premiums are basically the amount of money you pay for an insurance policy. Unlike buying other types of products, there are a few features of health insurance premiums you should keep in mind:
- Premiums can increase each year after you renew your policy.
- Depending on your plan, you can pay for your premium on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
- If you skip premium payments, your insurer will eventually drop your healthcare coverage.
Now that you know exactly what health insurance premiums are, let’s go through the main factors influencing them.
What are the factors influencing my health insurance premium?
Health insurance premiums are not fixed. They can vary depending on who the insured party is. Hence, many of the following six factors influencing your health insurance premium will be based on your personal details.
1. The scope of coverage
The range of benefits that the policy provides will directly influence its premium. For instance, policies that offer additional benefits for specific surgeries will typically have higher premiums, when compared to plans that offer the bare minimum inpatient coverage.
2. The depth of coverage
Plans with higher benefits ceilings tend to have higher premiums. If a plan has a high claim limit, then its premium may be higher. This is because, with higher claim limits, your insurer is prepared to pay for more claims under a given period of time.
3. Your age
The older you are, the higher the premium will be. This is because insurers will factor in the increased health risks that come with older age when calculating premiums. Some plans even deny coverage after you’ve reached a certain age. So make sure that when shopping for expat health insurance in Singapore, you choose a plan that has guaranteed renewability so that you won’t lose coverage when you grow older.
4. Your claims history
If you have a history of making expensive medical claims, it may be indicative of your medical spending habits or health risks. A poor claims history may lead insurers to increase premiums.
5. Your health
Your health is also an important factor when calculating health insurance premiums. If you’ve suffered or currently suffer from a chronic illness, it could cause your premium to increase. However, this doesn’t mean that you should hide your past and current illnesses from your insurer. Doing so can lead the insurer to deny your claims or even cease providing medical coverage for you entirely.
6. Your personal information
Finally, things like your family’s medical history, your drinking habits, or whether you smoke can influence premiums. If you’ve got a prevalent disease in your family’s medical history and your lifestyle is relatively unhealthy, the insurer may make your plan’s premium more expensive.
How can I lower my health insurance premium?
Here are five useful tips that can help lower your premium:
1. Review your current plan
Choosing a plan with a narrower scope and depth of coverage can help lower premiums. Changing from a plan that provides excessive coverage benefits to a cheaper plan that provides the right sets of benefits for your medical needs can help you save a lot of money.
2. Adjust your add ons
Add ons, like maternity insurance and dental benefits, can significantly increase your premiums. By choosing to only keep add ons that you really need, you can lower your insurance premium.
3. Give up unhealthy habits
Stopping unhealthy habits like smoking will not immediately reduce your health insurance premium. This is because a history of smoking can still be seen as a health risk. However, after not smoking for a few years, you can potentially start to see your health insurance premium decrease, or at least increase at a slower rate than usual.
Deductibles are the amount of money you need to pay during each hospital visit before the insurer will start covering your medical bills. Generally, the higher the deductibles, the lower the premiums.
5. Compare health insurance plans
Finally, doing a comprehensive comparison of all the plans available will help you find the health insurance plan that best suits your medical needs at the most competitive price. The bad news is, doing a comprehensive comparison can be difficult. It involves comparing all the fine details of hundreds of plans, going through exclusion conditions, benefits offered, and much more.
Luckily, you can let an expert do plan comparisons for you with no additional cost in Singapore. With the help of health insurance brokers like Pacific Prime, an expert in providing health insurance plans for expat families, you’ll be able to find the best plan for you in Singapore without having to do any of the time-consuming research.