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Medical Insurance – Why Indians Need It!

Ashvin Das | April 20, 2014

Financial Planning  

Disclaimer by Author:

I am a consultant at one of the leading insurance companies in Singapore that deals with retirement planning, medical insurance and income replacement. A regulation of our advisor code is that we are not allowed to dispense “advice” in its absolute form. However, we ARE allowed to give an opinion within our personal capacity. The following article articulates my opinions and does not represent the organization that I work for in any way.

This is the first in a series of articles I intend to write to educate readers of Little India Directory around topics such as income protection, coverage for dreaded diseases, disability and death, as well as areas such as retirement planning and children’s education. If you want me to cover any particular area within insurance and financial planning, please leave me a comment or get in touch with me.

Heart Disease Risk Amongst Indians

A quick skim of the MOH Top 10 Conditions of Hospitalisation Statistics would alert you to the fact that heart disease is a leading cause of death in Singapore – so much so that it occupies TWO spots on the top 10 list, with ischaemic (reduced blood supply) heart disease at number 3 and other heart diseases at number 6. What you may not be aware of is that a 2003 study showed that Indians were THREE times more likely to suffer a heart attack than the Chinese and in 2007, over 13% of patients admitted for heart attacks were Indian despite us only being 7% of the Singapore population. These statistics clearly show that Indians are one of the leading races to be affected with heart problems. Why is this so?

It all boils down to “diet” in my opinion. An Indian diet does us no favours and the saying, “You are what you eat” easily applies in our case – with many of us Indians guilty of practicing unhealthy eating habits.

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The Importance of Medical Insurance

There are many that view medical and life insurance as a scam and a drain on their monetary resources. However, in my line of work – I have seen medical bills from private hospitals that have surpassed $100,000 in Singapore. The biggest worry beyond the well-being of their loved one for any family upon a hospitalization is about paying the bills. Being medically insured is extremely important because questions such as “How will we cover the bills? Is everything 100% covered? Can I get an A1 ward?” are not something your family need concern themselves with, and you will be able to recover with the best medical care possible.

How does medical insurance help you deal with heart problems?

So how does life and medical insurance help you deal with heart problems? A hospital admission due to heart problems, as well as any pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, will be paid for by medical insurance on a reimbursement basis, which is to say the insurance company pays you back AFTER you have incurred the bill via medisave or your personal funds. You should be aware that if you are found to have a history of high blood pressure, or pre-existing heart related problems at the point of medical insurance application – your agent and the insurance company will inform you of any exclusions you are subjected to, including on heart related problems and heart attacks.

Should you take up medical insurance if there are exclusions?

Should you take up a medical insurance even if there are exclusions? My honest opinion – YES! – because a medical insurance taken up from the external insurance providers also covers other dreaded diseases such as cancer, kidney failure etc. if there are no exclusions for them.

I hope this article was helpful, and I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding medical insurance policies and how they can help you. Leave a comment below or get in touch with me.

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Ashvin Das

Ashvin Das has 5 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a leading insurance agent in one of the top insurance companies in Singapore. Backed by experience and armed with a degree in economics and finance, Ashvin is qualified to advise you on your insurance and financial needs. Other articles by this author

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