Does your employer cover supplementary health needs?
If so, breathe a sigh of relief but don’t get complacent. While dental, vision, critical illness and long-term care are the first four on the ‘supplementary’ list, they aren’t the only additional health scenarios you need to consider.
Are you thinking about having a baby, do you travel internationally, or would you like the peace of mind that comes with having comprehensive coverage for your children, spouse or elderly parents?
If so, it’s time to consider supplementary health insurance.
1.You’re thinking about having a child
Maternity cover can be limited on company-provided policies.
Being pregnant can be expensive. From routine appointments, ultrasounds, tests and hospitalisation for the birth itself, the costs can quickly add up. If you are at the stage in your life where you would like to try for a baby, your health insurance plan needs to be in line with this. Even if your company-provided health plan includes maternity insurance, you’ll need to check how much flexibility it allows you.
Does it only include limited clinics, does it cover a pregnant partner, does it have an upper age limit, and does it cover both inpatient and outpatient care? What about medications, such as pregnancy vitamins and pain relief during labour – are these covered?
Many plans do not include these things and this may create unexpected expense down the line.
Supplementary health insurance provides an opportunity for you to cover more pregnancy-related expenses and provides you with the freedom to choose where and how you have your baby.
Take control and eliminate unwanted costs by considering supplementary maternity insurance.
2.You want your health insurance to cover you internationally
Many companies choose health insurance packages that exclude international travel to keep costs down.
For expats who frequently travel to their home country or those whose jobs require occasional international travel, falling ill or needing healthcare while outside of your health insurance network can pose a big problem.
Unless travel is an integral part of your job, most employers do not provide comprehensive international health coverage. This is where supplementary travel insurance for healthcare coverage becomes vital.
Unless travel is an integral part of your job, most employers do not provide comprehensive international health coverage.
The latest data shows that the cost of falling ill when abroad can go into the hundreds of thousands. While you can buy a separate travel insurance policy, it is often more cost-effective to supplement an existing health insurance policy with international coverage.
For frequent international travellers, adding supplementary travel insurance offers better value and coverage.
3.You’re worried about limited cover for your dependants
Employers are increasingly opting for more basic coverage to manage rising health insurance costs, but basic coverage often limits what your dependants receive.
Recent survey results have shown that the cost of health benefits in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has risen by at least 9% year-on-year over the past three years. To accommodate this, employers are increasingly opting for cheaper forms of health coverage, which can exclude or severely limit coverage for your dependants.
Policies tend to cover up to three children – problematic for you if you have four or more. And other dependants, such as elderly parents, are usually excluded from standard policies. If you have a large family, additional dependants, or you know the number of dependants you have is likely to increase in the near future, supplementary insurance can be an easy way to ensure that everyone you care about is fully covered for their medical needs.
Policies tend to cover up to three children – problematic for you if you have four or more. And other dependants, such as elderly parents, are usually excluded from standard policies.
Your current policy limitations shouldn’t hold you back from finding the supplementary coverage you require and peace of mind in knowing your dependents are covered.
4.You want to upgrade your access to a wider variety of hospitals and clinics
More affordable employee health insurance packages often stipulate the hospitals or clinics where you can receive treatment.
Just as opting for insurance packages with limited dependant coverage helps employers to keep health costs down, the cheaper employee packages they often choose frequently limit treatment locations to specific hospitals.
And while that’s great for your employer’s bottom line, it’s bad news for yours if these options are inconvenient for you or do not offer the services you need. If this happens, you may find yourself forced to pay for emergency visits to a hospital or clinic that’s closer to your home. Or you may end up paying excessive amounts of money for repeat visits for ongoing treatment at a clinic that’s many miles from your home. In such situations, upgrading your existing insurance to allow you to access more convenient treatment centres is likely to save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Think more long term. Consider how supplementary health insurance could offer you more cost-effective solutions.
Knowledge is power: Getting started with supplementary health insurance
While some common reasons for requiring supplementary health insurance have been provided in this article, the list is far from exhaustive. There are many individual circumstances in which the health insurance coverage you currently have may not offer you exactly what you need.
While some common reasons for requiring supplementary health insurance have been provided in this article, the list is far from exhaustive.
So before making any decisions, be sure to review your existing benefits package and insurance policy and identify any potential health needs that are not being met. Make sure you understand your level of coverage.
If you have a spouse, ensure you understand what their work plan also covers – this is vital if you are to avoid duplicating coverage and getting additional insurance you don’t actually need.
Once you fully understand your current level of insurance and its restrictions, you can then take action and obtain the peace of mind that comes from knowing everything is covered.