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What Insurance options are there if I have a pre-existing condition?

For those who are in their twenties, getting a health insurance or life insurance might be a low priority compared to paying off their study loan or saving up to buy a property here. By the time you’ve reached your thirties, the increase in financial responsibility towards your parents, spouse and even children may cause you to start thinking seriously about your finances.

If you are a relatively health-conscious person, eating moderately and doing some exercise 3 times a week, you may be clear of any serious health conditions. But many others may have devoted much of their adult life to work, sleeping late, ordering fast food dinners at their work desk and staying pretty much sedentary. This lifestyle could have also led to Singaporeans facing a high diabetic-risk. By the time an individual is diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, getting a health/life insurance can be pretty cumbersome.

What is a pre-existing condition?

In insurance jargon, a pre-existing condition is any health condition that was present prior to a person’s new insurance coverage. These include certain health conditions, such as past injuries, high blood pressure, cancer that is in remission, diabetes, asthma, a serious skin allergy or even a previous knee surgery. These can also include some predisposed conditions or family medical history such as certain cancers or high blood pressure. For most people with a pre-existing condition, insurance companies may still provide them with coverage, but they may be excluded from any/all care-related claims due to their pre-existing condition. Premiums may also be higher than those without any pre-existing condition.

What options do I have?

Having a pre-existing condition is not a “death sentence” for purchasing insurance. Here are some ways you can be protected:

Medishield Life

MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, which helps Singaporeans to pay for large hospital bills and selected outpatient treatments. As a government-administered plan, MediShield Life provides universal coverage for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, including those with pre-existing conditions. The Government will support most of the cost of extending MediShield Life coverage to those with serious pre-existing conditions, but these individuals will need to pay 30% additional premiums for 10 years to reflect their higher risk. After the 10-year period, they will pay the same standard premium as the rest in their age group.
These broad categories of serious pre-existing conditions that are covered under Medishield Life include cancer, blood disorders like Anaemia, heart diseases, stroke, liver disease. Mild pre-existing conditions such as well-controlled diabetes, cysts and fibroids, hypertension with no complications will not have to pay additional premiums.

Many Singaporeans take up Integrated Shield Plans(IP) in order to get enhanced coverage since the Medishield is quite a basic plan. IPs provide additional coverage if one prefers to stay in A or B1 wards or in private hospitals but most of them do not include coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, there can be substantial benefits to getting a shield plan, since they include coverage for pre/post-hospitalisation expenses, emergency overseas treatment and the option to purchases additional riders to cover the co-insurance and deductibles.

Moratorium underwriting

Before you purchase a health or life insurance, there is a need for you to provide full disclosure of your health and medical background. This process is known as medical underwriting. This process is necessary for insurers to access the risk and exposure in providing insurance coverage for the client. For those with pre-existing conditions, you may find your application rejected or your conditions excluded at this step.

However, there is an alternative call moratorium underwriting, where individuals do not need to make any health declaration. Instead, the insurer will offer you a waiting period. If you do not need any treatments, medication or experience any symptoms for the pre-existing conditions, then your pre existing condition may be covered.

The current most affordable moratorium underwriting is AXA Global Care, and yes, we did a write up about it.

International Health insurance

Given the limited choice those with pre-existing conditions have, you may want to take a look at international health insurance. Most local insurers think covering a client with pre-existing condition are too risky, but some international health insurance companies do provide this as part of their standard or optional coverage.

The downside is that international health insurance policies are often very expensive compared to local ones, and they might be more suitable for those who are often travelling or are expats working here in Singapore. However, there do exist an affordable one for your consideration

Life Insurance Covering Chronic Diseases

As the number of diabetic patients and individual with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol skyrocketed over the last decades, a few insurers have jumped on the bandwagon to offer specific solutions. There are a few products in the market that provide such coverage

If you are looking for such insurance for your pre existing high blood, high cholesterol or diabetes condition. We may have the right solutions for you.

Travel Insurance Covering All Pre Existing Conditions

While most travel insurers typically shun customers with pre-existing conditions, there do exist travel insurers whom embraces all its customers to ensure that everyone has access to travel insurance, regardless of their medical condition. All you have to do is to answer a few simple health questionnaires and voila, you can get your coverage even if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Here are some of the essential coverage provided

  • Overseas Medical Expense up to $1,000,000
  • Pre-Ex Condition Overseas Medical Expense Gets up to $150,000 Coverage
  • Personal Accident up to $1,000,000 for age 70 and below
  • Medical Expense in Singapore up to $75,000
  • Mobility Aid up to $5,000
  • TCM up to $600
  • Hospital stay cash benefit of $100 per day and ICU $400 per day
  • Emergency Evacuation up to $1,000,000
  • Pre-Ex Condition Emergency Evacuation up to $200,000
  • Insolvency of travel operators up to $6,000
  • Delayed Departure of more than 6hrs up to $1,500
  • Travel Cancellation up to $15,000
  • Travel Postponement up to $2,000
  • Baggage Delay up to $1,500
  • Fraudulent Credit Card use up to $3,000
  • Covers Adventurous Activities
  • Vehicle Rental Excess up to $1,500
  • Loss of baggage ($1,500) Money ($500) Wedding Accessories ($3,500) Laptop and Phones ($7,500)

So, if you are in the midst of planning for your next holiday, make sure you don’t forget your travel insurance. Get your quotes here for MSIG TravelEasy Pre Ex Travel Insurance plan for you and your family and/or friends and say goodbye to unnecessary worries about travel setbacks.

Get your MSIG Travel Easy Pre-Ex Quote

If you are looking for an affordable health insurance with moratorium underwriting you may fill up your details below for us to get back to you.


My post provides my industry insights, insurance tips, and investment strategies. Alongside, I own Moneyline.sg, a financial comparison platform, and is the Founder and Branch Director of Synthesis, an advisory group within Synergy FA. With 15 years of experience in financial services, I aim to offer valuable expertise

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