I have a friend who has depression. He is covered by his company's health insurance scheme. However he is thinking of retiring and wants to purchase private health insurance now. What are his options? - Seedly

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 11 Oct 2018

I have a friend who has depression. He is covered by his company's health insurance scheme. However he is thinking of retiring and wants to purchase private health insurance now. What are his options?

I would appreciate it if you could let me know which insurance companies in Singapore would provide coverage for him now. Thanks a bunch!

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Lee Jin Fei Andre
Lee Jin Fei Andre
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 12 Oct 2018

If a person is still undergoing treatment for depression, I'm sorry to say that it is highly likely your friend will be rejected by most if not all insurers at the moment. Cases of depression are too risky for insurers to underwrite, and hence will not be given much chance at all. This may include those still undergoing consultations, and taking medication etc.

From experience, only if a person has officially recovered from the condition will the insurer been more keen to underwrite, and before a certain number of years after recovery, the insured will most likely have exclusion on all treatments or surgery related to any mental conditions for the time being. An appeal to remove exclusion can only be done after a number of years, and is subject to additional underwriting as well.

Not all hope is lost of course, as your friend can still try to apply for moratorium underwriting for health insurance. This is only offered by Aviva at the moment, but is an option to consider.

This advice is from experience, and may not fully represent the underwriting requirements of each insurer. If unsure, always check with a financial adviser from the insurers you would like to apply to.

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Daphne Wong
Daphne Wong
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 25 Oct 2018

He should see if he can port his company's insurance. There'll be loading, but the corporate agreements usually have a cap as to how much loading they can impose. So then it just becomes a cost vs coverage comparison

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Jonathan Chia Guangrong
Jonathan Chia Guangrong, Fund Manager at JCG Fund
Level 6. Master
Answered on 11 Oct 2018

Unfortunately, it will be very likely that there may be an exclusion or health loading on the premium in the event of a diagnosis of depression. Is it really confirmed that this is the diagnosis? Best to get it checked and confirmed. Do note that even if it is diagnosed as depression and your friend is medically discharged by the consulting doctor, non standard terms may still be offered for the insurance application.

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Loh Tat Tian
Loh Tat Tian
Level 6. Master
Answered on 11 Oct 2018

Most insurers will likely reject. Are you sure his diagnosis by the doctor is depression and not just anxiety? It's going to highly affect all types of Insurance.

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