Are you unsure about the difference between travel insurance with selected Covid-19 cover and international health insurance? Here we look at the key differences between the two types of cover.
In short, travel insurance with Covid-19 cover is designed for holidaymakers and those on short business trips to cover things like emergency medical treatment (including covered events related to Covid-19), cancellations and personal belongings. International health insurance provides multi-country cover and is designed for those living and working overseas who need cover for in-patient medical check-ups, medical emergencies and ongoing treatment of chronic conditions.
Below is a general comparison of travel Insurance with selected Covid-19 cover and international health insurance. Exact coverage will depend on the chosen policy.
What about lockdowns and other kinds of general travel disruption?
It’s important to remember that travel insurance doesn’t cover you for everything*. For instance, it does not generally cover against lockdowns, border closures and other kinds of general travel disruption.
*It’s important to remember that travel insurance doesn’t cover everything. Your policy will be subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and benefits limits of the policy wording
Travel insurance (with selected Covid-19 cover*) – in more detail
Travel insurance with selected Covid-19 cover is travel insurance that covers you for things like trip cancellations / trip interruptions / trip delay , loss/theft of personal belongings and emergency medical treatment, and includes selected coverage for Covid-19, pandemics and epidemics before or during your trip (in line with the Policy Wording of your chosen policy).
If you or a travelling companion/family member are diagnosed with Covid-19 before your trip and need to cancel, you can make a claim for things like travel and accommodation costs.
If you or a travelling companion/family member are diagnosed with Covid-19 during your trip, you can make a claim for things like medical care and quarantine costs.
In terms of medical coverage, travel insurance is intended to provide short-term emergency medical treatment within your specified area or period of cover. The aim of this is to get you well enough to return home. Travel insurance rarely covers long term medical treatment.
Selected Covid-19 coverage* with Allianz Travel
Travel insurance from Allianz Travel Singapore includes selected Covid-19 coverage*, plus cover for epidemics and pandemics in general (when diagnosed with a disease). The Medical and Dental cover limit is S$1,000,000 (Comprehensive Bronze and Silver) and unlimited for Comprehensive Platinum.
Travel insurance in general is designed to cover you for trips of limited duration. It is intended for holidaymakers and short term trips abroad, and also offers protection against other travel related issues.
If further treatment is required, you will be expected to return to your home country. Cover ceases once you are back in your country of residence.
*It’s important to remember that travel insurance doesn’t cover everything. Your policy will be subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and benefits limits of the policy wording. For more information please click on the Allianz Travel Policy Wording
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International health insurance – in more detail
International health insurance is designed for individuals and families living and working overseas for prolonged periods. It is designed to cover things like in-patient care, out-patient GP visits, emergency treatment, specialist consultations, maternity and dental. International health insurance is multi-country and provides members with flexibility in terms of choice of doctor and treatment facility, and with the ability to receive treatment anywhere within their region of cover.
For individuals or families who are unfamiliar with a country’s health system and/or language, international health insurance can make it easier and simpler to obtain medical care. Depending on which country you are moving to, it may also save you significant sums of money compared to ad hoc care if you are not entitled to local free or subsidised medical care.
International health insurance plans vary, but often include:
Cover for pre-existing conditions
Cover for chronic conditions
Choice of medical providers
Some international health insurers make it possible to build a plan that suits specific needs. For example, Allianz offers a standard Core plan to which modules can be added, including:
If you choose international health insurance from Allianz, benefits include:
A range of treatments, inclusive of specialist fees and diagnostic tests, plus generous cover for alternative treatments and physiotherapy
Health and wellbeing benefits, including digital health apps
Cover for emergency treatment overseas, medical evacuation and nursing-at-home
Choice of supplemental cover including Maternity, Dental and Repatriation Plans
A growing network of over 900,000 quality medical providers
Another coronavirus variant has emerged last month, and with it comes a new wave of uncertainty and a set of unanswered questions. On 26 November 2021, the World Health Organization designated the variant B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution. This variant is commonly known as the Omicron.
Days after the news broke about the Omicron, we remain in an information vacuum. Researchers in South Africa and around the world have been conducting studies to better understand the aspects of Omicron and they will continue to share the findings of these studies.
The current situation was best put by WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the November 29th World Health Assembly. He said: “Omicron’s very emergence is another reminder that although many of us might think we are done with COVID-19, it is not done with us.”
It is unclear whether Omicron spreads more easily from person-to-person compared to other variants including Delta. For now, we can observe the Omicron cases in South Africa and other countries.
In South Africa, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has risen and as many as 90% of new cases in Gauteng are caused by it. Epidemiologic studies are underway to understand whether the sudden rise in cases is due to Omicron or other factors. Globally, there have been 1,458 confirmed Omicron cases as reported by 55 countries and posted by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control last 8 December 2021.
Despite the observed cases in South Africa, some areas in United Kingdom and Europe have reported cases of Omicron that are not linked to travel to Southern Africa. This may suggest that the variant has been spreading from person-to-person within the community.
#2: SEVERITY OF THE DISEASE
Much like the transmissibility, the severity of the disease posed by the Omicron variant remains unclear. Although preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, this may be due to the elevating overall numbers of people becoming infected and not due to the Omicron.
All variants of COVID-19, including Delta, can cause severe disease or death particularly for the most vulnerable people. Prevention is always the key!
#3: EFFECTIVENESS OF VACCINES
The World Health Organization is collaborating with researchers and technical partners to understand the potential impact of Omicron on the existing countermeasures such as the vaccines. Vaccines remain vital to reducing severe disease and death, including against the dominant Delta.
Could the boosters help combat the Omicron? Scientists do not know yet.
#4: CURRENT SITUATION IN SINGAPORE
More than a dozen countries including Singapore have started closing its borders to visitors from countries where the Omicron might be spreading. Entry requirements into Singapore became stricter, including the requirement of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on arrival of all the air travelers. A ringfence will be thrown around the person and any close contacts if there is a positive test result. These safety measures will help prevent Omicron from entering the community.
On 9 December 2021, two COVID-19 cases tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant. One of the new Omicron cases is a frontline worker at Changi Airport. The other case is an imported case, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH). MOH is currently conducting aggressive contract tracing to ringfence these cases.
Image Credits: pixabay.com
As scientists around the world work tirelessly to learn more about the Omicron variant, we just have to wait. Whether it will rise to dominance like the Delta or fade like the Alpha and Beta, all we can do is to wear our masks and practice other social distancing measures.
The global pandemic has caused recession in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, many Singaporeans found themselves in uncomfortable financial situations. We are slowly recovering with a hopeful heart this 2021. Despite the optimism, it does not erase the effects of the past year.
The economic turmoil exposed most of our financial mistakes and vulnerabilities. Here are just some of the missteps that many of us faced in the past several months.
#1: DIFFICULTY IN BUILDING AN EMERGENCY FUND
Say you did not build an emergency fund before the crisis hit. While we could not have predicted a pandemic, it is always crucial to have an emergency savings to cushion large expenses. A good rule of thumb is to keep up to six months of living expenses in an easy-to-access account. Start now!
#2: INABILITY TO SAVE MORE MONEY
Apart from having an emergency fund, one of the lessons that we learned during the pandemic is the importance of savings. Putting this knowledge into practice is harder than it seems. In a local survey, 55% of the respondents said they reduced their savings over the past months. This may be due to job loss, reduction in income, and other financial struggles due to the situation. Creating opportunities for other streams of income can help widen the savings.
#3: PUTTING A PAUSE ON THE RETIREMENT PLAN
Retirement may not be the first thing most people think about when they are still young, but it is a part of our financial plan that we cannot afford to ignore. Like it or not, there will come a time when you are no longer able to work. Your retirement plan must not stop due to a recession.
However, many Singaporeans found it hard to continue investing for their future due to the current climate. In fact, 27% of those with financial plans said they have stopped setting aside or even reduced their funds for retirement.
#4: MAKING EMOTIONAL FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Volatility has abounded lately. When you see your balance go down, do not allow yourself to make an emotionally driven decision. View it pragmatically as you are in it for the long haul. Remember how and why you originally structured the portfolio. If your circumstance have changed or your allocation no longer aligns with your goals, you should consider making risk changes.
Image credits: pixabay.com
It is crucial to stay engaged in the financial world. Take this uncertain times positively by creating more awareness around your financial health and goals. Talk to a financial professional to help you implement these goals.
TraceTogether is a digital system, which the Singaporean Government had implemented to allow for better contact tracing in response to the effects of the pandemic in the country. The system was originally designed as an app and was later supplemented by a physical token due to the low-usage of the TraceTogether app.
October 26 (Monday) marked the start of the mandatory use of TraceTogether app or token at all Singapore cinemas. Venues with activities that involve larger groups of people will follow the same mandate. By the end of December, checking-in with the TraceTogether app or token will be compulsory in public venues such as restaurants, workplaces, schools, cinemas, hotels, healthcare facilities, and shopping malls.
This means that you will no longer be able to gain access to these places through the SingPass mobile app or by scanning SafeEntry QR codes with your phone’s camera. Instead, you can either use the TraceTogether app or token. The former includes a function for users to scan SafeEntry QR codes that are displayed at venues. The latter comes with a QR code that can be scanned for entry. Please do not cover the QR code attached to your token.
In the recent days, Singapore has hit about 50% participation rate in its digital COVID-19 contact tracing program. This is good news because having 70% of Singapore’s population using TraceTogether is one of the conditions that has to be met for Singapore to enter phase three. This is according to Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 task force.
Before you collect your token at the community centre (CC), please check token.gowhere.gov.sg to know its availability. To prevent long queues from forming, members of the public have been encouraged to collect their TraceTogether tokens from the CC nearest to where they live. There is no need to collect a physical token, if you already have the TraceTogether app. You may download the latest version of the app at tracetogether.gov.sg.
Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative Vivian Balakrishnan also highlighted that there will be more than enough TraceTogether tokens for everyone. These tokens can be collected at thirty-eight CCs around the country. It will be made available at all 108 CCs by the end of November.
Once you receive your token, check its light. The green light blinks, if your token is working. It should blink once every minute. Its battery lasts for six months and is not rechargeable. You may “dress-up” your token by putting your old first-generation AirPods case. It will fit nicely on that.
Image Credits: Putri Shaghira via Facebook
Lastly, the data stored in your token will be automatically deleted after twenty-five days. There will be room for more information.