When you apply for private health insurance, the insurer will review the risk of your application, known as ‘underwriting’, in one of two ways, ‘Moratorium Underwriting’ or ‘Full Underwriting’.

health insurance

Most insurers in Singapore accept only “Full Underwriting”. You will be required to complete a full medical questionnaire covering every illness, condition and doctor’s diagnosis prior to the application.

This questionnaire then forms the basis of the insurer’s underwriting decision. Typically, pre-existing conditions will be excluded with little or no chance of them being covered, even after a number of treatment-free years.

However, “Moratorium Underwriting” offers the chance of having pre-existing conditions covered under certain conditions.

What is Moratorium Underwriting?

Under Moratorium Underwriting, the insurer does not require a medical questionnaire to be filled out, but basically puts a blanket ban on cover for any medical conditions for which advice, treatment or medication has been sought before the start of the plan.

If no medical treatment or consultations have been required for the illness, or any related ones, for a predefined number of years by the insurer, the cover will be extended to these pre-existing conditions, subjecting to other conditions set by the insurers.

Moratorium conditions

If you have chosen the Moratorium Underwriting Option, you have to abide by certain conditions.

Typically, you have to be free from medical advice or treatment in relation to your pre-existing conditions for a few years before the insurer can cover you. If you cannot meet these requirements, the pre-existing condition will be permanently excluded or the moratorium will restart.

Below is a list of what is considered medical advice or treatment:

  • Experience symptoms
  • Seek advice or tests (including checkups for that pre-existing Condition)
  • Require or receive treatment or medication

Who are the insurers offering Moratorium Underwriting

There is only a handful of insurers in Singapore that offer such products for individuals. They are:

The majority of these products are International Health Insurance except Aviva MyShield.

As each insurer has different terms and conditions, it is crucial for you to understand the product thoroughly.

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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