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’.
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.
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:
- Aviva MyShield/MyShield Plus
- Aetna Pioneer Plan
- AXA GlobalCare Plan
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.