This article was first published on Dollars & Sense.
Most people would agree that insurance protection is an invaluable component of financial planning. By having the right level of insurance protection, we can go about our daily lives, assured that our loved ones are financially protected in the event that we suffer an accident or an illness that prevents us from providing for their future.
Both the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) certainly understand the importance of having adequate insurance coverage. Since July 2016, they are providing all full-time national servicemen (NSFs) and operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) with free group term life and group personal accident insurance coverage, as long as they are on official duties.
How Much Free Insurance Coverage Do NSFs And NSmen Receive?
To begin, all NSFs and NSmen will automatically receive S$150,000 of Group Term Life and S$150,000 of Group Personal Accident coverage under the Core Scheme. The group insurance coverage is underwritten by Singlife and provided by either MINDEF or MHA, depending on the organisation that the national servicemen are serving with.
Under the Core Scheme, coverage is automatically applied as long as servicemen are serving their full-time national service and during official duties. Regulars and NS volunteers will also enjoy the coverage during their period of service. Pre-existing medical conditions are also covered under the Core Scheme.
Additional Group Insurance Coverage Under the Voluntary Scheme
For those who wish to enjoy a higher level of coverage, or continue with coverage even when they are no longer in active full-time service, they can choose to purchase additional insurance coverage through the Voluntary Scheme. For just S$1 per month for S$100,000 (group personal accident coverage) and S$4.10 per month for S$100,000 (group term life insurance), these are one of the cheapest plans in the market. There is also no underwriting required for the 1st S$250,000 sum assured for the group term life insurance, and no underwriting required for the group personal accident plan.
The Voluntary Scheme is available for all NSFs, NSmen, Regulars, Public Officers working with MINDEF or MHA, volunteers and affiliate members, including employees from DSTA, and MINDEF and MHA related organisations. Individuals in MINDEF Reserve are also eligible to purchase insurance coverage as long as they are below age 40 (for specialist rank and below) and age 50 (for officers and key appointment holders).
The main plans that you can purchase under the Voluntary Scheme is similar to the Core Scheme – 1) Group Term Life and 2) Group Personal Accident.
Group Term Life: Under the Group Term Life policy, you can purchase coverage of up to S$1 million. For those aged 65 or below, monthly premiums are at an affordable S$4.10 for a life insurance coverage of S$100,000. You can get up to S$1 million coverage for death and total permanent disability. Find out more about the additional benefits of this plan from the product brochure here.
Group Personal Accident: Under the Group Personal Accident policy, you can purchase coverage of up to S$600,000. It costs just S$1 per month for S$100,000 coverage against accidental injuries and fractures. You can find out the exact details for the personal accident coverage in the product brochure.
For both these plans, it’s worth noting that your spouse and children can also be covered at the same rate as long as you (the MINDEF or MHA member) are an insured member. Your spouse can also continue with the plan in the event of your death. Also, read on to find out about the limited time offer of free personal accident coverage.
Boost Your Coverage With Additional Riders
A rider is an insurance policy provision which adds additional benefit on top of the main insurance plan. It provides additional insurance coverage and is tied to the main plan.
The Singlife MINDEF & MHA Group insurance policies allow policyholders to enhance coverage with 4 optional riders. These include the Living Care and Living Care Plus (both critical illness riders), Disability Income and Outpatient Medicare.
Living Care: Living Care provides additional coverage of up to S$350,000 against 37 critical illnesses, paid out in a lump sum upon diagnosis of the critical illness. Monthly premiums are based on your age. For example, individuals from the age of 31 to 35 will pay S$3 per month for a S$50,000 coverage, while someone who is at age 41 to 45 will pay S$4.95 for a coverage of S$50,000. You can find out the full details of this policy on the product brochure.
Living Care Plus: Living Care Plus is an early-stage critical illness policy, providing additional coverage of up to S$300,000 against 10 early critical illnesses including cancer. Premiums are based on your age, and starts from S$1.15 per month (for those age 25 and below, S$50,000 coverage). Full details of the policy can be found here.
Disability Income: Disability Income provides you with the security of regular income if you are no longer able to work due to disability, up to the age of 70. Annual coverage is based on 50% of your monthly basic salary, multiplied by 12, up to a maximum annual benefit of S$120,000. Coverage costs S$3.72 per month per S$10,000 annual coverage for those under 26 and premiums increase as you become older. Full details of the policy can be found here.
Outpatient Medicare: Outpatient Medicare provides you with benefits for outpatient consultations and treatments. Policyholders can choose from two plans; Plan A (annual limit: S$1,000) or Plan B (annual limit: S$500). Annual premiums range from S$208 to S$376.
The Singlife MINDEF and MHA group insurance policies are automatically renewed each year. You can cancel it at any point in time if you no longer think you need the coverage. None of the policies hold any cash value, so the premiums you pay are purely for the protection coverage that you are receiving. The Singlife MINDEF & MHA group insurance plans are an affordable way to ensure that we have basic insurance coverage for ourselves and our family. From just S$4.10 a month (S$100,000 term life coverage) and S$1.00 a month (S$100,000 personal accident coverage), respectively, we will be hard-pressed to use cost as an excuse for not having sufficient insurance coverage.