Travel Insurance

Senior Travel Insurance (2018) – 7 Best Plans in Singapore for Elderly Travellers

senior travel insurance 2018

Clara Lim

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Planning to take your parents or grandparents on holiday this year? You’ve probably got a good handle on the travel itinerary, but you might not have thought about yet is which travel insurance plan to buy for the older folks.

It matters because most insurers drastically reduce their travel insurance coverage for those 70 years old and above. That’s terrible because you want MORE medical coverage for the elderly, not less!

Finding a senior-friendly travel insurance plan is a tedious affair. I had to comb through all the major insurers’ boring “summary of benefits” tables to shortlist which are the least bad.

 

Senior travel insurance (2018) – 7 best plans in Singapore for elderly travellers

Here are the key benefits for the 7 senior-friendly travel insurance plans in Singapore. The amounts represent coverage limits, i.e. how much you can claim.

Travel insurance Emergency medical evacuation Medical expenses (overseas) Medical expenses (Singapore)
NTUC PreX Basic $300,000* (overseas medical + evacuation combined) $2,000
NTUC Classic $250,000 (overseas medical + evacuation combined) $1,000
Aviva Lite $250,000 (overseas medical + evacuation combined) $10,000
UOB Essential $150,000 (overseas medical + evacuation combined) $15,000
OCBC Starter $1,000,000 $90,000 (total for all medical expenses)
Citibank AXA Classic $600,000 $100,000 $6,000
Allianz Bronze $500,000 $100,000 $1,000

* Sublimit of $100,000 for pre-existing medical conditions

Wondering what on earth all these insurance terms mean? Here’s a brief description:

  • Emergency medical evacuation: In the event of an emergency, this is the cost of sending you home for treatment via an air ambulance
  • Medical expenses (overseas): Reimbursement for hospital and medical expenses overseas during your trip
  • Medical expenses (Singapore): Reimbursement for medical expenses in Singapore when you come back from your trip (within a certain time frame)

 

NTUC travel insurance (PreX) for senior citizens

Since it’s probably the biggest travel insurer in Singapore, I doubt NTUC travel insurance needs any introduction.

What’s special about NTUC is that they offer two types of plans: normal and Enhanced PreX. The latter covers pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, which is definitely a big plus for seniors.

Here’s a look at the coverage limits for NTUC Income Enhanced PreX travel insurance. This is the Basic plan which is the cheapest.

Coverage limits Below 70 years old 70 years old & above
Personal accident (death or TPD) $200,000 $100,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited $300,000* (overseas medical expenses + evacuation combined)
Medical expenses (overseas) $500,000*
Medical expenses (Singapore) $25,000 $2,000
Chiropractor or TCM $500 $500

*Note that there are sublimits for claims directly related to pre-existing conditions. This is $150,000 for adults below 70, and $100,000 for those aged 70 and up. So, although pre-existing medical conditions are covered, the actual coverage isn’t as high as it looks.

Another thing to note is that NTUC Enhanced PreX plans are very expensive. A week’s coverage in ASEAN starts from $81 – way, way higher than the usual $25 to $30 you’d expect to pay for regular travel insurance.

That said, NTUC is the only insurer that provides adequate coverage for seniors with medical conditions. (MSIG also has a range of insurance for pre-existing conditions, but the benefits are drastically reduced for those above 70.)

 

NTUC travel insurance for senior citizens

It’s not a MUST to spring for PreX. In the past, before NTUC PreX came along, it was pretty much impossible to get travel insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, so everyone just sucked it up and hoped for the best.

If you’re comfortable with that, the regular NTUC travel insurance is also worthy of consideration.

At a low price point, the cheapest Classic plan offers one of the most generous medical benefits for seniors: a $250,000 combined limit for overseas medical expenses + emergency evacuation.

Coverage limits Below 70 years old 70 years old & above
Personal accident (death or TPD) $150,000 $100,000
Emergency medical evacuation $500,000 $250,000 (overseas medical expenses + evacuation combined)
Medical expenses (overseas) $250,000
Medical expenses (Singapore) $12,500 $1,000
Chiropractor or TCM $300 $300

For more on NTUC travel insurance promotions, claims procedure and T&Cs, read our review here.

 

Aviva travel insurance for senior citizens

My personal favourite of the lot is Aviva travel insurance because its medical coverage totally does not discriminate against elderly travellers.

Check out the coverage on their cheapest plan (Lite) – there’s no difference for any of the benefits, except the personal accident payout.

Coverage limits Up to 70 years old Above 70 years old
Personal accident (death or TPD) $50,000 $10,000
Emergency medical evacuation $250,000 (overseas medical expenses + evacuation combined) $250,000 (overseas medical expenses + evacuation combined)
Medical expenses (overseas)
Medical expenses (Singapore) $10,000 $10,000
Chiropractor or TCM $250 $250

In particular, I like that the local medical expenses limit is extremely high for seniors – $10,000 compared to $1,000 or $2,000 offered by other insurers.

Aviva travel insurance is also extremely affordable. If you or an immediate family member is an Aviva policyholder, you can get a 30% discount. Otherwise, they’re running a 20% off promotion for all buyers.

For more on Aviva travel insurance promotions, claims procedure and T&Cs, read our review here.

 

UOB travel insurance for senior citizens

Although I’m really not a fan of UOB’s other products, I honestly think that UOB travel insurance is some of the best in Singapore. And they’ve delivered once again with excellent benefits for senior travellers.

UOB travel insurance comes in Essential (cheaper) and Preferred (premium). Surprisingly, it’s the Essential plan that covers the elderly. The Preferred plan does NOT cover anyone aged 70 and above.

Here’s a look at the coverage for UOB Insure & Travel Essential:

Coverage limits Below 70 years old 70 years old & above
Personal accident (death or TPD) $250,000 $120,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited $150,000 (overseas medical expenses + evacuation combined)
Medical expenses (overseas) $300,000
Medical expenses (Singapore) $20,000 $15,000
Chiropractor or TCM $300 $300

Of the 7 plans here, UOB travel insurance has the highest benefits for post-travel local medical expenses, which I think is good because older folks have weaker immune systems and illnesses may linger (or even develop) after the trip.

For more on UOB travel insurance promotions, claims procedure and T&Cs, read our review here.

 

OCBC travel insurance for senior citizens

You might not associate OCBC with travel insurance, but it should be legit since it’s provided by Great Eastern, OCBC’s insurance arm.

Their plans are very affordable thanks to near-perpetual 50% discounts. Here’s what the coverage for the cheapest Starter plan looks like.

Coverage limits Below 70 years old 70 years old & above
Personal accident (death or TPD) $150,000 $75,000
Emergency medical evacuation $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Medical expenses (overseas) $300,000* (total for all medical expenses combined) $90,000* (total for all medical expenses combined)
Medical expenses (Singapore)
TCM

*Sublimits apply for local medical expenses ($15,000 for adults under 70 / $4,500 for elderly) and TCM ($600).

My key takeaway is that, among the plans compared here, OCBC travel insurance has the highest emergency medical evacuation benefit for senior citizens. And more importantly, it is calculated separately from overseas medical expenses.

This is a travel insurance plan to consider if the medical infrastructure in your travel destination is poor, e.g. a rural/remote place. In a medical emergency, you’re more likely to be evacuated home than rushed to the nearest hospital.

OCBC also has the highest benefits for Traditional Chinese Medicine ($600), though Citibank AXA is not far behind ($500). However, the total medical expenses is capped at $90,000 which is on the low side.

For more on OCBC travel insurance promotions, claims procedure and T&Cs, read our review here.

Citibank AXA travel insurance for senior citizens

Another bank offering surprisingly good travel insurance for senior travellers, Citibank is also worth considering if you’re in the same scenario as above – going to a place with poor/no medical care available.

When choosing your Citibank travel insurance, you have to pick between two brands: AXA or AIG. Choose AXA as they have way better benefits for elderly travellers above 70.

Here’s what the coverage looks like for the cheapest Citibank AXA plan (Classic):

Coverage limits Up to 70 years old Above 70 years old
Personal accident (death or TPD) $200,000 $100,000
Emergency medical evacuation $600,000 $600,000
Medical expenses (overseas) $250,000 $100,000
Medical expenses (Singapore) $6,000 $6,000
TCM $500 $500

Note that it’s a little on the pricier side unless there’s a good promotion going on.

For more on Citibank travel insurance promotions, claims procedure and T&Cs, read our review here.

 

Allianz travel insurance for senior citizens

Allianz isn’t quite as well-known as the other insurers here, but it’s a very established brand in Europe. Here are the coverage benefits for the cheapest (Bronze) tier of travel insurance:

Coverage limits Below 70 years old 70 years old & above
Personal accident (death or TPD) $35,000 $17,000
Emergency medical evacuation $500,000 $500,000
Medical expenses (overseas) $400,000 $100,000
Medical expenses (Singapore) $12,500 $1,000
TCM $100 (overseas) + $100 (Singapore) $100 (overseas) + $100 (Singapore)

Like most other insurers, they reduce the benefit limits for anyone aged 70 and up. (But at least the limit for overseas medical expenses is still a respectable $100,000, unlike the typical $50,000 elderly travellers get elsewhere.)

The redeeming quality of Allianz travel insurance is that the limits for emergency evacuation and medical expenses are separated. Again, it’s suitable for those travelling to destinations with poor medical infrastructure.

Do you have any money-saving tips for travelling with seniors? Share your experiences with us!

 

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.