How much financial protection do you need in the event of a hospital visit? For the uninitiated, medical insurance might sound like a single, blanket insurance – but did you know that there are several types of medical insurance?

Medical/Health Card

This is the most commonly found medical insurance, and it is also the most basic in terms of coverage. This type of medical insurance is called such literally because you get a card for you to carry on your person as you go about your day. In the event of hospitalisation, simply whip out the card if you’re at a panel hospital, or file a claim when you do. The presence of a physical medical card is also helpful if you happen to be admitted to a hospital while unconscious, because at least then medical personnel will know that you’re insured.

Critical Illness or Dread Diseases Insurance

If you read “critical illness” and thought “cancer”, you’re quite right, although of course it isn’t limited to cancer alone. Where medical cards cover you for basic and general medical claims, critical illness insurance covers you if you get diagnosed with one specific illness listed in your critical illness insurance policy. Critical illnesses, as the word critical implies, tend to cost a lot more than normal hospital visits due to severity and specialty. Such insurance policies typically pay either a lump sum cash payment, a regular income, or a direct payment for treatment costs. Read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to determine what you need to do to prove the validity of your diagnosis to the insurer.

Disability Income Insurance

Sometimes, despite going about your daily life with utmost caution, accidents can still happen and leave you with permanent scars. If you’re struck by an accident that leaves you disabled either temporarily or permanently, this insurance policy kicks in to ensure that you have a reduced but steady amount of income flowing in even while you’re unable to work. Unlike medical cards or critical illness insurance policies, which focus on covering the cost of your medical expenses, a disability income insurance ensures that you have some money to cover your monthly expenditures – no point affording your hospital stay if you have no money left over to eat or pay your bills, right?

Hospital Income Insurance

Finally, there’s also a separate medical insurance that’s dedicated to preserving your income stream while you’re hospitalised. A bad medical ailment can land you in hospital for weeks or even months, during which you’d dry up your unpaid leave and leave you without pay if it stretches past a calendar month. Depending on the policy you take out, hospital income insurance may even cover you if you’re hospitalised overseas – and pay you more for it!


The absolute best medical insurance would, of course, cover all four types mentioned above. Some of them can come in the form of riders on your main medical insurance policy, and some can be independent policies. If you’re young and hale with a limited budget, you can consider going for just a medical card first, and adding the others when you can or feel like it. But above all, stay safe!

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