By Kelvin Tan
There is now a larger pool choice for Central Providence Funds (CPF) MediShield plans in Singapore. There have also been vast improvements in the coverage of such Singapore MediShield Hospital and Surgical Plan. How do you weed out all the marketing and get a down to a good plan for yourself?
1. Look at the company; what’s its background, how long has it been in the Singapore market? How deep are its roots? Has it a good reputation in the industry? What about its contract terms? Do they help the patient or just protect the company from its liabilities?
2. Check sure the Singapore medical or hospital & surgical plan to see what is covered, you should make sure the annual limits and lifetime limits cater for catastrophic illness. Does it provide additional protection for catastrophic illness? Make sure the policy is guaranteed renewable; you don’t want the situation where the policy is canceled due to excessive claims.
3. Check the Ministry of Health website (www.moh.gov.sg) to see the company’s claims processing speed, this would ensure that the company doesn’t play punk when it comes to paying claims. Ensure that the company is regulated under Monetary Authority of Singapore and has a good track record.
4. Check the entire Singapore medical policy or hospital & surgical plan premiums range, and make sure that premiums do not increase exponentially with age! You don’t want a situation where the initial entry is very low but at later years pay a hefty sum to keep the policy. If you develop a medical condition it could be very difficult to switch medical plans. And you will be left in a tight spot.
5. Check individual limits of the policy, are the items specified “as charge”? Or are there individual limits to each item. This would mean any claims outside those limits would be out of your pocket. E.g. Room and Board $250 or “As Charge”. The advantage of “as charged” polices, is that they provide better reimbursement of claims.
6. You may want to consider purchasing pays cash only medical policy to cover the co-insurance and deductibles for Singapore medical policy or hospital & surgical shield plans as this would help reduce the amount of cash you have to pay for the co-insurance and detectable in the event if the hospital bill is large. Having another policy would also provide you with a wider coverage, for example there might be situations where the Shield Plan does not cover, but the other medical policy may provide cover. Go through the terms and conditions to see where the shortfall in medical protection is and how they can complement each other.
Insurance cover for congenital diseases falls short
Insurance providers say such schemes may be costly
By Salma Khalik, Health Correspondent
EVERY year, 700 to 800 babies are born here with congenital problems. They have one other problem – a lack of medical insurance.
There is no insurance scheme that will help pay their medical bills from birth, even if their parents had bought them a Medi-Shield policy, as this does not cover congenital diseases.
Only one policy, Great Eastern’s SupremeHealth, covers congenital diseases – but only if they are identified at least two years after the policy starts.
Associate Professor Arijit Biswas, a senior consultant obstetrician at National University Hospital, said most congenital problems – nine in 10 – will have been diagnosed within the first year.
Some are minor, such as a cleft lip or palate, which can be remedied easily. Once corrected, the problem is essentially solved, although the child may require some speech therapy.
But one in four congenital problems is serious, said Prof Biswas. Heart defects, for example, may require several operations over the years.
Does your current policy protects for congenital diseases for your child?
For more details on your Singapore Medical or Hospital & Surgical plans visit www.Abundance2Insure.com
Ricky Ng and Associates are Professional financial planners with expertise in life, medical, financial, retirement, estate and investment planning. Representing Great Eastern Life, one of the largest insurance company in Singapore.