Frequently Asked Questions
In Singapore, high-quality public and private healthcare is easily available. However, the cost of healthcare differs greatly between private and public hospitals. So when deciding which hospital to check in to, you should:
- Check the ward charges, and the costs of related medical treatment;
- Check if the benefits under your health insurance will cover all the costs;
- Consider all available options; and
- Choose your ward or treatment according to what you can afford.
When deciding the amount of health insurance to purchase, you should consider the quality of healthcare service and the level of income protection that you would want should you fall ill or become disabled. If you have a family, you should also consider how much your spouse and children require for their daily needs if you are unable to provide income for them over an extended period of time.
Finding a balance between purchasing enough cover and your ability to continue paying the premiums over the long term can be challenging, therefore, it is important that you seek the advice of your FA representative if you are unsure.
While most companies provide health, disability and accident coverage for their employees, the level of coverage is usually very basic. It is therefore advisable for you to have your own individual health insurance policy where you have more control over the amount of coverage for yourself and your loved ones. Your own policy also provides coverage when you are in between jobs.
If you have previously purchased health insurance policies, you should note the following before buying another one:
- Multiple Medical Expense Policies
The total reimbursement from all your plans is limited by the expenses you have actually incurred. Buying additional medical expense insurance plans may not give you extra benefits.
- Switching Between Health Insurance Products
Health insurance products usually do not cover any illness or disability you already have at the time you sign up. If you make a switch to another health insurance product you may not be able to make claims relating to medical conditions that developed after you took up your original health insurance policy.
There are several scenarios in which policyholders have been unable to claim for events which they thought they were covered for. Two common ones relate to exclusions in policies, and disclosure procedures.
All health insurance products will carry some exclusions setting out the circumstances under which benefits will not be paid.
The most common exclusion in health insurance products is the “pre-existing condition” exclusion. This exclusion means that any illness or disability that you have or have had when you sign up for the product will not be covered.
Exclusions vary from product to product, so you must read the policy contract carefully to find out exactly what you are or are not covered for.
An insurance contract is based on trust. When you apply for health insurance, you must provide all information asked of you. This could include your age, occupation and any history of illnesses, medical conditions or disabilities.
The insurance company will then assess the given information to decide whether or not to accept your application.
If you do not provide important information in your application, the policy you take up may not actually cover you, and hence the unhappiness which will likely arise when you try to claim for coverage.
Some health insurance products guarantee that your cover will stay in force as long as you pay the premiums on time. However, the insurance company may change the benefits, premium rates or other terms and conditions (if specified so in the contract) when the policy is due for renewal.
Other products give insurance companies the right to cancel your cover by giving written notice before your policy is due for renewal. You should make sure you are clear on the specific terms and conditions of the product before buying it.
You need to fill in a claim form from the insurance company and provide proof (such as hospital bills, medical reports, and test results) to support your claim. You may also be asked to provide more information for the insurance company to assess your claims.
If you have a claim, you should submit it as soon as possible as most health insurance policies impose a time frame within which you must inform the insurance company.
You will be given 14 days to review your new policy after receiving it. During this time, if you decide that it does not meet your needs, you can cancel the policy by giving the insurance company written notice within the 14 days. The insurance company will refund all your premiums less any medical and other expenses they have had to pay for.
If you terminate your policy after the 14th day, it will be considered as early termination and you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
Both are equally important as they meet different safety needs.
While mortality coverage provides support for the family to sustain their lifestyle without major disruption, CI coverage alleviates financial distress in the event of major illnesses which can result in loss of income.
Find out more about mortality and CI protection here or speak with your financial adviser.
It is at the discretion of all IP insurers to set a minimum cap of $3,000 per policyholder.
In general, premium rates are adjusted from time to time based on your age, individual insurers’ claims experience, medical inflation, as well as general cost of treatment, supplies and medical services in Singapore. These rates are therefore not guaranteed.
The impact of these changes may take some time to realise.
However, we believe that in the long run, alongside our efforts to ensure quality healthcare is delivered to consumers and that these measures will benefit them in managing the level of claims inflation, therefore moderating the level of IP & rider premium increases each year.
As MediShield Life is a basic plan which pays for large hospital bills of up to Class B2 wards, individuals should buy or retain their Integrated Shield Plan to meet their needs and preferences of wanting additional financial coverage for stays in Class B1/A wards of restructured hospitals or private hospitals.