Despite massive advertisements and roadshows with regard to Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plans, I still have quite a handful of parents coming to consult me on the things to look out for when buying one for their newborn. Although these questions come in different languages and phrases, they only re-emphasized the fact that all parents just want the best for their children. Do not get me wrong, there is no such thing as the ‘Best PrivateMedishield Plan’ in Singapore, but there are 3 things to watch out for to make it as perfect for your child as possible.Since I have always believed in the power of 3, this post is going to be emphasizing on the 3 essential pointers on purchasing a Private Medishield for your baby.
In general, all Singaporeans born on or after 1 March 2013 will be covered with a Basic Medishield from birth following birth registration, and is already eligible to apply for a Private Medishield as early as 15 days old.There are 5 Insurance companies in Singapore that can do such an upgrade. They are namely: AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Prudential, and their plans are respectively called:
AIA HealthShield Gold Max (A)
Aviva MyShield(Plan 1)
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan (P Plus)
NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield Plan (Preferred)
Prudential PruShield Plan (A Premier)
Now, here are 3 pointers mummies and daddies can take note of:
1) Make sure your baby’s plan can fully cover 100% of Hospital Bills, even in Private Hospitals.
As a parent, you would want your baby to be fully covered should they need to be hospitalized. Therefore, when buying your Private Medishield plan for him/her, ALWAYS buy it together with their respective riders. This is because without the rider in place, you will need to pay a co-payment called Deductibles and Co-Insurance (you can learn more about them here). And unlike the main plan which is paid using Medisave, rider is paid using cash. Nevertheless, 30 odd dollars to exchange for a better peace of mind: Totally worth it.
You can better recognize the riders as such (respectively):
AIA HealthShield Gold Max Essentials
Aviva MyShieldPlus (Option C)
Great Eastern Total Shield (Platinum)
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield Assist Rider*
Prudential PruShield Extra (A Premier)
2) Take note that Private Medishield is Guaranteed to Renew.
Now the juicy part of this post is here: Claims.
Frequently asked questions would be: What happens to the policy when my child has already made a Hospital claim? Will there be an increase in premiums? Will the insurance company terminate my child’s policy? Alright mummies, allow me to ease your mind.
The Private Medishield that your child is going to sign up for will have a Guaranteed Renewal clause. In layman terms, it simply means that even if we have had made a hospital claim, our premiums will remain the same (unless, of course, when we jump into the next age-band) and the insurance company cannot terminate your policy. This clause is there to ensure you that while you make the necessary treatments in the hospitals, your policy is still very much intact. The only time the insurance company will increase their premiums is when they increase their pricing as a whole portfolio, not individually. A word of advice, ensure that you pay your premiums on time, because once your policy lapses, your pre-existing health conditions will not be covered anymore. And with that, let me inform you that…
3) Your Worst Enemy is Pre-Existing condition. So apply as early as you can.
Insurance companies’ best friend is your worst enemy: Pre-Existing condition. For those of us who have done proper planning before should already be very familiar with this term; Insurance companies DO NOT COVER pre-existing condition.
Pre-existing Condition simply means any injury, Illness, condition or symptom that existed prior to the effective date of your policy. A few examples that would affect your child’s policy would be pre-mature and/or underweight at birth, congenital illnesses/complications, admission to the hospital or anything that has to do with his or her health. Here’s an illustration: If your newborn has been admitted to the hospital due to high fever/ water in lungs etc, this could already be a pre-existing condition that Insurance Companies are not willing to cover immediately. So take my heed, no matter how busy you may be after delivery, sit down with your Financial Planner as soon as your baby is 15 days old to get him protected before any unforeseen events happen that affect his insurability.
To be honest, every of the 5 insurance companies mentioned above are fabulous companies, and it really doesn’t matter which companies you buy from because ultimately their packages are similar, and so are their pricing too. So to re-emphasize again: There is no best plan; As long as my plan can provide my child with plentiful options, and allow me to visit the most dependable doctors and still not cost me a single cent, I will already consider that a perfect enough plan.
*Only NTUC Enhanced IncomeShielddo not cover 100% of hospital bills, they still require us to pay a 10% of the claim, up to $3000 per policy year.