Roger and his wife retired two years ago. Like many seniors, they were looking forward to taking life easy. However, the 65-year old has a chronic illness that requires him to be on long-term treatment. While Roger has always had an optimistic outlook in life, he cannot help but worry that the medical bills may one day wipe out the savings they had put aside for their golden years. The couple has no children.
Healthcare expenses, though, don’t have to become a financial burden. By taking some prudent measures, we can ensure we have enough to cover the costs of our healthcare needs.
For Singaporeans like Roger, savings in their MediSave accounts can be used to help pay for healthcare insurance premiums and healthcare expenses when the need arises.
All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are also covered by MediShield Life, a basic health insurance plan that protects against large hospital bills for life, regardless of age or pre-existing conditions.
Considerations for Additional Insurance Coverage
Roger was recently informed by his doctor that new treatments will require him to be hospitalised. After looking at his family’s finances, he opts for a B2 ward at a public hospital, where the bulk of the cost will be covered by Government subsidies and MediShield Life.
MediShield Life coverage is sized for subsidised treatments in B2/C wards of our public hospitals. If Roger opts for an A/B1 ward at a public hospital or a private hospital, he would still be covered by MediShield Life, but the payout would be pegged at B2/C wards, and thus smaller relative to the larger bill. Roger can use his MediSave or cash to pay the balance not covered by MediShield Life.
Patients who wish to have more coverage can consider purchasing an Integrated Shield Plan (IP).
IPs comprise two parts:
- A MediShield Life component (managed by the CPF Board); and
- Additional benefits and coverage offered by private insurers.
An insurance company will act as the policyholder’s single point of contact for claims disbursement for the MediShield Life component of the IP. Policyholders also use their MediSave funds to pay for IP premiums, which are higher than those for MediShield Life.
Here are some things to consider before getting an IP
Furthermore, you may be required to undergo additional health checks by the private insurers for the private insurance component of the IP. This could result in exclusions for certain health conditions.
Singaporeans should choose the ward and hospital type based on their individual healthcare needs, insurance coverage and affordability. On his part, Roger is confident that he is able to get the appropriate treatment he needs at a public hospital.