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Steadynomics 101: Tips to Get Healthcare Ready

09 Jan 2017 
SOURCE: CPF Board

Steadynomics

stɛdi ' nɒmɪks]   |   The state of being where you:

1. Are attached to your money instead of parting with it frivolously.

2. Diligently practise smart budgeting and good money habits.

3. Earn yourself financial confidence for the future.

 

As you enter your 30s and beyond, you may not look or feel much different from a few years back but your body is changing little by little. Perhaps, your immediate health-related concerns involve losing those extra kilos, staying in shape or keeping your skin looking youthful. Or perhaps, you've noticed your body slowing down and you feel drained after work.

 

Your healthcare is an important aspect you have to plan for, as you just don't know what tomorrow will bring.

 

So, if you're looking to draw up your healthcare game plan, where should you begin? Read on as we share tips to help you with your healthcare needs.

 

Manage your healthcare one step at a time 

The idea of planning for your healthcare may seem like a challenge at first, but breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps can be helpful.

 

Let's start with preventive healthcare. No matter how you feel right now, regular medical checkups and health screenings are important. In fact, one in four Singaporeans aged 40 and above suffers from one or more chronic diseases. As prevention is better than cure, you may want to consider getting screened at the recommended frequency.

 

If you are aged 50 or above, you can even pay for certain health screenings using your Medisave. This helps ensure that diseases are diagnosed early to prevent future complications and a dent in your finances.

 

Read also: Did you know you can do this with your Medisave

 

Your everyday choices also play an important part in your healthcare. What you eat, how much you exercise, and how many hours of sleep you get, can add up to impact your health in a good or bad way. With this in mind, cultivating the following habits may be a good idea as they not only benefit your body but also your wallet:

 

1)  Eat right
A balanced meal can help to curb cravings and snacking habits. For a better handle on your health, choose more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and consume less sugar and saturated fat. While preparing your own meals gives you better control over your diet, dining outside does not mean giving up on healthy eating. 

 

Read also: Healthy $20 Meals For The Entire Family

 

2)  Stay physically active
Physical activity and health are inseparable. Simply getting on your feet, taking a walk in the park or climbing the stairs to your apartment daily can keep your heart healthy. These are activities you can easily fit into your lifestyle without spending a cent. 

 

3)  Commit to an activity you love
Taking time off to do things that make you happy can help reduce stress and keep your body healthy – online shopping doesn't count! While shopping may be one way to de-stress, it is neither financially wise nor beneficial to your physical health. So, take a moment to consider an activity that is meaningful and enjoyable, and make it a point to do it regularly.


Plan better by understanding your medical coverage
Next, it is important for you to know what medical coverage you have. As a CPF member, you can rely on both Medisave and MediShield Life – these will help with your medical expenses. 


What's important to note is that MediShield Life provides basic coverage for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments. It is sized for subsidised treatment in public hospitals. If you would like to stay in a Class A/B1 ward or in a private hospital, you may want to purchase additional private insurance coverage to complement your existing MediShield Life coverage. Here's a quick outline of what the plans offer.
Steadynomics 101 Tips to Get Healthcare Ready 1.png
 
To decide if you need an Integrated Shield Plan (IP), you can start by asking yourself two questions:
1) Do I wish to stay in a private ward and choose my own doctor?

2) Can I afford my IP premiums in the long run?

As an IP provides additional private medical coverage, bear in mind that the premiums are also higher than MediShield Life. For instance, compared to MediShield Life, for those below the age of 50, a Standard IP can cost about $50 to $110 more and an IP that provides private hospital coverage can cost about $140 to $730 more.  

 

If you would like to purchase additional private insurance coverage via an IP, you can use your Medisave to pay the additional premiums, up to the Additional Withdrawal Limits. These limits apply on top of the amount of Medisave that you can use for MediShield Life prem

iums.

 

So, consider and purchase an insurance coverage according to what you need, and can afford. As each individual has different needs, do speak to your financial advisor, who will be able to share more about your options and what they entail.  

 

Read also: What if you become seriously ill 

 

Know the ABCs of making a medical claim

Regardless of which plan you choose, it is important to know how you can make a claim. Both MediShield Life and IPs cover hospital expenses and certain approved outpatient treatments. So, if you wish to make a claim, all you need to do is to inform the hospital staff, and with your authorisation, they will submit a claim on your b

ehalf.

 

You will only be required to pay part of the bill above the claim limits, as well as the deductibles and co-insurance – which you can pay using Medisave and/or cash.

 

Confused between what's a deductible and what's co-insurance?

 

The deductible is the fixed amount of the hospital bill you need to pay each policy year before MediShield Life payouts start. Depending on your age and ward type, it can range from $1,500 to $3,000. The deductible is cumulative and payable only once every policy year. 

 

Co-insurance, on the other hand, is a percentage of the claimable amount that you need to pay, on top of the deductible. The larger your bill, the less co-insurance you pay. On average, this can range from 10% to 3% as the bill size increases.

 Steadynomics 101 Tips to Get Healthcare Ready 2.png

 

Read also: How does your MediShield Life Claim work

 

Walk steadily into the future protected

Ultimately, steady healthcare planning is a combination of healthy lifestyle habits, and knowing what you need. You may even want to take into consideration your family's medical history before deciding on the plans you need.

 

It is always wise to plan for the worst, even as you hope for the best.

 

Now that you are better prepared with knowledge on medical coverage and the options available, you can take steady steps to protect your health and future.

 

Stay tuned for more steady financial tips in the next article of our Steadynomics series!

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