#LIFEHACKS
Insuring Yourself

Recent events put a spotlight on this important life investment.

By Kelvin Low      12 June 2020

With the recent COVID-19 epidemic worldwide, it is of no surprise that people are most worried about falling ill to a virus, and the huge medical costs that can add up very quickly should one get hospitalised.

With so many different types of insurance available in Singapore, buying more health policies than you actually need is a common occurrence. We break down the myriad of health insurance policies available into a simple to digest guide.

At its core, health insurance is intended to ease the financial burdens associated with in-patient medical care, hospital stays, and out-patient care. This is why all Singapore citizens and permanent residents have a basic health insurance plan.

Essential: Medical Insurance

This is the crucial health insurance that everyone should be familiar with, as enrolment into Medishield starts the moment you make your first CPF contribution. Started 20 years ago, Medishield, a basic health insurance, helps to pay for large hospital bills and some costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer.

Revamped as MediShield Life, the plan provides subsidised treatment, limited to public hospitals and B2/C-type wards. Should you choose to stay in an A/B1-type ward or in a private hospital, your MediShield Life payout will cover only a small proportion of your bill. You will need to draw from MediSave and/or cash to pay the balance.

For better medical coverage, you can opt for the Integrated Shield Plan. It acts like an add-on to your MediShield Life plan. It will give you higher coverage and wider access to different treatments, from a broader range of doctors and hospitals.

Because it builds on existing MediShield Life policies, you do not get duplicate coverage. MediShield Life premiums are paid for from your MediSave account. Similarly, the premiums for an Integrated Shield Plan can also be deducted from your MediSave account.

Currently, NTUC Income, AIA, Great Eastern, Aviva, Prudential, AXA and Raffles Health Insurance provide Integrated Shield plans.

For added coverage, you can also consider buying other types of health insurance policies which expands the coverage beyond medical costs.

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