Healthcare Financing in Singapore
National health insurance in Singapore, MediShield
In Singapore, health insurance is the necessity as patients have to rely on their own saving money to fund for any medical bills, i.e, Medisave funds to pay for any hospitalization expenses. The cash in Medisave account can run out quickly when they stop working. As such, all Singaporeans and permanent residents who have Medisave accounts, essentially working members of the society, are automatically covered by a national catastrophic insurance scheme run by the government termed Enhanced Medishield.
As of 2013, the maximum coverage age for Medishield is 90. Yearly limits of $70,000 and life time limits of $300,000 applies. However, it is mostly designed for B2 & C wards in government restructured hospitals, which may lack certain comfort such as air-conditioned rooms. One may need to wait longer for surgery and have no option in choosing the doctor.
Private providers, Integrated Shield Plans
For patients who prefer more comfort and can afford the premium, private integrated Shield plans from five approved insurers may make more sense. Shield plans offer more than basic Medishield. Most importantly, there is no expiry age, so one is covered for life. Most of their plans are as charged basis with no life time limit. One can even take up a rider to take care of deductible and insurance.
NTUC Income Shield
Different private providers offer different perks. NTUC Income enhanced its coverage by allowing prosthesis benefits an new living donor transplant benefits. Its yearly claimed limit for its most comprehensive Preferred Plan is $700,000, making it the highest in the market.
Aviva's My Shield plan
For Aviva's My Shield plan, the attractive feature is that it is the only provider offering free child cover up to four children till they are 20 if both parents are cover under the higher Shield plans options. No health declaration is needed for this plan and it even cover certain mild pre-existing conditions after the absence of symptoms, treatments or medication for five years from the day the policy is in force. Its HealthShield Gold Max A will even cover congenital abnormalities of an insured female's biological child from birth till 24 months old.
Prudential Prushield and Great Eastern Supreme Heath
Those who work overseas often need to have global plans such as Prudential Prushield or Great Eastern Supreme Health with rider to extend coverage from local to overseas.
Benefits vs Premiums
For all private providers' shield plans, namely AIA HealthShield Gold Max, Aviva My SHield, Great Eastern SupremeHealth, NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield, Prudential PruShield, there is a co-insurance of 10% one must pay.
However, one needs to look at the yearly premiums between different providers before buying a plan. At the end of the day, the lifetime cost is the key. You have to understand which provider's benefit suit you the most and decides base on the amount of premiums that you will be able to afford.