Asked on 18 Dec 2020
2 years back I was persuaded by my cousin to take up IP $174 cpf and rider $277 cash, can stay up to private ward. Personally I feel that the premiums are quite ex & wanted to downgrade or remove the rider ($99 & $235) but my cousin told me no since I’m young & rates are cheap for private ward + I will need to wait for ward/slot for public hosp, inexp doc, share ward etc. I have not been hospitalized before so I felt that sharing ward isn’t a big issue. + the rates increased to 194 & 324 last yr
There can be reasons to take up a private plan now when you are young.
Firstly, you are healthy now. If you have a government plan now and later on in life, make a good income, your ability to upgrade to a private hospital level of coverage will then depend on your health. If your health is not good, no amount of money in the world will let you upgrade your hospitalization plan. However, if you are on a private plan and the premiums become a strain later on, downgrading is always possible.
Secondly, is the difference extremely significant for you? Your cousin is not wrong to say that the issue with government hospitals can be factors such as the waiting time. Admittedly, the price is higher now, but in the grand scheme of things, if you are not spending more than 10% of your income in total on all your policies, it is still a reasonable amount.
Ultimately you will have to find a solution that works for you. There are pros and cons regardless of what level of coverage you choose. But have coverage nonetheless. Medishield Life's coverage is not extremely comprehensive.
I understand where you’re coming from. Insurance is a tricky thing, you spend lots of money on it only to hope that you’ll nvr use it.
To decide whether you should downgrade to just public coverage you’ll need to consider a few things beyond just cost.
1) Public vs Private
We all know that in Singapore, private hospital are more efficient. Sometimes this can result in life or death. For example, getting an MRI scan could take weeks in public while only hours/days in private. Earlier detection means that you’ll get treatment early which may directly impact your chances of survival.
2) Possible difficulty of upgrading. In the even that your unfortunately fall sick after you downgrade. If you ever change your mind afterwards (want to revert back to private ), chances are you will not be able to do so.
3) Price. It is true that the premium of hospital insurance always increases. This is actually not just in AIA but industry wide. With medical inflation insurance companies have no choice but to increase the premium. Having the private coverage is definitely better. But if the cost of it it’s really squeezing you dry and I would recommend you to downgrade. But you need to be aware of the potential of the unintended consequences I mentioned above.
This is just my 2cents! I hope it’s of help to you 😊.
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