My child aged 17 has been insured under Aviva My Shield Plan 2 Plus Option A for free. Free cover ends age 21 and I am thinking of upgrading her to cover private hospital. Any advice? - Seedly
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Insurance

Health Insurance

Hospitalisation Insurance (H&S)

AVIVA MyShield Health Insurance

Anonymous

Asked on 02 Jun 2020

My child aged 17 has been insured under Aviva My Shield Plan 2 Plus Option A for free. Free cover ends age 21 and I am thinking of upgrading her to cover private hospital. Any advice?

We will still be using govt hospitals but would like it as a safety net due to a bad experience of a long wait of a few months to resolve a health issue. As Aviva premiums seems on the high side as one ages, I am considering switching her to Income, AIA or Great Eastern. I like AIA for its long pre n post hosp benefits but is worried about being slapped with high costs if not using panel of doctors. Would appreciate any insights on which company would b suitable in my daughter's case.

Thanks .

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There are a few points you need to take into consideration when you choose a hospitalization plan in Singapore.

  1. Choose the one with the best underwriting terms

  2. The class of hospitalization will correlate with your affordability and income level

  3. Do not make the assumption that the cheapest provider today will be the cheapest in the future

  4. Do not make the assumption that benefits cannot be changed, altered, or increased to be competitive.

The assumption that the other providers have a lower increment as the person ages, and that remains the status quo is a flawed view. Hospitalization plans are the most frequently readjusted plans in the life insurance industry, and that will continue to be the case as underwriting claims and experience will affect the premiums going forward. This is going to be the case as Singapore faces an aging population.

I would often recommend getting a private cover for the youth as the premiums are still affordable when they are younger, they could downgrade later on as they age and near retirement. The important factor is ensuring that they keep their private option while they are healthy. This changes as we age.

All insurers would be able to give private covers, but they will have their own list of pros and cons. The macro idea; if you are buying government hospitalization for your daughter, upgrading it to a Private plan will solve that issue with the wait time. Whether there is a panel of doctors is a separate question as there is a limit to how much we can predict the type of hospitalizations into the future.​​​

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Above all, everyone needs to have their own healthcare insurance. In your situation, yes, I will suggest for your daughter to have her own private integrated shield plan in addition to the free coverage that she has now. The reason is simple - insurability is pricelss. Once you have a medical condition (like myself), you may never be insurable again.

More Details:

Integrated Shield Plan Rider Singapore: A Starter’s Guide

In your situation, I will suggest for you to speak with your agent or to work with someone experienced. For the most part, we need to understand the coverage that the plan is able to provide.

Additionally, insurers have shift their focus towards seeking medical treatment with their list of panel doctors. Therefore, this is an important point to note when you make a decision.

For AIA Singapore, our list of preferred providers include government and restructured hospitals in Singapore, alongside with a list of specialists from the private hospitals. At this point, there are over 400 specialists and many more who are awaiting to join the list.

https://www.aia.com.sg/en/help-support/qualityhealthcare/browse-healthcare-specialist.html

As for your concern, I will suggest for you to have a basic introduction and understanding on the panel doctors that AIA provides. This gives you confidence when you make your decision. Of course, you should always choose to work with someone who have experience in claim related matters. Accordingly, this minimises any potential hiccups when a claim arise.

All things considered, we get healthcare insurance to have a peace of mind. Therefore, it is imperative to work with a reputable insurer, to choose a reasonable plan, and work with a responsible agent.

I share quality content on estate planning and financial planning here.

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Hi anon, while I can't say much about the other companies, GE never used to be the cheapest but recently became "affordable" when all the insurers increased premiums together (including GE). Think about the sustainability of how the hospitalisation premiums are being controlled by each insurer. Panel doctors are a way to help the insurer cost by allowing for more "equitable" claims from private hospitals, and in return benefit the consumer by not raising premiums.

Most bills are now capped at 5% co-payment with a maximum of 3k should admission be under private panel or restructured hospitals. There's also letter of guarantees that can be issued before actual treatment by some of the companies for a greater peace of mind.

The H&S scene has been largely competitive everytime it comes to renewals, just like how contractors send their tender for bids. Each company tries to copy the other companies benefits which would eventually be more or less similar. What's different however, would be how well each company can sustain the premiums.

If i were to be objective, I'd pick the big 3 in Singapore namely AIA/ Pru/ GE. I tend to think their market share and policy holder base would be the largest, so cost is more spread amongst the policy holders. ​​​

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Hi Anon, expensive today may not mean expensive in 5 years time, and neither would cheap today would stay cheap forever.

I would recommend sticking with Aviva especially if the policy has been incepted for quite some time and just send in an upgrade form.

But if you'd really like to switch, I'd consider AXA or AIA but just make sure you are ok with their panel choice and do what's required of you as a customer (request for LOG, etc).

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