Asked on 17 Jun 2020
My husband and I are in our 40s. We have MyShield Plan 1 from Aviva from long ago. Entitles us to private hospital stay. But the premiums are not sustainable when we are old, will be abt $30k/yr as a couple. Aviva premiums seem high too. Am thinking of switching to AXA Shield Plan B, which entitles us to govt hospital Class A stay. We are not particular abt the bells and whistles. We only want access to quality medical care, and no long waiting times. Are we sacrificing foolishly by doing so?
If you want to avoid long waiting times, it is best to stick to private class hospitalization covers. As to the high price as you age, the determination should not be made based on the current prices today. Largely because plans related to hospitalizations are frequently altered and recalibrated due to claims experience. My advice to most people, when the time comes in retirement, you decide then. The cost would be similar across insurers due to the regulation nature of integrated shield plans in Singapore.
Most people would reduce the coverage of their hospitalization plans as they age, and the premiums will be reduced accordingly. There are plans in the market which will cater to private hospitalization while making sure that premiums are affordable. However at this juncture, I would suggest to stick to whatever you have if the premiums are still affordable. Decide when you hit age 60.
Firstly, we need to know a couple of information:
Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
When did you get your policy?
The first question helps us ascertain whether a switch is appropriate as you may not be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions. Furthermore, there is likely a waiting period imposed for the switch.
Next, the second question helps us to understand whether you are enjoying full coverage for your current policy or whether there is a compulsory co-payment. This is because the current plans that are available in the market will include the co-payment feature. In other words, there will always be a cost that you need to pay from your own pocket.
More Details (Part 2.3)
After we have a better understanding on what you have, speak with your agent and perform some calculations on whether it is possible to downgrade your coverage within the same insurance company. This protects your interest as a customer, while you pay a lower premium as compared to coverage in both private and government hospitals in Singapore.
If things doesn't work out and a switch is inevitable, then I will suggest for you to speak to an experienced consultant who may be able to evaluate your options with you. As insurers shift their emphasis towards their healthcare providers, you need to have a basic understnading on what your coverage entails. Otherwise, you may not be better off after the switch.
Overall, speak with your agent who is able to give you responsible financial advice on how to plan for your future.
I share quality content on estate planning and financial planning here.