Life is unpredictable and we may not know what might happen to us in the future. Let’s say you’re playing soccer, and you fall and hurt your back. You go to the hospital and find that you require surgery and post-surgery physiotherapy to treat your injuries. If you don’t have hospital and surgical insurance, that would mean paying out of your pocket – and it could be quite a hefty sum. Instead of dipping into your savings, taking a loan or borrowing from friends or family – purchase hospital insurance. Having comprehensive hospital insurance to cover you when you most need it, can guarantee you peace of mind.
In this article we explain what hospital insurance plans are, how they provide coverage, how they work together with health subsidies provided by the government and how you can select one that suits you best:
Why do you need hospital and surgical insurance?
Healthcare costs are rising due to medical cost inflation, hitting 10% in 2018. As Singapore faces issues such as an ageing population and increasing healthcare manpower costs, this issue is further exacerbated. Medical insurance helps individuals defray some of these costs.
Hospital and surgical insurance, also known as inpatient cover, aids in financial coverage if you incur medical expenses while being warded in a hospital. For example, if you experience a car accident, and require surgery and ward stays, the cost of these medical bills can be covered with hospital and surgical insurance. In some plans, subsequent outpatient treatments required after inpatient treatment for the same injury or illness are also covered. This can include doctor consultation fees prior to hospitalisation or follow-up visits after being discharged.
Your employer might also provide you with an employee benefits package that includes group hospital and surgical insurance that covers you for medical expenses and hospitalisation costs. However, the coverage provided would be basic and may be insufficient to provide adequate financial assistance to you.
How is hospital insurance different from critical illness insurance?
Hospital insurance is a type of health insurance. As opposed to other types of health insurance, like critical illness insurance, hospital insurance is specifically meant for you to have your hospital bills reimbursed when you are hospitalised, while a critical illness (CI) insurance plan pays a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. This can include major cancers, heart attack, kidney failure and Parkinson’s disease. The lump sum paid out by your insurance company can be used to cover not just hospital costs but your daily expenses, including food and rent, if you can no longer continue working.
How does hospital insurance boost your MediShield?
All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) have access to basic health insurance provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH) – known as MediShield. This provides you with basic coverage, where payouts are provided to cover stays at class B2 and C wards at government hospitals. If you would like to upgrade your coverage to be able to stay in a A or B1 ward, or at a private hospital, consider boosting your government-provided plan with a hospital insurance plan. To illustrate the range of prices across wards, we use the inpatient care cost breakdown for Singapore General Hospital (SGH):
- Standard Ward Type C – Up to 8 beds in a room (From S$35 per day)
- Standard Ward Type B2 – Up to 6 beds in a room (From S$79 per day)
- Standard Ward Type B1 – 4 beds in a room with attached bath room and toilet (From S$251.45 per day)
- Standard Ward Type A – Single room with attached bath room and toilet (From S$508.46 per day)
If one chooses to stay in ward type B1 for a length of 25 days, the bill would amount to $6286.25. With hospital insurance, you can have a large portion of this cost covered instead of paying out of pocket. You will be able to also enjoy higher claim limits with such a plan.
The added plus of getting a hospital insurance plan is that it also comes with the perks of the services of an insurance agent. Instead of having to independently trawl through government websites, you will just have to check in with your agent.
What to consider when choosing hospital and surgical insurance?
When deciding on hospital and surgical insurance, it’s important that you review your finances and budgets to determine how much you’re willing to set aside each month. Keep in mind that you will need to consistently pay for your premiums every month for several years. Choose one that affords you extensive coverage, and still falls within a comfortable premium amount.
Find out more about Expat Insurance’s hospital insurance plans
Expat Insurance offers different hospital insurance plans designed to fulfil your unique needs. Our insurance advisors in Singapore will take you through the various hospital insurance options we have to help you decide on one that provides you the best coverage.
Speak with us today.