Some time last month, I wrote an entry about taking care of your health and keeping yourself covered with medical insurance. I cannot stress how important it is to make sure that you and your loved ones (especially if you have ageing parents) are adequately covered.
Up until the day I moved out of the family home, my dad has been the one buying the necessary insurance and managing the family’s coverage. His hope was that one day his children would take over the responsibility of managing their own insurance matters. The day is here, but I guess it is regrettably a bit late. After seeing how hospital bills can add up to the five-figure range with my father-in-law and managing his insurance claims, I resolved to make sure my own parents were well covered. I found out that my mum was only covered under the Basic Medishield plan, while my sister was covered under an integrated shield plan for up to government-restructured hospital A ward. My mum has always been adamant about going to a private hospital and staying in A ward. Therefore, with their current plans, it didn’t seem enough. However (much to my dismay), my mum and sister’s plans cannot be upgraded due to their medical conditions. My mum is diabetic and my sister is undergoing treatment for depression. My insurance agent told me that underwriting for medical insurance is very strict.
So what’s my point of writing this entry? Yes, while most Singaporeans are covered under Basic Medishield (unless they opt out), the coverage is only up to government-restructured hospital B2 or C wards. I’m not saying that everyone should buy an integrated shield plan as supplement, but depending on your income level and lifestyle, it may be a good idea to look into it. Do it while you’re healthy…and especially while your parents are healthy. As age catches up, so do health problems.
The other part of my entry is more to whine a little about how unfair it is that people who are not born healthy, have to be excluded in getting themselves covered. While my mum insists that she is not born a diabetic, we all know that her side of the family has a history with diabetes and for the longest time, I’ve known her to be a diabetic. My grandparents were diabetic and so is my aunt. Even if she wasn’t born with that condition, it is more likely to be passed down genetically. From a business point of view, I can understand why insurance companies do not want to cover unhealthy people. They are a liability (so to speak) anyway as their risk of getting hospitalised or seeking treatment is higher. But from a human point of view, I just can’t get my head round the idea that people not born healthy have to be excluded just like that. Hellooooo, they didn’t ask to my born unhealthy. The hubby tried explaining it from another angle which helped me accept a little (if not fully) this rule. He said that if these people were included and they really had to be make more claims, the premiums for everyone would go up (since it’s based on shared risk) and the healthy ones (like me) would not like that right? Sigh, I guess he has a point.
Anyway, friends or anyone else reading this, if you have no clue about this insurance stuff and want some help, I’ll be happy to share what I know. Yup, this has been my job since I became a homemaker. Reading up on and understanding insurance and investment related matters.