Despite our best efforts to maintain good health, the unpredictability of life makes it difficult to entirely evade being hospitalised.
In Singapore, the most common reasons for being hospitalised include getting into an accident, cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and stroke, amongst other ailments. Not only are these ailments very serious, but people are contracting these serious illnesses at a younger age. The age-specific incidence rates of cancer in Singapore have increased amongst those under the age of 40 at a much faster rate compared to older groups. This means that more and more people require cancer drug treatment at a younger age.
How Can I Prepare For The Inevitable?
Being hospitalised can be a huge financial burden. We should therefore ensure that we have sufficient coverage so that we will be prepared for such unforeseen events.
For many of us, our first line of defence when it comes to health insurance is MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans. These two plans work together to reduce out-of-pocket hospitalisation costs.
MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan designed to offer coverage for hospitalisation to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents against large hospital bills, regardless of age and pre-existing conditions. This includes lifetime coverage and caters to the most essential hospitalisation expenses, including inpatient and selected outpatient treatments with subsidised bills applicable to Class B2/C wards in public hospitals. Individuals who prefer higher coverage for hospitalisation expenses can purchase the Integrated Shield Plan.
Will Your Hospitalisation Plan Cover All Your Expenses?
While having hospitalisation coverage is a great starting point, it is unwise to assume that the costs associated with hospitalisation stop at your hospital bills. More often, getting hospitalised comes with a myriad of other unforeseen costs, which may add up quickly too.
These extra expenses can range from something as small as having to arrange for private transport to and from the hospital for post-hospitalisation check-ups to seeking alternative treatment to aid recovery (e.g. TCM). These out-of-pocket costs associated with your medical recovery are not covered by your MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans.
This is exacerbated if you have any dependants in your care. For example, if you are a parent, being hospitalised means that you may have to find alternative childcare arrangements for your children. This comes at no small cost. You may also lose your ability to earn an income if you are hospitalised for an extensive period, especially if you are self-employed. The payout from a hospital cash insurance plan can provide timely financial support to cover your family’s day-to-day living expenses.
Parents whose child has to be hospitalised may also find themselves bridled with additional costs. They may have to seek companion accommodation while their child is in hospital. They may also find their work schedule being disrupted or even be forced to take no-pay leave to care for their sick child. These costs might not be covered under the child’s hospitalisation insurance plan as they are not direct medical expenses and would, once again, have to be paid for out-of-pocket. A hospital cash insurance plan can be used to help cover these costs.
These are just a few examples of additional expenses that MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans will not provide coverage for which you might incur if you or your loved ones were hospitalised. As such, not planning ahead for these unexpected costs will only bring additional undue stress when you should be focusing on recovering or taking care of your loved ones.
How Can You Plan Ahead To Protect Yourself Better?
A more holistic approach to planning your health insurance portfolio is by adding a hospital cash insurance plan.
A hospital cash insurance plan complements your Integrated Shield Plan by providing coverage for expenses that are not covered by your MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans. It provides a cash payout for every day that you are hospitalised1,2. You are free to use that cash payout however you wish – from supporting your family’s living expenses to covering additional out-of-pocket medical costs, or even purchasing supplements to aid your recovery.
Great Eastern’s GREAT Hospital Cash plan – cash payouts when you need it the most
Great Eastern’s GREAT Hospital Cash plan offers four plan types for you to choose the level of coverage that best suits your needs and budget.
The benefits of the GREAT Hospital Cash plan are simple and straightforward. You will receive cash payout of up to S$600 per day when you are hospitalised2 and a lump sum Get Well Benefit of up to S$1,800*. In addition, get reimbursed with up to S$600 when you seek outpatient medical treatment† due to injury at the Accident and Emergency department (A&E) or 24-hour urgent care centre in a hospital.
In the unfortunate event that you need to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), you will get a daily hospital cash benefit of up to S$1,200‡ a day. If you require surgery during hospitalisation, a lump sum cash benefit of up to S$1,800^ will be paid.
All the benefits under the GREAT Hospital Cash plan are summarised below:
The GREAT Hospital Cash plan is fairly affordable. Starting at S$256.15 per year for those between 31 and 35 years old, it gives you holistic hospitalisation coverage for less than S$1 a day on average. A 5% renewal discount is also available upon renewal of your GREAT Hospital Cash plan regardless of claims status from the second year onwards.
Note: Premiums shown are inclusive of prevailing GST. The prevailing rate of GST is subject to change. Premium rates are not guaranteed and may be adjusted based on future experience.
If you are already a GREAT SupremeHealth policyholder, you can receive a 20% discount on your GREAT Hospital Cash plan premiums.
Parents who are considering GREAT Hospital Cash plan coverage for their child will also be delighted to know that a 10% discount on first year premium will be given to their child’s GREAT Hospital Cash plan provided that the parents are insured under GREAT Hospital Cash and that their child is 18 years old or below.
As we navigate the unpredictable landscape of health challenges, the need for comprehensive coverage is paramount. While hospitalisation plans like MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans are a crucial foundation, a hospital cash insurance plan that provides cash payout when you are hospitalised fills the gap for various non-medical expenses associated with hospital stays. Planning ahead with a hospital cash insurance plan provides an additional financial safety net and lets individuals and their families focus on recovery without the stress of unforeseen expenses.
Enjoy a hassle-free online application with just 3 simple questions. Find out more about the GREAT Hospital Cash plan here. If you are interesting in finding out more about any other Great Eastern products, register your interest here today!
HealthHub: Admissions: Top 10 Reasons for Being Admitted to Hospital
Notes and disclaimers
Terms and conditions apply.
1Up to 730 days per Hospitalisation.
2Hospitalisation refers to confinement of the Life Assured in a Hospital or at home under Virtual Hospital Ward admission by a Restructured Hospital, which must be considered Medically Necessary and: (a) for 12 consecutive hours or longer; or (b) for which a room and board charge is made in connection with such confinement.
* Per hospitalisation of at least three days.
† Treatment must be given within 72 hours of the occurrence of the accident.
‡ Daily Hospital Cash Benefit – Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be payable for each day that the life assured undergoes hospitalisation in an ICU due to an illness or injury, up to a maximum period of 60 days for each hospitalisation. For such hospitalisation in an ICU beyond 60 days, we will treat such hospitalisation as that in a normal ward.
^ Excluding day surgery, and subject to terms and conditions.
All ages specified refer to age next birthday.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The information presented is for general information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person.
This is only product information provided by us. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying health insurance products that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs. If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
Information correct as at 31 January 2024.
This post was sponsored by and written in collaboration with The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited. ValueChampion (part of AMTD PolicyPal) remains committed to maintaining our editorial integrity by providing the most accurate information and reviewing products with an objective lens. We strive to be an unbiased source of news and content, and are dedicated to helping our readers in their financial wellness journey.
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