Ageing population series: Do your parents have health insurance?

Take a moment to speak to your parents about their health insurance policies. 

A concerning trend is highlighted by Singstat’s findings on the Singapore resident population having many more elderly and fewer younger people in the age distribution. The proportion of residents aged 65 years and above has increased from 8.9% in 2010 to 13.0% in 2017, and this trend seems likely to continue as Singapore’s total fertility rate is at 1.2 (well below the 2.1 population replacement rate).

Singapore is an ageing population and with the elderly, the number one concern is health care. Regardless of Singapore footing a bigger health bill to care for its ageing population through subsidiaries, it is still the responsibility of individuals to ensure that they do have adequate protection in terms of health insurance.

Here’s what you can do to ensure your parents have their healthcare needs covered.

Health Insurance 

Find out the current status of your parents’ healthcare coverage and understand the health insurance policies they own. Don’t be surprised if you find that your parents may not be as well protected as you think.

Usually, they would have bought some kind of insurance plan many years ago but they may not be fully aware of the extent of their insurance coverage. Take the effort to go with them and meet their adviser to find out more on their health insurance coverage.

We need to aid them in ensuring that they are fully protected. Ask the adviser about any exclusions or other conditions that are part of the policies own by your parents.

MediShield Life & Integrated Shield Plan 

In Singapore, all citizens and permanent residents are automatically covered under MediShield Life. MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan that helps cover large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments – such as dialysis and chemotherapy. It covers a significant portion of Class B2/C – ward bills while Integrated Shield Plans provide additional coverage for A/B1 Class wards or in private hospitals.

As an Integrated Shield Plan provides additional private insurance coverage, premiums will higher than MediShield Life. Integrated Shield Plans work in tandem with MediShield Life to ensure there is no overlap in coverage.

Consider coverage & cost when choosing a health insurance 

It’s a mistake to think that you’re saving money by choosing an integrated shield plan with a lower premium. More often than not, lower premiums mean lower coverage. Scrimping on your integrated shield plan premium does not make sense as instead of saving money, you’ll end up spending more should you need medical help in the future.

A good integrated shield plan will cover most of your medical bills but you also need to keep in mind of the annual coverage limit – this refers to how much you can claim up to each year. If your parents do not have proper coverage, ensure that you get the most suitable plan for them.

Main insurance companies in Singapore 

The figures are subjected to change.

A large portion of your health insurance costs will depend upon the amount of coverage your plan provides but another factor that affects the cost of premiums is the age of the insured. Premium prices are usually lower for younger individuals as it is assumed that they are diagnosed with fewer health conditions than older folks.

The figures are subjected to change.

View more here

Have an open conversation with your parents about their healthcare needs. If we didn’t take cost into consideration, everyone would want the best service from the best doctors in the most comfortable hospital suites. However, these things cost a bomb and we have to weigh our options for the best suited health insurance plan.

 

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