Is Medical Insurance Coverage Necessary?

For the past year and in recent months, I have been in and out of hospitals more times than I have in my whole life. This really sets me back thinking hard. With the ever-rising medical costs, will I be able to afford should anything happen to my family or me?

A report released by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) showed that the inflation rate increased by 4.2% year-on-year in May 2013 [Source: Singapore’s Inflation Up 1.6% On-Year In May 2013]. However, I believe many people’s salary do not rise at the same rate or even higher.

Inflation Rate May 2013

Recently, one of my friend undergone an operation to remove a growth in his head. His intention was to visit the public hospital, so that medical fees could be contained as he does not have a medical coverage insurance. However, due to the long wait and criticality of his condition, he had no choice but to undergo the surgery in a private hospital. Fortunately, the critical illness component of his life insurance managed to allow him to tide over the huge bill. However, for follow-up checks, he would have to fork out more money to undergo the treatments.

My dear daughter was also hospitalised when she was merely 3 months old at KKH due to high fever. For a short 2 days of stay, the bill was $1499.81. Initially, I was still pondering whether a baby actually requires a medical insurance coverage but this incident suddenly woken me up. Through a good friend of mine, Mr. Lawrence Chow, he helped us to review our existing insurance coverage and also advised us on the necessary plans to take up.

In October this year, Annabelle was scalded by hot soup at SMU canteen by a student there. Guess what? The student hurriedly said sorry, flashed away and never be seen again. Annabelle was in such a great pain that she could not react to the situation. She sought medical treatment at both the clinic at SMU and Parkway East Hospital A&E. The total bill came up to more than $600. Thankfully this time, she was covered by personal accident plan (PAStar) from Tenet that we purchased earlier in May this year. Can you imagine if the accident is worse and what could be the bill?

Similarly in October, Ashley was hospitalised once again due to high fever. This time round, her fever only subsided after more than 5 days of treatment. We had a 6 days 6 nights stay at Thomson Medical Centre. Well, see the picture below for the total bill! Thankfully, Ashley is now covered with MyShield and MyShield Plus from AVIVA.

TMC Medical Bill

Now, coming back to the thought of “Should one get medical coverage?”. My answer would be a definite YES! However, do note that there are different levels of coverage ranging from the class of wards for your hospital stay and etc. Make sure that you purchase the one that you are able to afford and not lapse the plan because no one knows what could happen tomorrow. Apart from the enhancement of your MediShield plan, you may also wish to consider personal accident coverage.

Last word of advice, do not ponder and hesitate. Don’t ever sit on it waiting for things to happen because you may not be able to imagine what may come! The medical bills thus far can actually pay off a few years of insurance premium, so think properly again.

*Disclaimer: I am not an insurance agent nor affiliated to the companies that I mentioned above. I do not promote any products. Make your own sound decision.

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