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Picking The Best Elder Insurance Policy In Singapore

by | Dec 1, 2023 | A Better Tomorrow, Insurance

As part of ageing, it is natural that one becomes more susceptible to illnesses and accidents. Ensuring that one is adequately insured is all the more important as one gets older. Health insurances help with medical expenses such as in and outpatient treatment, day surgeries and hospitalisation costs. 

For Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), MediSave is a national medical savings scheme that helps individuals set aside part of their income to pay for their personal or approved dependents’ hospitalisation, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses, as well as their healthcare needs in old age.

We also have MediShield Life, a basic health insurance plan, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It is structured so that patients pay less MediSave/cash for large hospital bills.

Medishield provides basic health coverage, mainly for treatment in hospitals. For those who want additional health coverage, be it for more coverage on top of existing or coverage for specific conditions, they typically opt for private health insurance. 

Financial commitments are always a major cause for concern – other than medical expenses, there comes many hidden costs as one ages such as respite care services and follow up treatments. Whilst health insurance for older persons gives a peace of mind that this burden can potentially be lessened we don’t want the problem of having unsuitable coverages. 

Here are a few pointers for consideration when going about choosing the best elderly insurance:

 

Coverage benefits 

Coverage for those in their silver years could be that of medical fees, mobility aids, home-care services and rehabilitation expenses incurred due to accidents. When choosing an insurance policy, we often see different coverage tiers – from basic coverage to more extensive coverage which comes at a higher premium. Do evaluate your needs or your loved ones needs before committing to a policy.

Other than in and outpatient treatment/hospitalisation, some coverage you can also expect are that of home-care services, rehabilitation and caregiver training expenses incurred due to an accident. 

 

Terms and conditions on pre-existing illnesses 

Pre-existing illnesses refers to any illnesses or disabilities that may affect one during the application for health insurance. Why is this important? One might not qualify for certain insurance policies so it is of paramount importance to read the fine details on what exclusions there are. 

MediShield Life provides coverage even for those with pre-existing conditions. One can also use their Medisave to pay their MediShield Life premiums, so this can provide some assurance that there are still options out there if you can’t find insurance coverage for your elderly family with pre-existing conditions. 

Thus, it is important to understand the fine print of the policy to understand which diseases are excluded, the co-payment clauses and waiting period for each of them etc the length of time of which you cannot claim any treatments for your pre-existing condition is usually 1-2 years. 

If you ever need help on navigating these fine print, do reach out to your financial advisor to understand how these might affect the care recipient before deciding which is the most suited policy. 

 

Maximum age limit 

Most insurance policies have a maximum age limit and one would not be able to purchase the plans once they’re past the entry age. Say you are buying an insurance policy for your parents and they are nearing the age limit, it might be wise to consider renewing the policy before the age limit. 

NTUC Income’s SilverCare Insurance is renewable for life when the insured signs up between 50 and 75 years old and provides coverage for recovery care such as home modifications to cater for easy mobility and training for the caregiver. 

 

Plans that extend protection to the family

In August 2023, DBS Bank announced that it has partnered with Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (Chubb) to offer Dementia Caregiver Protect – a first-in-market insurance solution that provides support for dementia caregivers and care recipients.

Coverage for the caregiver includes

  • Monthly payout for voluntary loss of employment and utility bills, in the event of voluntary resignation to provide caregiving to the Care Recipient
  • Reimbursement of counselling expenses incurred due to mental distress arising from caregiving

It is heartening to see more insurance providers recognising that caregivers play an important part in ensuring that older persons age well and are making concerted efforts to support caregivers with the cost of long term care, giving them a greater peace of mind. 

 

Conclusion

Buying private healthcare insurance is harder for older folks with pre-existing medical conditions so forward looking planning is always important. Having adequate insurance coverage while ensuring you are able to afford them is key to reducing the financial burden when one falls ill. If you’re in doubt, reach out to your financial advisor on choosing a plan most suited to your loved one’s needs before commiting upfront to any insurance policy. 

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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