Even though I am disqualified from upgrading my existing health insurance policy, at least I could still do a comparison and advise my family members which policy offers the best value. In this case, I am interested to compare between NTUC Income Health Insurance policy and AIA Healthshield plan. Both companies offer hospitalization policies which do not carry cash value, and are renewable every year. You are eligible to purchase the policy if you do not have any pre-condition that predisposes you to a critical illness.When buying hospitalization insurance policy, I suggest using three criteria for comparison. First, does it offer sufficient coverage during hospitalization? Second, after discharge from hospital, what kind of coverage is being offered? If I need long-term outpatient treatment, am I being covered? Third, is there a cap as to how much I can claim per policy year and lifetime? If the premiums are affordable, I would suggest looking for policy that covers as much as possible, and ideally the policy should pay as much as you are being charged.
According to NTUC IncomeShield Plan at http://www.income.com.sg/forms/brochure/EIS.pdf, there are three types of hospitalization insurance policies: Preferred, Advantage and Basic. The three types of policy will pay for the full hospitalization charges (minus 10% co-insurance & deductible) at private hospital, government/restructured A ward and below, and government/restructured B1 ward and below respectively. All three policies also pay for the full charges (minus 10% co-insurance & deductible) incurred due to chemotherapy (which is very critical for cancer patient), and other stated out-patient hospital treatment. The limit per policy year is $600,000; $400,000; and $150,000 respectively for each policy. How about the limit per lifetime? There is no limit for each policy. All three policies also offers up to 90 days full post-hospitalization charges.
AIA offers an equivalent hospitalization plan called AIA HealthShield Gold Max and AIA HealthShield Gold Max Essential. The HealthShield Gold Max is comparable to NTUC IncomeShield Preferred Plan. You can find out more details about AIA HealthShield plan at http://www.aia.com.sg/health/hiplans-healthshield-gold-max.html. the difference between HealthShield Gold Max and Gold Max Essential is that the latter policy covers co-insurance and deductibles as well. If you download the brochure, you will see that AIA covers 100 days pre-hospitalization and 100 days post-hospitalization charges. However the limit per policy year for HealthShield Gold Max is up to $500,000 while NTUC Preferred Plan offers up to $600,000 per policy year. This $100,000 difference is crucial if you are in intensive care unit. However, there is no limit for lifetime in the case of HealthShield Gold Max and it covers all charges incurred by out-patient hospital treatment including chemotherapy (remember to minus 10% co-insurance and deductible), which is the same as all the three plans offered by NTUC.
Having compared some elementary differences between AIA and NTUC hospitalization insurance plans, you might think that NTUC insurance plans should cost more than AIA’s. Let’s take a look at the chart below for comparison.
(Disclaimer: I am not an insurance agent, neither do I earn any commission from writing this blog entry).