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All you need to know about respiratory diseases and health insurance (including COVID-19)

Take my breath away... but not in this way. Find out more about the common symptoms and how your can curate a health insurance plan that is best suited to your needs!

04 Oct 2022
All you need to know about respiratory diseases and health insurance (including COVID-19)

Over the past couple of decades, respiratory diseases have become increasingly common amongst the general population.

One of the most obvious reasons for this would be the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused irreversible damage not only to our economies and livelihoods, but also to the respiratory systems of many of those who have been diagnosed with its virus.

Although respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 can often require a lot of medical care and treatment to get through, they are not as commonly discussed as other major diseases.

And this means that not everyone is fully ready to tackle the huge medical costs that can come with recovering from a respiratory disease – which is where the importance of having the right health insurance policy comes into play.

Common symptoms of respiratory diseases

Before getting into health insurance, what are respiratory diseases?

As the name suggests, respiratory diseases mainly affect the lungs and other vital parts of the respiratory system, and while they can be illnesses as harmless as the common flu, they can also include more serious diseases that may include more severe complications.

The common symptoms of respiratory diseases are:

●      Shortness of breath

●      Cough

●      Sore throat

●      Colds

●      Lung and chest pain

Which respiratory diseases does health insurance cover?

There is a long list of respiratory diseases, but these are the few ones that are commonly covered by health insurance packages:

●      Asthma

●      Chronic bronchitis

●      Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

●      COVID-19

●      Cystic fibrosis

●      Emphysema

●      Lung cancer

●      Pleural effusion

●      Pneumonia

●      Pulmonary fibrosis/bronchiectasis

●      Tuberculosis

However, do note that every health insurance policy is likely to differ regarding the list of respiratory diseases that it covers.

It is crucial to do your own research or clarify with the insurance provider that you’re looking to buy from to confirm the list of diseases covered in the policy – especially if there is a specific disease that you would like to have coverage for.

Types of health insurance

There are a few different types of health insurance plans that you need to know about in order to choose the one best suited to you.

1.    Integrated shield plan

Integrated Shield Plan is an optional and additional plan provided by private insurance providers in Singapore. It offers supplementary coverage for customers. Many Integrated Shield Plans provide better and additional coverage for the insured, such as covering for private hospital admission, or higher (A/B1) ward types in public hospitals.

Integrated Shield Plan is thus a great option for those who are looking for more comprehensive hospitalization and outpatient coverage for life based on each individual’s unique needs and preferences.

2.    Critical illness insurance

If you want a more targeted health insurance policy, you can look at critical illness insurance plans that focus specifically on covering the expenses that come with recovering from a critical illness.

For instance, some insurance offers multi-pay coverage for lung disease, helping you through your treatment-related expenses regardless of the stage of the disease or the number of times you have claimed for the same disease before.

3.    Hospital cash payout insurance

Not all health insurance policies focus exclusively on covering medical or treatment-related expenses. Hospital Cash Payout policies offer you a daily payout for each day you’re hospitalized. You can spend this amount on any expense that you wish.

Additional benefits of health insurance for respiratory diseases

The main benefit of getting a comprehensive health insurance plan is that it will help out with your medical fees. Most of the types of health insurance policies mentioned above offer coverage for hospitalization fees, selected outpatient services, and other treatment-related expenses such as medical examinations, which can significantly ease the financial burden and allow you to focus on recovery.

However, health insurance plans come with a variety of other benefits that can be extremely useful when dealing with health issues like respiratory diseases.

1.    Annual health check-up

Medical experts have stressed that early diagnosis is key to reducing the harmful effects and further escalation of respiratory illnesses, as any damage done to the respiratory system can often be irreversible.

As such, medical check-ups are crucial in making respiratory diseases more manageable – or even better: in preventing them altogether.

2.    Financial security

Concerns about income-related problems are often the hardest to grapple with after medical expenses. Health insurance plans can help with this – in addition to covering treatment-related fees, there are several policies that give out daily payouts or other cash benefits to help patients deal with the potential income loss that they may be facing after diagnosis.

These cash payouts and benefits are often not restricted to use for medical expenses, which means that you can push the worries about supporting your dependents, for instance, to the back of your mind and focus fully on recovery.


Respiratory illnesses can be hard to manage. Exercising often, eating clean, and maintaining a generally active lifestyle can keep your respiratory system young and healthy. This way, you can prevent the development of respiratory diseases, and as we all know, prevention is the best cure.

Despite this, there are always factors out of our control. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you’re safe and protected in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, which is why it’s crucial that you select and purchase a comprehensive health insurance plan that will ensure that you retain your peace of mind in any situation.

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