Your kids may drive you up the wall at times, but there’s no denying that they are a bundle of joy. And of course, it goes without saying that you want the best for them.
Other than showering your child with love and providing him or her with lots of opportunities to learn and grow, you should also ensure that he or she has adequate medical protection. Especially for new parents, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional about your baby’s health so you can anticipate any issues that might arise.
Medical insurance like Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) can ensure that your child enjoys protection from the very beginning. No, you’re not being kiasu — this is indeed one area where it might make sense to start early!
When is the best time to start protection for your child?
The answer might surprise you, but you can actually start protecting your child even before he or she is born. To do so, you will need a plan like Great Eastern’s GREAT Maternity Care, which is a maternity insurance plan that covers the mother from as early as the 13th week of pregnancy.
Through a life policy purchased via Guaranteed Insurability Benefit (GIB) Option, your child can enjoy guaranteed coverage without medical underwriting, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. The plan will protect the mother from 19 pregnancy and childbirth complications, and the child from 26 congenital conditions.
After your baby’s birth, you can give him or her a head start with appropriate protection by purchasing an IP plan.
All Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents enjoy MediShield Life coverage from birth, and complement this coverage with an affordable IP to ensure that they can seek medical treatment at higher-class wards at restructured hospitals and/or private hospitals. The same goes for your child.
Health issues like fever can be dangerous in babies and young children, and in some cases might require immediate medical attention or even hospitalisation. In addition, newborns are screened for issues like metabolic disease and heart defects, which can have serious consequences later on in life.
You don’t want to be placed in the difficult situation where you wish to seek the best medical care for your child but are worried about the cost, especially as paediatrician fees can be quite high in Singapore. Also remember that parenthood can be an expensive journey, and new parents are often grappling with other costs such as home loan repayments, baby equipment and food.
It’s thus worthwhile to purchase sufficient medical insurance coverage for your child in the form of an IP. IP premiums tend to be very affordable for children and can be paid with your MediSave or your Child’s Development Account (CDA). The coverage goes a long way towards alleviating your financial stress when your child falls ill.
What medical support would you need?
When children fall ill, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital tend to be many parents’ top choices. KK Hospital is particularly sought-after as it specialises in healthcare services for children, and is thus served by some of the nation’s top paediatricians.
Both KK Hospital and NUH are classified as restructured hospitals rather than private ones. Restructured hospitals enjoy full government funding and tend to have a larger pool of doctors and excellent equipment.
Restructured hospitals are also much more affordable than private hospitals. As some childhood ailments can require weeks or months of treatment, the lower cost is a big plus for parents.
For those who prefer to use the private healthcare system, Gleneagles Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital are popular choices.
Private hospitals often involve shorter wait times and can thus be less stressful for parents whose children need emergency care. They also permit parents to choose doctors, which enables them to seek recommended specialists for their child’s condition. However, costs are also significantly higher than at restructured hospitals.
Parents who wish to strike a balance between cost and freedom of choice can opt for GREAT SupremeHealth, an IP which offers coverage for medical bills if the child is hospitalised.
They can then supplement it with a GREAT TotalCare supplementary plan, which minimises out-of-pocket costs by limiting co-payment to no more than 5% of the total hospital bill*.
What other factors make a difference (especially in an emergency?)
Great Eastern offers three IPs that cover medical expenses in the event of hospitalisation, including 120 days of pre- and up to 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage.
They are as follows:
- GREAT SupremeHealth B Plus — Covers up to Class B1 wards at restructured hospitals, with coverage of up to $500,000 per policy year
- GREAT SupremeHealth A Plus — Covers up to Class A wards at restructured hospitals, with coverage of up to $1,000,000 per policy year
- GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus — Covers all hospitals, private and restructured, with coverage of up to $1,500,000 per policy year
In order to minimise out-of-pocket costs, these plans can be supplemented with a GREAT TotalCare Supplementary plan, which caps co-payment at 5% of the total eligible bill*.
GREAT SupremeHealth policyholders also enjoy access to the insurer’s panel of medical specialists. Through Health Connect, you can get your treatment expenses at panel healthcare providers pre-authorised and receive confirmation that your bill will be covered even before your treatment.
Another plan worth considering is Supreme MediCash, which offers a daily hospitalisation cash benefit of up to $200 and $400 in the event of an illness or accident respectively. If an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) confinement is required, an additional daily cash benefit of up to $600 will be payable. Hospitalisation for Covid-19 is also covered. This can help to defray the cost of taking time off work to be with your child if he or she is hospitalised.
The plan also offers up to $4,000 recovery payment in the event of surgery. What’s more, if you have an existing GREAT SupremeHealth plan, you can enjoy more savings with a 20% discount off your annual premiums for your Supreme MediCash plan.
There’s also GREAT Junior Protector, a personal accident plan that offers coverage for accidents, issues like food poisoning and infectious diseases like Covid-19 and dengue fever.
The best gift for your child
Your child might prefer a Baby Shark toy to an insurance plan, but as a parent, you know better!
Insurance protection is a gift of love, and can start as early as your or your partner’s 13th week of pregnancy through GREAT Maternity Care.
For those with older children, you can also consider purchasing early life insurance protection or help your child build up savings with a wealth accumulation plan.
Great Eastern can protect your child at every stage of life. Learn about Great Eastern’s insurance plans.
#Lifeproof your hospitalisation needs, for life.
Terms and Conditions apply.
*Co-payment may, under certain Great TotalCare Plan types, be capped at either (i) 5% of the total eligible bill; or (ii) the deductible, whichever is higher. Under other Great TotalCare Plan types, co-payment may be capped at 5% of the total eligible bill, subject to a maximum of $3,000 per period of insurance, for restructured hospitals and private panel specialists with certificate of pre-authorisation. | GREAT TotalCare is not a MediSave-approved Integrated Shield plan and premiums are not payable using MediSave. GREAT TotalCare is designed to complement the benefits offered under GREAT SupremeHealth. | It is usually detrimental to replace an existing accident and health plan with a new one. A penalty may be imposed for early plan termination and the new plan may cost more, or have less benefits at the same cost. | This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. | The above is for general information only. It is not a contract of insurance. The precise terms and conditions of this insurance plan are specified in the policy contract. | This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).
Information correct as at 1 November, 2021.
This article is written in collaboration with MoneySmart.