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March 2022

Will you get the quality medical care of your choice if you are hospitalised?

Here’s what you need to be in control of your healthcare coverage.

Published 16/03/2022 | Last Updated 90 days ago

Get the quality medical care when hospitalised

From receiving hospital care to enjoying your choice of doctor and ward, Great Eastern's suite of Integrated Shield plans allows you to tailor your insurance needs.


Large medical bills and costly follow-up treatments - such as kidney dialysis and chemotherapy - are a constant source of concern for Singapore's rapidly ageing population.


Recognising these issues, the Ministry of Health has not only reviewed MediShield Life, the country's national health insurance plan, but is also studying the portability of Integrated Shield Plans (IPs). However, insurers may potentially need to increase the premiums significantly for all policyholders, to price in the increased risk they assume for portable IPs that covers pre-existing conditions, said Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon in Parliament on May 10.


With possible healthcare policy changes and an uncertain economic outlook ahead, policyholders should review their insurance coverage and adjust their IPs according to their budgets and needs.


One option is Great Eastern's MediSave-approved GREAT SupremeHealth, an IP with the choice to add on a wide range of supplementary plans such as GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P and Classic-P), to ensure that quality healthcare remains accessible, regardless of budget.


GREAT SupremeHealth works in tandem with MediShield Life


Singapore citizens and permanent residents are covered by MediShield Life, a universal basic health insurance plan administered by the Central Provident Fund Board.


MediShield Life helps in the payment of large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as kidney dialysis and chemotherapy, by subsidising such treatment in public hospitals at B2- and C-type wards.


However, choosing to stay in an A- or B1-type ward or in a private hospital incurs greater expenses, and the MediShield Life payout will cover only a small portion of the bill.


When this happens, IPs such as GREAT SupremeHealth offer private insurance coverage, on top of what MediShield Life provides. Such private insurance coverage will even help with payments for advanced cancer treatments such as cell, tissue and gene therapy. What's more, policyholders can choose to visit Great Eastern's panel of private specialists and the premiums can be partially paid for with MediSave*.


Further supplement GREAT SupremeHealth with GREAT TotalCare


Rising healthcare and medical treatment costs, plus higher consumer expectations and changing lifestyles, may create greater demand for more alternatives when it comes to private specialists and hospital types. Moreover, seeking treatment at private hospitals or private specialists tends to lead to higher out-of-pocket expenses.


Hence, policyholders may find it useful to add supplementary plan GREAT TotalCare, to GREAT SupremeHealth, which will cover the deductibles and co-insurance portions of the medical bill, with premiums fully payable by cash.


When combined, GREAT SupremeHealth and GREAT TotalCare will cover up to 95 per cent of your hospitalisation bill, further reducing your potential out-of-pocket expenditure to just 5 per cent. This means that for a hospital bill amounting to $100,000, your cash outlay may be capped at $5,000.



Tailor your insurance according to different scenarios, budgets and needs


The availability of various combinations of GREAT SupremeHealth and GREAT TotalCare options expands choices for policyholders, as they can tailor their insurance according to different scenarios, budgets and needs.


For instance, GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus caters to those who want private or restructured hospital care, and they have the option to make cash payments if they are hospitalised or need medical treatment. GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus has an annual coverage limit of $1.5 million** - the highest coverage under this IP.


Those who want greater protection can add the GREAT Total Care (Classic-P) supplementary plan, which provides an annual benefit limit of $400,000**.


But for complete freedom of doctor, hospital and ward choices, GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) is the go-to supplementary plan, which also comes with the lowest out-of-pocket expenditure on medical bills, kept as low as 5 per cent. Not only does it offer an annual benefit limit of $400,000, it also covers up to 95 per cent of total eligible bills for all hospital types.


What's more, with pre-authorisation obtained prior to treatment at Great Eastern's panel of specialists, co-payment will be capped at $3,000 instead of 5 per cent of your hospital bill. Deductible expenses, however, will depend on the size of the hospital bill.

The GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) comes with the lowest out-of-pocket expenditure on medical bills. Source: Great Eastern


Below: An example of a hospital bill size of $65,000, along with a step-by-step calculation to derive the final bill split between the policyholder and insurer, when visiting a private hospital, across five scenarios.

The total out-of-pocket expenses vary across different plans. A policyholder with GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus and GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) may need to foot only $3,000 of a $65,000 hospital bill - the lowest cost incurred in the five scenarios. Source: GREAT EASTERN


Claims-adjusted pricing is an equitable and sustainable framework that allows policyholders to choose preferred treatment options based on their circumstances. It applies to policyholders with GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) and GREAT TotalCare (Classic-P).


As long as policyholders do not have any claims during an assessment period^^^, they will receive 20 per cent^^ off standard premium rates at the next policy renewal.


Take for instance, a male policyholder, aged 30, who has signed up for GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus enhanced with GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) on April 1, 2021. He does not make any claims during the first year of his policy, and on April 1, 2022 - the day the policy renews - he gets a 20 per cent discount off his GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) premium for the second year.

For policyholders with GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) and GREAT TotalCare (Classic-P), the premiums payable at each renewal for the chosen supplementary plan will be determined by your personal claims experience during the assessment period^^^.


No one wants to be burdened by high medical expenses and there is no one-size-fits-all prescription. But with the ability to include a rider to supplement your IP to match your budget and needs, you are ready and fighting fit to deal with any health challenges.


Sign up and enjoy 20 per cent off first-year premiums for GREAT TotalCare (Elite- P) and (Classic-P) plans. Find out more here or request for a callback.



* Premiums payable by MediSave are up to the Additional Withdrawal Limits or MediSave Withdrawal Limits as set out by the Ministry of Health.

** $1.5 million and $400,000 annual benefit limit applies to GREAT SupremeHealth P Plus and GREAT TotalCare (Elite-P) / (Classic-P) plans respectively.

^^ This will occur when the policyholder's premium level is tagged at the Preferred Level, which is a 20 per cent discount off the Standard Level. This discount is applicable to the Basic Renewal Premium under GREAT Total Care (Elite-P) or (Classic-P) plan types only.

^^^ Claims-Adjusted Pricing (CAP) is only applicable to GREAT TotalCare (Elite- P) and (Classic-P) plan types only. If it is the first policy year that your policy is subject to CAP, the Assessment Period refers to a nine-month period starting on the Commencement Date of your policy or the first renewal date that your GREAT TotalCare is renewed into CAP (where applicable). Otherwise, the Assessment Period refers to a 12-month period starting three months immediately preceding the last renewal date, and ending three months immediately preceding the relevant renewal date for which the premium level is to be assessed.



All ages specified refer to age at the next birthday. GREAT TotalCare and GREAT TotalCare Plus are not MediSave-approved Integrated Shield plans and premiums are not payable using MediSave. GREAT TotalCare is designed to complement the benefits offered under GREAT SupremeHealth. GREAT TotalCare Plus is a rider that can be attached only to GREAT TotalCare to extend medical coverage worldwide. 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. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.


Information is correct as at Sept 22, 2021.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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