No one wants to get sick. No matter how much the hospitalisation fees and charges are subsidised, no matter how much you’re covered by MediShield Life, it’s the sheer inconvenience of falling sick that most of us are truly worried about.
When it comes to critical illnesses, though, like cancer or major heart conditions, that “inconvenience” can become a full-blown problem if you’re not prepared for it, mentally and financially.
But let’s be serious here – who can truly say they’re prepared to fall critically ill? Unless you know of a relative or friend who has suffered from a major illness, you never really know what to expect. Especially after you’ve been hospitalised.
Being diagnosed with cancer, for example, involves several treatments post-hospitalisation, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Thanks to MediShield Life, you’re often covered for these treatments.
But there are other procedures that MediShield Life does not cover, like outpatient CT and MRI scans, which can help to diagnose how well the treatment is working. MediShield Life does not cover, like outpatient CT and MRI scans, which can help to diagnose how well the treatment is working. There may also be other costs involved – such as counselling and rehabilitation treatments, for example.
All these extra costs do add up, and unfortunately, the use of Medisave for outpatient CT and MRI scans and other diagnostics for cancer patients is limited to $600 per year per patient. This means the rest of the cost needs to be borne by you.
With most integrated shield plans, you are also covered between 90 to 180 days, or from 3 to 6 months, for treatments before and after hospitalisation. That said, when it comes to more serious illness like cancer, stroke and heart diseases, it may take much more than 6 months to recover.
Now, imagine you have 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage!
With the introduction of AXA Shield, Singaporeans now have the option to pick an integrated shield plan that gives them 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage. Knowing that we have multiple choices in the saturated integrated shield plan market, the arrival of AXA Shield in late 2016 was a game-changer. It offers you one of the longest post-hospitalisation coverage in Singapore.
The duration of post-hospitalisation coverage becomes a very important factor when it comes to choosing an integrated shield plan, because the incidence of cancer is on the rise. From 2010 to 2014, the number of cancer cases being diagnosed rose steadily from 11,431 to 13,416. Today, about 37 people in Singapore are diagnosed with cancer a day.
The good news is that with early detection and treatment, you can fight this disease and recuperate with ease. With AXA Shield’s 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage, you can get that level of treatment without worrying about the duration of your treatment and the financial costs of that treatment.
But my integrated shield plan policy says I am covered “as-charged”, so why should I worry?
“As-charged” means that there are no upper limits to the amount that you can claim per treatment. However, there is often a yearly total limit to your policy’s claims. Most of the time, the limit is high enough that there is nothing to worry about, but it is still important to ensure your treatment is not maxing out your coverage.
With 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage, you might be concerned that you will exceed your yearly coverage limit. After all, a longer coverage period will mean more treatments and more claims.
Fortunately, with AXA Shield Plan B – which provides coverage for Class A wards and below in public hospitals – you have an annual coverage limit of $550,000, higher than most alternative integrated shield plans. But what’s more, with AXA Shield Plan A – which provides coverage for private hospitals – you have an annual coverage limit of $1 million.
It’s clear, therefore, that having one of the longest post-hospitalisation coverage is not just a marketing gimmick that AXA Shield is promoting. They are backing it up by giving you an annual coverage limit that ensures your bills will never exceed the claim limit.
Is AXA Shield too good to be true then? What’s the catch?
With such a long post-hospitalisation coverage, and a high annual coverage limit, AXA Shield is obviously not going to be the cheapest integrated shield plan in the market. Surprisingly, though, for someone aged between 31 and 40 years, AXA’s premiums for private hospital plans cost around $42 more compared to most other integrated shield plans. In the grand scheme of things, that extra $42 or so each year is a small price to pay for the level of convenience that AXA Shield offers.
Ultimately, of course, you should pick an integrated shield plan that is best for you. If you are not planning to go to a private hospital for your treatment, then there’s no need to pay the extra premium for AXA Shield Plan A. You can save by opting for AXA Shield Plan B and still enjoy the 365 days of post-hospitalisation coverage.
Are you interested in the new AXA Integrated Shield Plans? Apply Now to get the integrated shield plan with one of the longest post-hospitalisation coverage.
This article is brought to you in collaboration with AXA.