Great Eastern is one of 7 insurers offering Integrated Shield plans, in this case called GREAT Supreme Health.
An Integrated Shield plan dispels most of your worries about the cost of medical care. Many a Singaporean have been troubled about high costs of medical care when they fall seriously ill or get into a terrible accident.
Let’s see how the Great Eastern Supreme Health Integrated Shield plans measure up.
What are Integrated Shield plans?
Integrated Shield plans are health insurance policies that are meant to work together with the MediShield Life coverage that all Singapore citizens and permanent residents have.
MediShield Life already offers a very basic level of health insurance coverage, but it is so limited that it might not effectively shield you from having to shell out huge amounts out-of-pocket for medical treatment.
Only only are you limited to using Class B2 and C wards at public/restructured hospitals when making MediShield Life claims, you also cannot make claims for pre- and post-hospitalisation medical costs which can sometimes be astronomical. What’s more, MediShield Life claims are subject to strict limits beyond which you must pay-out-pocket.
Integrated Shield plans are meant to address the limitations of MediShield Life to offer you access to higher class wards and, depending on your plan, private hospitals.
They also raise your claim limits considerably and enable you to make claims for pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.
Great Eastern Supreme Health Integrated Shield premiums
|Great Eastern Supreme Health||Ward||Annual premium*|
|B Plus||Class B1||$310 (MediShield Life) + $70 = $380|
|A Plus||Class A||$310 (MediShield Life) + $124 = $434|
|P Plus||Private hospitals||$310 (MediShield Life) + $286 = $596|
* For Singapore citizen aged 35
Compared to the other insurers’ Integrated Shield plans, Great Eastern Supreme Health offers very attractive premiums. In fact, their premiums are some of the cheapest in Singapore for all 3 tiers.
Even the most expensive P Plus (private hospital) tier is well within the annual Medisave withdrawal limits for Integrated Shield plans, meaning you do not need to pay for premiums in cash up until age 41. You can switch to a lower tier plan when premiums rise.
Great Eastern Supreme Health Integrated Shield plans
|Great Eastern Supreme Health||Pre-hospitalisation cover||Post-hospitalisation cover||Annual coverage limit|
|B Plus||120 days||180 / 365 days||$500,000|
|A Plus||120 days||180 / 365 days||$1 million|
|P Plus||120 days||180 / 365 days||$1.5 million|
Great Eastern offers 3 tiers of Integrated Shield plans:
- The lowest Tier, B Plus, offers access to Class B1 wards at public/restructured hospitals. That’s one step above the Class B2 wards you can use with MediShield Life.
- A Plus lets you use Class A wards at public/restructured hospitals.
- And with a P Plus plan, you’ll be able to go to private hospitals.
Considering the price, the benefits they offer are decent. The 120 day pre-hospitalisation coverage is a little on the short side given that other insurers cover up to 180 days.
For post-hospitalisation, Great Eastern covers up to a full year if you go through a public hospital OR have your private hospital treatment pre-authorised. Otherwise, the coverage is capped at 180 days.
Great Eastern Supreme Health riders: GREAT TotalCare
Great Eastern Supreme Health can be supplemented with a rider to lower the deductible or co-insurance, so you pay less out-of-pocket whenever you make a claim.
Called GREAT TotalCare, this limits your co-payment to 5% of your bill (without a rider, it’s 10%) and caps it at $3,000 a year.
The basic one version, called Classic, costs only about $35 to $135 annually (depending on which Integrated Shield tier you opt for) for a 35-year-old. If hospitalised, you will either need to pay the 5% co-insurance OR the deductible (up to $3,50o), whichever is higher.
The Elite version of the rider has higher coverage and costs $138 to $415 a year. If hospitalised, you will only need to pay 5% co-insurance. The deductible is covered.
Given the relatively small difference in annual premium, we recommend getting the GREAT TotalCare Elite for better coverage.
Either way, you you could save thousands in out-of-pocket expenses with a rider. Note that you’ll need to pay for these riders in cash (not Medisave-eligible).
How does Great Eastern Supreme Health supplement MediShield Life coverage?
Great Eastern Supreme Health fills the gaps in MediShield Life’s coverage.
With one of these integrated shield plans, you no longer have to worry about your pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses not being covered, so long as they fall within the 120/180-365 days the plan covers you for.
Depending on which plan you buy, you can also stay at higher class wards or private hospitals. Using private hospitals can let you skip long queues or choose the doctor you wish to consult.
Should you get Great Eastern Supreme Health?
Great Eastern Supreme Health is probably the best plan out there for those who are budget conscious or simply looking for a plan that offers good value for money. You’ll get decent coverage at some of the lowest prices in town.
On the other hand, if you want the most comprehensive coverage in town, you can consider the highest tier plans by AIA HealthShield Gold Max, Prudential PruShield or Raffles Shield, but be prepared to pay more for the privilege.
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