When you get sick, the main thing you should be concerned about is getting well, not the price of your hospital bill. That’s why you should get medical insurance, such as Prudential’s PRUShield Integrated Shield plan.
Integrated Shield plans work together with MediShield Life to offer you more complete coverage for your medical bills, and Prudential is one of 7 insurers in Singapore providing this sort of health insurance. Let’s see how PRUShield measures up.
What are Integrated Shield plans?
Integrated shield plans are private health insurance policies that are designed to work together with the government health insurance plan MediShield Life to offer more complete coverage.
As you might already know, MediShield Life offers coverage only for essential medical costs, and even this is capped at certain limits.
In addition, they’re meant only for people who stay in Class B2 or C wards at public/restructured hospitals. If you want to stay at a higher class ward or a private hospital without breaking the bank, you can get an integrated shield plan to make up the shortfall.
Integrated shield plans such as Prudential’s PRUShield also usually let you claim for pre- and post-hospitalisation costs, i.e. any treatment you receive before being warded or after being discharged. These costs can cost a bomb and are not covered by MediShield Life.
Their plans can be further enhanced with supplementary plans to limit your out-of-pocket expenses to $3,000 per year if you seek treatments from their panel providers.
Prudential PRUShield Integrated Shield premiums
|Prudential PRUShield||Ward||Annual premium*|
|Plus||Class A||$310 (MediShield Life) + $82 = $392|
|Premier||Private hospital||$310 (MediShield Life) + $327 = $627|
* For Singapore citizens aged 35.
As you can see, there are two main PRUShield plans available. PRUShield Plus covers you for Class A hospital wards at public/restructured hospitals, while PRUShield Premier covers you for private hospitals.
(There’s actually also PRUShield Standard, but it’s not much better than MediShield Life so we’ll not cover it in this article.)
Compared to other insurers, PRUShield Plus is very competitively priced. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest public hospital Class A Integrated Shield plans available.
The Premier plan is quite attractively priced for a 35-year-old, but premiums go up every year, so by the time you hit your forties, they’ll get significantly more expensive. You can always switch out to another insurer or change to a Plus plan later on.
As with all Integrated Shield plans, a portion of your premiums can be paid for by MediSave. You will have to fork out the remainder, if any, on your own.
Prudential PRUShield Integrated Shield plans
|Prudential PRUShield||Pre-hospitalisation cover||Post-hospitalisation cover||Annual coverage limit|
|Plus||180 days||365 days||$600,000|
|Premier||180 days||365 days||$1.2 million|
Both PRUShield plans, Plus and Premier, offer good pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, which spans a good 6 months before and after you are hospitalised.
Their annual coverage limits are a bit on the low side, however. For example, other insurers’ Class A plans cover as much as $1 million a year, while PRUShield covers only $600,000. For private hospitals, some insurers cover $2 million compared to Prudential’s $1.2 million.
Read this article for a more in-depth look at how PRUShield stacks up against the other Integrated Shield plans in Singapore.
Prudential PRUShield additional riders: PRUExtra
PRUShield offers some riders that can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses if you do get hospitalised. All riders cap your out-of-pocket costs at $3,000 per policy year.
For PRUShield Plus policyholders, the rider is:
- PRUExtra Plus CoPay: Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on their panel. It costs $246 annually for a 35-year-old.
For PRUShield Preferred policyholders, there are 3 riders to choose from:
- PRUExtra Premier Lite CoPay: Covers 50% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance at ALL Singapore private hospitals. It costs $270 annually for a 35-year-old.
- PRUExtra Preferred CoPay: Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on the Prudential panel. It’s priced at $502 a year.
- PRUExtra Premier CoPay: Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance at ALL Singapore private hospitals. $717 a year.
As long as you don’t mind going to a panel hospital, it’s a no-brainer to pick PRUExtra Preferred CoPay as it’s the most cost-effective rider. Do note the premiums of these riders may rise depending on your past claims, and that you must pay for them in cash (not Medisave).
How does Prudential PRUShield supplement Medishield Life coverage?
MediShield Life is meant to offer very basic coverage, as mentioned earlier. Other than fairly low claim limits and being limited to B2 or C wards in public/restructured hospitals, MediShield Life also does not offer coverage for certain things like ambulance fees, overseas medical treatment and surgery for certain rare congenital conditions like trisomy 13.
MediShield Life is mandatory for all Singaporeans and PRs, and you have to pay premiums through Medisave every year whether you like it or not. The current MediShield Life premium for a 35-year-old is $310 before subsidy.
Prudential PRUShield supplements MediShield Life by adding to the coverage offered by the latter instead of duplicating what it can already provide. Thanks to the plan’s pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, that means you’ll be able to get reimbursed for your ambulance fees, for instance. You can also make claims for overseas hospitalisation up to the equivalent cost in Singapore.
Should you get the Prudential PRUShield?
PRUShield is one of the more comprehensive health insurance policies out there. You get generous length of pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage, and although the annual claim limits aren’t the highest in town, they are fair given the affordable premiums.
Consider not only their premiums at your current age but also the price as you get older, as they escalate quite rapidly once you hit 40.
One thing customers sometimes do is to get Premier when they are young and then downgrade to Plus when they get older and the premiums rise. Don’t forget that customers whose age next birthday is 25 and below will enjoy 50% off premiums in the first year.
When it comes to claims, most people go through their agents. So the key is to get an agent who is responsive and replies to your calls and WhatsApp messages promptly.
Prudential also lets you get hold of all your PRUShield policy information by logging into their PRUaccess system, which is a nice perk if you need to read the terms of your policy.
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Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay