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.
Integrated shield plans work together with MediShield Life to offer you more complete coverage for your medical bills. Prudential is one of seven insurers in offering integrated shied plans. Let’s see how their PRUShield plans measure 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—ie. 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 cover pre- and post-hospitalisation, and can be further enhanced with supplementary plans to limit your out-of-pocket expenses to $3000 per year if you seek treatments from their Panel providers.
Prudential PRUShield premiums
|Prudential PRUShield||Access to||Annual premium*||Pre-hospitalisation cover||Post-hospitalisation cover||Annual coverage limit|
|Plus||Class A||$310 (payable by Medisave) + $113 = $423||180 days||365 days||$600,000|
|Premier||Private hospital||$310 (payable by Medisave) + $300 = $610||180 days||365 days||$1,200,000|
* For Singapore citizens aged 35. Swipe left to see full table.
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 on your own.
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.
Compared to other insurers, PRUShield Plus is very competitively priced and offers a fairly high annual coverage limit as well as pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, which spans a good 6 months before and after you are hospitalised.
The Premier Plan, on the other hand, gets quite expensive relative to similar integrated shield plans once you hit your forties, but also offers a high annual limit. The plan does, however, offer good coverage, so it’s a question of whether you are prepared to pay for quality.
Some noteworthy points around the PRUShield base plans are:
- Lifetime guaranteed renewability of plans – once you have activated the plan, it stays with you for life
- No medical underwriting needed for new plans that are purchased at significant life events
- Covers emergency medical treatment outside of Singapore, as well as planned overseas medical treatment
Prudential PRUShield additional riders
PRUShield offers some riders that can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Basically, you pay higher premiums in hopes that you’ll be able to lower your out-of-pocket expenses if you do get hospitalised. They have recently launched a new plan on 1 April 2020 known as PRUExtra Preferred CoPay, which aims to serve as a good in-between add-on.
Here’s a summary of the available riders:
- PRUextra Premier Copay (Premier policyholders only) – Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on their panel.
- New: PRUExtra Preferred CoPay (Premier polyholders only) – Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on their panel at more affordable premium levels compared to the PRUExtra Premier CoPay rider. You also get access to PRUPanel Connect, which allows for easy booking with hospitals or specialists on their panel.
- PRUextra Premier Lite CoPay (Premier polyholders only) – Covers 50% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on their panel.
- PRUextra Plus CoPay (Plus policyholders only) – Covers 95% of your deductible and half of your co-insurance if you go to a hospital on their panel.
Do note that the premiums of these riders rise depending on your past claims.
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 a generous 180 days pre-/post-hospitalisation coverage for Plus and 365 days for Premier, which more generous than what some other plans are offering.
Their Premier plans are not the cheapest relative to the average integrated shield plan out there, falling somewhere in the middle.
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, and you can sign up for the plan or find out more information here.
Do you have any experience with Prudential PRUShield health insurance? Share your reviews in the comments.