Health Insurance

Raffles Shield Integrated Shield Plan Review 2019

raffles shield integrated shield plan

Joanne Poh

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Raffles Health Insurance is one of the lesser known insurers in Singapore, but they are actually one of seven insurers offering integrated shield plans.

We highly recommend getting an integrated shield plan if you can afford to do so, as they save you from having to rely on the very bare-bones MediShield Life should you get hospitalised.

Let’s see if the Raffles Shield Plan is worth buying.

 

What are integrated shield plans?

All Singaporeans and PRs have a very basic form of government medical insurance called MediShield Life. MediShield Life can offer payouts if you get hospitalised. But that does not mean the coverage is adequate.

MediShield Life is designed to only cover stays in Class B2 or C wards at public/restructured hospitals, so if you stay at a higher class ward or a private hospital, you’ll have to either pay a ton of money out-of-pocket or rely on private health insurance or an integrated shield plan. What’s more, MediShield Life caps its payouts, so you have to be careful not to go over the limit or risk having to pay more out-of-pocket.

MediShield Life also does not offer payouts for pre- and post-hospitalisation costs. This is not at all comforting when you consider that pre- and post-hospitalisation costs can sometimes exceed the actual cost of hospitalisation. Ouch!

An integrated shield plan offers protection where MediShield Life does not, with higher claim limits, access to higher class wards and/or private hospitals, and coverage for pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.

 

Raffles Shield integrated plan premiums

Raffles Shield Access to  Annual premium* Pre-hospitalisation cover Post-hospitalisation cover Annual coverage limit
B Class B1 ward $310 (payable by MediSave) + $83 = $393 90 days 90 days $300,000
A Class A ward  $310 (payable by MediSave) + $112 = $422 180 days at panel specialists or public hospitals, otherwise 90 days 365 days at panel specialists or public hospitals, otherwise 180 days $600,000
Private Private hospital  $310 (payable by Medisave) + $339 = $649 180 days at panel specialists or public hospitals, otherwise 90 days 365 days at panel specialists or public hospitals, otherwise 180 days $1,500,000 – panel hospitals

$600,000 – non-panel hospitals

*For Singapore citizen aged 35

There are three tiers of Raffles Shield plans. A portion of your premiums for any of these plans is payable by Medisave. The remainder must be paid by you on an annual basis.

The most basic plan, Raffles Shield B, gives you access to B1 wards in public/restructured hospitals.

Raffles Shield A gives you access to A1 wards in public/restructured hospitals.

And for the most complete protection, Raffles Shield Private offers coverage for stays in private hospitals.

Raffles Shield B, the lowest tier plan, offers basic coverage at a fairly low price, however, the mere 90 days of pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage isn’t great.

However, Raffles Shield A and Raffles Shield Private perform much better, offering above-average coverage at average prices.

Raffles Health Insurance is owned by Raffles Medical Group, which also owns Raffles Hospital. One perk of the Raffles Shield A Plan is that you can purchase a Raffles Hospital Option. This enables you to get 100% coverage not only at Class A public/restructured hospitals, but also Raffles Hospital, which is a private hospital. That means you’ll be able to get private hospital treatment while paying less than you would for a private hospital plan.

If you’re on the A or Private plan, make sure you go to a public hospital or panel specialist as that will affect the amount of pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation coverage you receive.

See which integrated plan you should go for out of the 7 in Singapore

 

Raffles Shield additional rider premiums

The following rider enables you to lower your deductible and co-payment portion so that you pay less out-of-pocket whenever you make a claim.

  • Raffles Key Rider – Reduces co-payment to 5%, capped at $3,000 per year when you go for pre-authorised treatment or get treated at a public/restructured hospital or by a specialist on their panel. This rider also comes with other perks like a daily hospital cash benefit when you opt for a ward that is lower than what you are entitled to.

 

How does Raffles Shield supplement MediShield Life coverage?

Raffles Shield enables you to stay at higher class wards or private hospitals, which you cannot do when you rely entirely on MediShield Life, unless you’re prepared to pay huge out-of-pocket expenses.

Another important area of coverage is pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses, which can be considerable. Going for tests before being diagnosed can cost a lot of money, especially if yours is a rare or hard-to-diagnose condition. After getting discharged, you might also find yourself being charged a lot of money for follow-up visits or rehabilitation. None of this is covered by MediShield Life, but will be covered by Raffles Shield so long as it falls within the pre- and post-hospitalisation time limits.

 

Should you get Raffles Shield?

If you are fine with using Raffles Hospital, the Raffles Shield A with Raffles Hospital Option can be a cost-effective way to be able to afford private hospital care.

Otherwise, all the Raffles Shield plans offer decent coverage at reasonable prices at all three tiers with above-average pre- and post-hospitalisation cover, provided you are willing to go to one of the private hospitals on their panel or a public/restructured hospital. They’re not the absolute cheapest, but they do offer good value-for-money.

If you want the flexibility to go to a non-panel private hospital, you might want to check out private hospital plans from Prudential PruShield or AXA Shield, which offer similar pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage, but with lower annual coverage limits.

Do you have any experience with Raffles Shield health insurance? Share your experiences in the comments.

 

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With So Many Integrated Shield Plans Available, How Do You Decide Which to Choose?

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.