Have you heard of the story of Marjorie who was diagnosed with a bone cancer at just six? After fighting for 6 years, she passed away leaving her parents in debt. The estimated medical expenses for cancer was whopping $400,000! Marjorie's grandmother even sold her flat to help pay for medical expenses.
Consider another case: Mr. Tan Guan Seng had an accident at work. He was admitted to C-class ward at the National University Hospital. He was charged a whopping $147,000 for medical expenses! Due to some hard-to-understand government rules, NUH could not provide him with the usual government subsidy.
How about this: Ms. Ang Bee Eng complained to the Straits Times that her medical expenses comes up to $2,800 a month. She was suffering from multiple sclerosis. She could not use her Medisave for expensive medication and were not covered under Medishield as she stays in hospital only when there is a relapse. Moreover, she have to pay for rehabilitation therapy as well as standard (i.e., subsidised) and non-standard (non-subsidised) medication and injections, which add up to about $600 per month. All these costs exclude the daily living expenses and the taxi rides to and from the hospital and rehabilitation centre. She could not work because of repeated relapses and was unsuccessful in applying for medical subsidy. Ms. Ang did not qualify for Medifund because it is a safety net of last resort.
One more story: Dr. Ang Peng Tiam related how one of his patient’s early stage lung cancer ended up becoming fourth stage. If it was an early stage, a surgery would do. Due to the advance stage, the lung cancer had spread to many parts of his bones. The reason for the progression from early stage to 4th stage was likely due to the delay in surgery because the patient had sought treatment in a public hospital with a long waiting queue. Mr. Yee, the patient, had a 3 1/2 years-old child indicating that he was very young.
What these stories have in common? These stories surfaced because the patients were not covered with appropriate and sufficient health insurance. Health insurance consists of critical illness coverage, early care coverage, private integrated shield plans, disability income and long-term care disability insurance.
In the meantime, doctors are now arguing with each other whether are they the main culprits in causing high medical cost in the private health care sector. While they may disagree as to who is at fault, they do agree that medical cost is out of control in recent years.
Difficult to get advice on insurance
It is difficult to get advice on insurance. According to the latest statistics, only 13.7% were paid out for death, critical illness or disability claims. The remaining payout was for policies that matured. In other words, the life insurance industry focuses on investments and savings instead on insurance!
If you would like to have objective and unbiased advice, you may wish to consider signing up for my Insurance Planning Consultation Package. The following are the details:
Insurance Planning Consultation Package details
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- Learn the types of life insurance that is most suited for children.
Terms & Conditions
- This package will expire in 3 months. There is no refund for unutilized package.
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- You are required to provide details in the prescribed spreadsheets that will be email to you namely in the area of cash flow, net worth and policies details.
- This package does not include the fee for any on-going service (if any).
- This package cannot be combine with other promotions.
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- The available dates for consultation can be found on this link HERE.
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 “Let’s give S’poreans more options”, The New Paper, 22 October 2011
 “$147,000 C-class bill”, Straits Times Forum page, 29 January 2011
 “Sclerosis patient needs help with big medical bill”, Straits Times Forum page, 1 December 2006
 “Time difference” , Straits Times - Mind Your Body , 21 April 2011.
 "Docs divided on reason for rise in costs", Straits Times, 22 August 2014.