Earlier this year, Raffles Health Insurance, a fully-owned subsidiary of Raffles Medical Group, announced the launch of Raffles Shield. Raffles Shield is the seventh private integrated shield plan to be launched in Singapore.
While Raffles Shield isn’t the first entrant into the market, it’s noteworthy to know that it’s the first (and only) private integrated shield plan to be launched and backed by an insurer which is actually part of a medical group, rather than a traditional insurer.
Beyond just being a product launched and backed by a medical group, it’s also important for anyone considering the purchase of Raffles Shield to know about some of the unique features that the plan is offering, before proceeding ahead to apply for it.
# 1 The “Hybrid” Plan + Raffles Hospital Option
Traditionally, policyholders who purchase a private integrated shield plan will need to choose between private hospital plans, which covers them for treatments in private hospitals, or public hospital plans, which are less expensive but only covers them for treatments in public hospitals.
Through its Raffles Shield A plan, Raffles Shield allows policyholders to not only receive coverage at all public hospitals, but to also receive coverage for hospitalisation at Raffles Hospital.
If you opt for Raffles Shield A plan, you will receive 100% coverage at public hospital up till Class A ward (less deductibles). You will also receive 70% coverage at Raffles Hospital. This 70% coverage will increase to 100% if the plan is purchased with the Raffles Hospital Option.
This way, policyholders will be able to enjoy private hospital treatment at Raffles Hospital, without having to pay the full premiums typically charged for private hospitalisation coverage.
Here’s a quick comparison of what you can expect to pay based on the premiums quoted for a 31-year-old. Do note that the premiums quoted includes what is payable to MediShield Life, which is $310 per year for a 31-year-old.
|Policies||Coverage Provided||Premiums Per Year|
|Raffles Shield Private||Cover treatments at all public and private hospitals||$649|
|Raffles Shield A + Raffles Hospital Option||Cover treatments at all public hospital and Raffles Hospital (Fully covered)||$533|
|Raffles Shield A (W/O Raffles Hospital Option)||Cover treatments at all public hospitals + Raffles Hospital (Not fully covered)||$422|
|AXA Shield Plan A||Cover treatments at all public and private hospitals||$593|
|AIA HealthShield GoldMax A||Cover treatments at all public and private hospitals||$570|
You can see from the comparison table above that if you only wanted public hospital coverage plus Raffles Hospital, your premiums will be $533 (with Raffles Hospital Option) and $422 (without Raffles Hospital Option). This is lower than what you will need to pay for full private insurance plans.
This makes sense since these other full private hospitalisation plans provide coverage for all private hospitals, and not just Raffles Hospital.
# 2 Flexible Deductible
Another option available for Raffles Shield plans policyholders is that they are able to opt for high deductible in exchange for lower premiums.
For example, most Raffles Shield plans come with a deductible of $3,500. What this means is that policyholders will have to co-pay up to $3,500 on their hospitalisation bill, before their insurance policy covers the rest of the bill.
Raffles Shield allows policyholders to increase their deductible up to $10,000. Policyholders can choose to revert to lower deductibles any time in the future without underwriting.
The increase in deductible makes sense for employees who are already covered by their company’s hospitalisation plan. For such individuals, Raffles Health Insurance will be able to provide them with lower insurance premiums in exchange for higher deductible.
Here’s an example of how much you can save when opting for higher deductible. This is based on a 31-year-old. Do note that the premiums quoted below includes what is payable to MediShield Life, which is $310 per year for a 31-year-old.
|Policy||Low Deductible||High Deductible||Difference|
|Raffles Shield Private||$649||$547||$102|
|Raffles Shield A + Raffles Hospital Option||$533||$466||$67|
|Raffles Shield A (W/O Raffles Hospital Option)||$422||$400||$22|
You should not switch to a higher deductible just to save some money. Rather, ensure that your own company’s hospitalisation plan would already have taken care of this higher deductible before you switch. This way, you will be able to save money without compromising on your hospitalisation coverage.
# 3 Covers (Some) Pre-Existing Illnesses
For individuals who have high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension, and who are looking to find a private integrated shield plan that will not exclude these conditions, you may be glad to know that Raffles Health Insurance will consider providing coverage to individuals who have high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension.
It’s important for us to stress that this isn’t guaranteed. Raffles Health Insurance will consider each case and assess whether to provide coverage to individuals with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Through the Raffles Care Management Programme, Raffles Health Insurance will work with policyholders towards improving their conditions. The idea here is that while the individuals may have pre-existing conditions, these diseases are manageable, as long as the insured policyholders follow a care plan.
In its most basic form, Raffles Shield is a hospitalisation plan meant to protect you financially against large hospital bills. However, with the various special options and add-ons available, some individuals could find the Raffles Shield plan more tailored and closer to what they are looking for compared to existing products in the market.
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