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While all the spotlight has been shining on COVID-19 in 2020, it can be easy to forget that another viral disease has gripped Singaporeans. Dengue fever cases in Singapore have already hit a record-high level in 2020, with more than 31,000 cases reported in Singapore since the start of the year. And this should continue to be a big concern for Singaporeans as our economy reopens and as families start heading out to local outdoor attractions such as the parks and nature reserves especially during the end of the year December school holiday.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus and transmitted to humans via the bite of an infective mosquito.
It’s worth noting that upon being bitten by an infective mosquito, symptoms (if any) may only show up after an incubation period of about 4-7 days (and can range from 3-14 days). many dengue fever cases (up to 75%) are asymptomatic, which means people that have dengue fever may not even know they have it at all.
As dengue fever has been an ongoing problem in Singapore every year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) keeps a close tab on dengue cases. NEA has a location map that is updated daily showing dengue clusters in Singapore so that residents staying in these areas are aware and can do their part to prevent mosquito breeding, and to take their own precautions.
Protecting Yourself Against Dengue Fever
There are two levels of protection that you can adopt against dengue fever.
The first is to prevent mosquito breeding in the first place. You can do so by proactively keeping your home and the environment around you clean and free of stagnant water. If your home is situated in a dengue cluster, you can lower your risk of being bitten by applying insect repellent, wearing long and covered clothing and installing mosquito nets, wire mesh screens or to use air-conditioning in the home to keep out mosquitoes.
To provide further protection against dengue fever, you can consider buying dengue fever insurance protection for yourself and your family. This can be useful since severe dengue fever cases may require hospitalisation.
While your hospitalisation bills are covered by MediShield Life or private integrated shield plans that you may have, do take note that such hospitalisation plans may have a deductible and some form of co-payment.
For example, if you are only covered under MediShield Life, there is an annual deductible of $1,500 (Class C ward, 80 and under) or $2,000 (Class B2 & above wards, 80 and under) that you have to pay first through cash or MediSave. There may also be co-payment, which ranges from 3% to 10% depending on the size of the bill.
You may also incur other ancillary costs such as loss of earnings due to being unable to work and medication required to treat the dengue fever symptoms.
This is where an insurance policy that provides coverage for dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases can help defray the financial costs.
One such policy is Mozzie Protect, which is distributed by DBS and underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited. Upon diagnosis of a covered disease, the policy provides a lump sum benefit of $250, regardless of whether hospitalisation is required or not. Covered diseases include Dengue fever; Dengue haemorrhagic fever; Chikungunya fever; Zika fever; Malaria and Yellow fever.
In addition, the policy also provides a hospital income benefit that pays out $100 per day for each day of hospitalisation. An additional get well benefit of $500 is paid if the policyholder is hospitalised for 5 days or more. Policyholders also enjoy free telemedicine subscription via Doctor Anywhere (which can be used for any consultation, not just covered diseases).
For example, an individual who had purchased Mozzie Protect is diagnosed with dengue fever (after the 14-day waiting period) and hospitalised for 7 days will receive the following benefits:
|Benefits||Coverage For Adults|
|Lump Sum Diagnosis Benefit||$250|
|Daily Hospital Cash Benefit||$700 (for 7 days)|
|Get Well Benefit||$500|
|Telemedicine Subscription Via Doctor Anywhere
(Policyholders can use this benefit for any conditions. Not limited to mosquito-borne diseases only)
|Up to a max of 2 consultations per month. Other costs (e.g. medicine) is not covered|
|Total Claimable Benefits||$1,450|
According to NEA, the traditional dengue peak season could last for a few months, from June to October. Given the record-level of dengue fever cases in 2020 in our country, now is as good a time as any to ensure that you have coverage for dengue fever.
If you are thinking of getting yourself and your family covered for dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases, you will be glad to know that there will be a 20% discount on Mozzie Protect in the month of November.
With this discount, premiums for Mozzie Protect is affordable at just $6.06 per month. If you wish to keep your entire family protected, premiums will be $18.32 for you, your spouse and all your children. Keeping everyone in the family protected makes sense because dengue fever and other mosquito-borne illnesses can be transmitted to multiple members of the same household through just one mosquito. So, the potential healthcare and ancillary costs may quickly accumulate if more than one family member falls ill at the same time.
Mozzie Protect is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (“Chubb”) and distributed by DBS Bank Ltd (“DBS”). It is not an obligation of, deposit in or guaranteed by DBS. You may wish to seek advice from a financial adviser before making a commitment to purchase this policy. In the event that you choose not to seek advice, you should carefully consider whether the policy is suitable for you. This Policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (“SDIC”). Coverage for your Policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact Chubb or visit the GIA/LIA or SDIC websites (www.gia.org.sg or www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).