‘Health is wealth’ isn’t it? In today’s world this saying is a stark reality for many people. Especially after the COVID 19 pandemic, our health truly has become our wealth. Therefore, it is only right that we take conscious care of our health and stay up to date with avenues that can protect it. Furthermore, it has become even more crucial to be prepared with a complete medical insurance to deal with rising costs of treatments for accidents, illnesses, or even post -COVID 19 side effects. Apart from the basic medical coverage of MediShield Life, an Integrated Shield Plan provides an upgraded level of comfort and security.
It assures patients that their medical care, pre and post-surgery costs and recovery in their choice of wards and hospitals is taken care of.
Is an Integrated Shield Plan worth it?
Clearly, our lives are not devoid of uncertain circumstances or illnesses. Everybody has had their brush with ill health, a sudden accident or a diagnosis of a terminal illness.
Apart from dealing with physical aspects of ill health, what worries patients is the stress of paying for specialized medical treatments, doctor appointments, tests, and surgical procedures.
Most people have it under control because of the basic medical insurance MediShield Life.
It provides a basic medical coverage of hospitalization bills, B2/C public hospital ward expenses and outpatient surgery costs.
So why does anyone need an IS Plan?
Here are a few reasons why an Integrated Shield Plan is absolutely worth it
- An integrated shield plan gives the patient the ease and ability to choose between a private and public hospital and wards
- Normal MediShield Life will only pay a small portion of hospitalization charges at a private or specialist facility. An integrated shield plan will help the patient cover the remaining costs.
- Integrated Shield Plan is an additional health/medical coverage you can purchase from private insurance companies at any stage in life.
- It also allows patients the liberty and freedom to seek out their preferred doctors, consultant appointments, specialist care, and medical healthcare professionals without having to worry about costs.
An example to show the effective and timely use of an ISP
Cancer is a very unpredictable and terminal disease; it can seal the fate of the healthiest of people.
Nevertheless, an early prognosis of the disease and an effective, specialist treatment plan from cancer specialists can help the patient.
Health care and medical procedures for cancer treatments are widely available but as is the nature of the disease, sometimes diagnosing it is a challenge.
Without the right diagnosis the patient goes through tests and treatment plans that do not address the root of the problem.
Patients use their basic medical insurance to cover up the costs of all the public hospital charges, tests, medicines, chemotherapy and so on.
Time flies and the patient is still going to the public hospital and waiting for the right diagnosis or treatment.
Specialist treatment and assistance although available is expensive and is not covered in the basic insurance.
Therefore patients often try to find a suitable treatment option that is covered within their insurance and economical threshold.
In doing so, they waste valuable time that could have been used to treat the disease, by seeking out a specialist second opinion/ prognosis at a private hospital.
That option although expensive, would have guided the patient into receiving a more direct and suitable treatment plan that matches the correct prognosis.
In a nutshell, reaching out to specialist facilities that are available would have accelerated the patient’s treatment and recovery.
It’s a common find that most patients think only one basic medical insurance exists.
They are unaware that specialist cancer treatments and private hospital care are easily achievable with an Integrated Shield Plan.
How does the Integrated Shield plan work?
There are 2 components to an Integrated Shield Plan:
1. The MediShield Life Coverage:
This is the basic medical cover that everyone has access to.
It helps the patient cover costs of large hospitalization or surgical bills and recovery in B2/C wards of public hospitals ONLY.
The patient pays for this from their MediSave account.
A MediSave account receives a percentage of a person’s income throughout their life to save for the MediShield Life coverage.
2. Additional Private Medical Insurance Coverage:
This is a separate medical coverage the patient purchases at any point in their lives. Thus, allowing higher coverage of hospitalization costs in private or specialist hospitals including admission into B1/A wards in public hospitals.
To be exact, the Integrated Shield Plan is a combination of both these types of medical insurances. The MediShield Life coverage is included in this Integrated Shield Plan.
Moreover, the Integrated Shield Plan acts like an OPTIONAL ‘Top Up’ to ensure that in the time of need the patient doesn’t have to delay the right treatment or medical care by not being able to access private or specialist services.
Patients use funds from the MediSave account to pay for their MediShield Life insurance.
The same can be done for their Integrated Shield Plan, but only until an Additional Withdrawal Limit is reached (AWL)
After an Additional Withdrawal Limit is reached, the plan premiums must be purchased with additional cash
Do I need an Integrated Shield Plan?
Essentially, the difference between the coverage of only the MediShield Life and an Integrated Shield Plan is the level of comfort and specialization.
If the person is sure that he or she does not require medical care in private hospitals or higher class wards of public hospitals then only MediShield Life coverage is enough.
On the other hand, if someone does not want to take any risks and wants to prepare for the future in terms of their health, then they can purchase an Integrated Shield Plan premium.
Furthermore, there are different types of Integrated Shield Plans offered by various private insurance companies. People interested in purchasing an IP can choose an option that best suits their income and medical history.
It is important to note that the coverage of an Integrated Shield Plan can only be purchased or used before the onset of a medical health condition.
If a person already has a heart condition, and he/she purchases an Integrated Shield Plan after her diagnosis, then the medical costs related to the illness will not be covered in the plan.