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Maternity Insurance

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UMichGrad
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Maternity Insurance

Postby UMichGrad » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 2:59 pm

Hello All,

This is a topic I've been asking around about and I haven't been able to get a good answer. My wife is a PR here and I am an expat, we both have a local shield plan for insurance through Prudential. I asked my insurance agent about maternity coverage for my wife as we may start having a family next year. Apparently this is something that the local community here in Singapore (Citizens & PRs) do not purchase and therefore not a plan that is offered. An option would be to put my wife on an international plan from Pacific Prime, but they are expensive.

Few questions to anyone that knows:

1) Why do the locals not value maternity coverage? The costs for having a child with birth defects can be outrageously expensive and could bankrupt a couple. Is it because the government subsidises such costs for Citizens/PRs? If that's the case, would my wife be eligible as a PR for such subsidies?

2) Does anyone have any recommendations of insurance that would cover birth defects/complications? As of today I have only found Pacific Prime and do not see anything from the local insurance companies.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

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taxico
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby taxico » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 3:56 pm

UMichGrad wrote:This is a topic I've been asking around about and I haven't been able to get a good answer. My wife is a PR here and I am an expat, we both have a local shield plan for insurance through Prudential. I asked my insurance agent about maternity coverage for my wife as we may start having a family next year. Apparently this is something that the local community here in Singapore (Citizens & PRs) do not purchase and therefore not a plan that is offered. An option would be to put my wife on an international plan from Pacific Prime, but they are expensive.

Few questions to anyone that knows:

1) Why do the locals not value maternity coverage? The costs for having a child with birth defects can be outrageously expensive and could bankrupt a couple. Is it because the government subsidises such costs for Citizens/PRs? If that's the case, would my wife be eligible as a PR for such subsidies?

2) Does anyone have any recommendations of insurance that would cover birth defects/complications? As of today I have only found Pacific Prime and do not see anything from the local insurance companies.

Thanks to anyone who can help!


"local" insurance companies provide it. most of them do...! off the top of my head, pacific prime, prudential, axa and aia. then there're homegrown insurers, ntuc income and great eastern.

i think there're at least double that number of companies offering such (private) cover. some are in the form of a rider.

i don't recall any being government subsidized/provided... but i could be wrong as i don't keep myself informed anymore.

i have met many pregnant SG women who have such insurance, so saying they don't value it isn't necessarily true...
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UMichGrad
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby UMichGrad » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 3:59 pm

Thank you for your reply. It looks as if my Prudential agent is either misinformed or doesn't know what he is talking about. I don't see why he wouldn't want the opportunity to make an extra sale? He said that most prenatal packages are paid for in a negotiated deal with a hospital, the mother is protected through her shield plan and the best coverage that could be offered was some Prudential Life First policy that would provide up to S$10K in case of complication (which is nothing if there was a major pregnancy complication).

I will look for a new agent.

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taxico
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby taxico » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 4:06 pm

i did a quick google for you... and here are the listings on page 1.

ntuc income has it under "lady plus rider"

https://www.greateasternlife.com/sg/en/ ... cover.html

http://www.prudential.com.sg/corp/prude ... _gift.html

https://www.axa.com.sg/our-solutions/pe ... -advantage

this bank provides it too:

http://www.ocbc.com/personal-banking/in ... rnity.html

as always, read the fine print before handing over your money.

yours sincerely
Jeeves
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UMichGrad
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby UMichGrad » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 4:10 pm

Yes, I am aware of these plans. These are not what I'm looking for as they only cover about ~S$10K of costs for complications. If a premature birth happens with complications this cost could exceed 6 figures and these plans would not come close to footing the bill.

In the USA, we have plans that cover potential complications up to millions of dollars (depending on the coverage). I'm looking for something like this.

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taxico
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby taxico » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 7:32 pm

bearing in mind that 15k can bankrupt someone in sg... i will agree that the policy you seek doesn't exist off-the-shelf.

in that case, i'm 99% sure if you can afford the premium, you'll get the cover. (i say this based on my own experience finding cover for the collectible stuff my wife and i own in singapore)

you need a different insurance agent...

please check back in if you can - i'd be interested to hear about your final decision.
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ecureilx
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Re: RE: Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 7:50 pm

taxico wrote:
you need a different insurance agent...

please check back in if you can - i'd be interested to hear about your final decision.


The prudential plan was pretty comprehensive ...

I do agree, OP needs a different agent.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 9:27 pm

Since the need for maternity insurance is generally related to a planned decision to have a baby, it becomes pretty clear that those electing to have a baby under a maternity insurance policy need to pay enough in premiums to pay for the costs of having a baby or someone else not having a baby is contributing to your costs of your decision to have a baby.

Now, maybe government social policy will find it advantageous to subsidize the cost of having a baby in order to encourage an uptick in the birth rate but the fact remains that insurance premiums must cover the costs of the coverage offered or it's not insurance, it is a subsidy.

Auto insurance premiums are based on the costs of having a wreck, and you will, over the life of all the cars you own, pay for all your wrecks and for the expenses and a profit for the insurance company. I don't see how one thinks they can make a few months of premiums, then have the full costs of delivering a baby covered. And if you recognize this fact, then why pay an insurance premium which includes profit and expenses of running an insurance company instead of just saving up for the event or paying off the bill in a series of payments.

UMichGrad
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby UMichGrad » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 9:46 pm

StrongEagle.... Insurance is about pooling risk and allowing customers to hedge. I'm looking for something like a maternity shield plan. Not something that pays 100% costs of having a child. I'd like something like a high deductible plan in the case a pregnancy mishap leads to a $100K bill. Make the deductible $25K... Anything over that is covered.

Surely if enough people planning a family were interested in such a product, the premium would be based on the likelihood of a pregnancy exceeding a threshold cost and the amount of people in that risk pool. The event of such a pregnancy complication to hit a 6 figure bill is extremely unlikely.

However, if there is a policy that allows me to pay a premium that covers my a** in case such unlikely event happens, I'd sleep better at night knowing I have it and worst case, I'm out a premium.

I'm from the USA, and pre-Obamacare, maternity coverage for women was an option for an insurance plan. I'm trying to see if anyone is aware of such plans in Singapore. Perhaps being an American our country is just more risk adverse where the rest of the world doesn't see the need of such plans? I'm not sure.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:26 pm

OK, I get the need for a high deductible, catastrophic coverage policy. Makes sense.

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taxico
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby taxico » Wed, 12 Oct 2016 12:20 am

UMichGrad wrote:...I'm from the USA, and pre-Obamacare, maternity coverage for women was an option for an insurance plan. I'm trying to see if anyone is aware of such plans in Singapore. Perhaps being an American our country is just more risk adverse where the rest of the world doesn't see the need of such plans? I'm not sure.


i'm an american too, and practiced medicine "pre-obamacare" among the underprivileged.

there're A LOT of pregnant americans that cannot even afford or are ineligible/excluded from basic health insurance for themselves... let a lone their fetus.

in this respect, obamacare has helped more women get access to affordable prenatal insurance... in some states anyway (and rightly so, as i believe this reduces the burden on the state's health department and would make more doctors and pediatricians willing to treat newborns AND SAVE INFANT LIVES - with less fear of the hospital administrators wrath).

however this does not imply that most pregnancies in america are covered the way you would want your unborn child to be protected.

if it were, there would be no need for the affordable care act.
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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 12 Oct 2016 8:01 am

1. Many Singaporeans rely on their govt. medical account

2. Medical charges are still affordable (by US standard, altho pricey by local std)

The above reasons make it less of a neccessity for "catestrophic" medical insurance. Hence, OP is having such a tough time. Supply and demand. Perhaps, this chart will alleviate some of OP's concern. There is a SG-US comparison charge. Not sure how old the info is but the idea still stand. Medical treatment is much more affordable in SG. The insurance premium that you may be paying, may just about offset cost of the treatment itself. It is a matter of judgment call.

https://www.guidemesingapore.com/reloca ... -singapore

You can get "live" estimates from here. C-section with tubal ligation only $8400. Not sure about the cost of hospital stay etc..... I am sure you can find that info if you google around. I paid over USD$100K (covered by insurance) over a decade ago for my c-section delivery + hospital stay. In the USA.

https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/ ... edure.html

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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 12 Oct 2016 8:05 am

Taxico, I am really not sure how your above post is going to help OP with his question. All he wanted was to provide for himself and his family, medically speaking. He is practising responsible fatherhood. So much for compassion. Coming from a doctor, himself!

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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 12 Oct 2016 8:50 am

I just noticed and watched the video on the link I provided. About 30 % of premium goes towards admin and OH cost of these insurance companies. How is this going to benefit the consumers? I have always advocated for a direct pay system. Patients pay their healthcare providers directly for the services rendered. And if you use your credit card to pay, you get to earn points and rewards :mrgreen: .

This also cuts down on the staffing requirement from the physicians' side. Who usually needs to maintain staff to liason with the insurance companies and navigate the maze of medical billing. There is a whole industry catering to that. The cost just keeps piling on.

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Re: Maternity Insurance

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 12 Oct 2016 9:57 am

The doctor in the video also mentioned that it is uncommon for Singaporeans to buy medical insurance. So there you go, right there is your answer. I am not in a position to answer all questions related to SG as I don't live there. For a long time already


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