Thursday, November 22, 2012

Check on billing arrangement first

Dear Mr. Tan

My girlfriend was admitted to Raffles Hospital to do a MRI and subsequently remove a ostheoma from her forehead that was causing sharp pains and tension headaches. We went to Raffles Hospital because we wanted to have a second opinion after seeing a neurologist at TTSH that suggested my girlfriend be put on long-term pain medication which, in my opinion, does not solve the root cause of the problem and might in fact cause more problems in the future.

My gilrfriend is covered under Prudential's PruShield Premier Plus plan  with the Shield Extra rider that covers all deductables and co-insurance. As a former Financial Planner, I have always presumed that the difference between going to Government Re-structured Hospitals and Private Hospitals, with MediShield cover, is the payment of deposits during admission (i.e no need for deposit at Re-Structred Hospitals), and the rest of the bill will be billed directly to the insurer.

So imagine my shock when we were preparing for discharge from the hospital and the billing department informed us that we would have to clear the bill of $9606 (after $1250 has been deducted from her Medisave for deposit) before she can be discharged! According to Raffles Hospital, they will collect full payment from us before submitting a claim to Prudential, and only when Prudential has disbursed the claim will Raffles Hospital reimburse the amount back to us.

Luckily I was able to get a loan in the short time to cover the bill or I dread to imagine the consequencces. Now it got me thinking, what about others that might have been caught out in a similar situation but was unable to raise the amount needed? Is there a possibility of a standard practise across all hospitals regardless of Re-Structured or Private in cases where the patient is covered under a Shield Plan? As it stands now, the difference in practises between hospitals is extremely myriad and confusing even to active Financial Planners selling Shield Plans, let alone the layman.

I would love to hear your insight on this issue and what are possible ways for Insurers and Hospitals to work closer together to make seeking treatment less daunting than it already is in Singapore. 


REPLY
It is better to check with the hospital on their billing arrangement, prior to admission.

3 comments:

yujuan said...

The more we read about other peoples' bad experiences regarding medical and hospitalization claims on their Medishield insurance, the more we lose trust with insurers.
No more upgrading plans or increasing sum assured for our family. Have to stop also the riders attached.
The total premiums paid out during one's lifetime is just not worth it, if you can't claim or when there are so many buried mines lying underground to entrap you from claiming.

Wilfred said...

"As a former Financial Planner, I have always presumed that the difference between going to Government Re-structured Hospitals and Private Hospitals, with MediShield cover, is the payment of deposits during admission (i.e no need for deposit at Re-Structred Hospitals), and the rest of the bill will be billed directly to the insurer."

This assumption is not only incorrect but worst, this 'former financial planning' obviously had been advising his former clients wrongly!

Kooli said...

Assuming a complication happened after admit a private hospital, estimated cost would be:

Doctor Fee: $300 to 1000 per visit x 10Dr per day x 30 days = ?

Room: $600/bed x 30 days = ?

ICU: Very expensive

Medicine: Very expensive

Total Bill: above 5 digit

Payment Method: cash only

Health Insurance: Reimbursement

Transfer to Public Hospital B2 Ward: Reject !!!

An opinion:
- get ready $0.5m CASH ON HAND if admit to a private hospital in Singapore.

- Superbug or complication is always a big issue in private/public hospital

Good Luck.
(I am not Financial Adviser)


Blog Archive