Cost of treatment in private hospital is 2 to 3 times of similar treatment in private hospitals. After factoring in the government subsidy (average of 50%), the difference is 4 to 6 times.
Elderly people should opt for treatment in subsidized wards. If they go for treatment in private hospitals, the real cost is 4 to 6 times higher.
Insurance does not reduce the cost. It adds another 50% to the actual cost - to cover marketing, administration and profit. The higher cost is reflected in the premium that has to be paid by everybody.
Many people think that insurance will help to pay their bills. They do not realize that they are paying for it through higher premiums.
Read this article.
If you can afford the higher premium, then it is all right to buy private insurance. But, if you do not have adequate savings, it is better to keep to Medishield and use subsidized wards, especially for elderly people.