Last updated on December 24th, 2018 at 04:15 pm
Raffles Health Insurance (RHI) is launching the Raffles Shield tomorrow. Originally, I thought of it as an unnecessary new product being offered to us all. Looking at the details, I realised it has its niche. This post is to examine it for you.
** Information about the product is still trickling in. Content here is of my own opinion and not direct advice.
Leave a text to me below if you are keen to hear more about this solution**
1) I probably wouldn’t be looking at Raffles Shield A and B
You may be better off with a more established insurer like NTUC, GE, PRU if you want A or B ward government hospital cover. Their plans are even cheaper in this category and you avoid any risk with a new insurer.
They have a unique feature of allowing you to upgrade from Raffles Shield B plan to A plan within 5 years without underwriting. Unfortunately, it is not an option to upgrade to the plan “Class A with Raffles Hospital Option”.
I was thinking, the only exception to look at Raffles Shield B is if you want to cover for your parents above aged60 and unsure whether A or B ward now. Then maybe this option you have to potentially upgrade is worth considering. You can postpone that decision and save at least $300/year.
This other thing unclear is how fast is the upgrade processed. Is it instant?
If you are scheduled for operation next week, can you upgrade now in time?
2) Raffles Shield A with Raffles Hospital Option is LOOKING GOOD!
This plan option that excites me the most! There is no like for like in the market.
By choosing the “Raffles Hospital Option” as compared to Raffles Shield Private, you save at least 25% total premiums. Read point 3 for key rider information.
For someone in their early 30s purchasing the base plan with “key rider”, that’s $477/y vs $636/y in premium. Savings of at least $160/year.
3) Key Rider : A 5% co-payment rider
Finally, an insurer is offering the new 5% co-payment rider that is mandated by MOH by 1April2021. Just to recap, with this rider, if your bill is $10,000, you pay $500.
RHI is not issuing full payment riders even for now. I think this is smart as it gives them a clean slate.
By choosing to insure with the co-payment riders, you can bring down your premiums substantially.
As mentioned in the section above, for someone in their early 30s, total premium is only $477/y. This is about half of what current IP plans with full cover riders are costing these days.
The image below is from our in-house calculator. Click here to try.
The total premiums of $477/y vs the premiums above for full cover. Is this $300-$500/y savings worth while?
4) Will pre-existing conditions REALLY be covered?
RHI will consider to cover 3 common pre-existing conditions: high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension as long as policyholders comply with the raffles care management programme.
I’m not too sure as of now what is “will consider”. I’m clueless as to how strict the qualifying criteria is. KIV
5) Pre/Post coverage and annual limit is about industry standard
The Pre/Post coverage is pretty industry standard at 180days and 365 days respectively.
Raffles Shield A is at $600,000 annual limit. While this is also quite industry standard for government A ward, if we were to use with the Raffles Hospital Option, I’m not too sure if this limit is sufficient. Raffles Hospital Bills can really become expensive.
6) Can revert from “High Deductible Option” to “Without High Deductible Option” any time without underwriting
The key is NO underwriting when you want to change. Just don’t know how long the process takes only.
Smart! I didn’t realise the use of this originally. For clients with a corporate health plan now, I could really suggest looking out for this option to cover for catastrophic bills and long term chronic conditions. A personal insurance is still very important.
This makes their whole product design much more differentiated than AXA shield when they launched theirs
The Raffles Shield Private “With High Deductible” is like 30%-40% cheaper than other IP private plans. If you use Raffles Shield A with Raffles Hospital Option, this will be >60% cheaper than other IP private plans.
The only negative is getting the Key Rider will still require underwriting when you want to buy. If you are unhealthy then, you may no longer be eligible or face exclusions.
I’m licensed to advice on the Raffles shield and have personally assisted in a few applications thus far.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of mine and do not represent the views of any other organisation.
Image credits: Plan brochure from Raffles Shield