AIA Healthshield Gold Max with NEW VitalHealth rider – Should you downgrade and co-pay?

Do you have the AIA Healthshield Gold Max Plan A and the AIA Max Essential A rider? Have you considered downgrading to save some premiums?

When the premium notice came in with the new premium rates, “Not higher premiums again!” must have pop up in your head.

You are not alone. In the early years before the Medishield is revamped into Medishield Life in 2015 premiums were more affordable.

After a one year premium freeze imposed onto insurers, ALL the integrated shield plans offered (including that of AIA) started to increase their premium like clockwork! (shown below).

AIA has raised the AIA Healthshield Gold Max by 2-23% and in Jul 2017.

The rider premium was increased by 18-54%. In Jul 2018, AIA raised the main plan again by another 9-25%.

Do you know how much you are really paying?

If you are currently in your 30s, you will be paying $861 to $1,125 yearly for the Healthshield gold max plan A and Essential A rider. Of this amount, the cash outlay is $640 to $839 after the medisave component.

If you are above age 40, you will need to top up with cash for the main plan alone. The rider can only be paid using cash from your own pocket.

[Use our Singapore first Integrated Shield Plan Premium Calculator to know how much you are paying per year...] 

As your age increases, so does your premium.

And premium must be paid every year for your coverage to be around.

​If you are age 35 in 2018, you would at least be paying $169,930 in total by age75!

That amount alone can be used to pay for your downpayment for a 1 bedroom condo!

By the way, did I say this is only based on the current premium in 2019 and it has not even including future inflation!

Do you want to maintain coverage to private hospitals?

If you do, you have to keep your AIA Healthshield Gold Max A.

This plan gives you up to $2m in yearly limit and up to 13months in pre/post coverage which is the highest in the industry!

Downgrading to Healthshield Gold Max B will reduce your yearly limit and is not a suitable for private hospital coverage. 

AIA Essential A Rider new prices and NEW Max VitalHealth Rider!

The AIA Max Essential A Saver is about 50% cheaper as compared to the AIA Max Essential. The KEY difference is that you will need to pay for the deductible if the private doctor who is treating you is not on the AIA Quality Healthcare partner (AQHP).


Do note that from 1 April 2019,  AIA Max Essential A Saver is no longer available for new purchase. You can still downgrade from Essential A to Essential A Saver now!

If you already own the Essential A Saver rider, you might want to take note of the new premiums rates.

But there's A NEW way to reduce your total premums if you are now on the Essential A rider. 

That is downgrade your Essential A rider to the NEW AIA Max VitalHealth rider! This new rider is slightly cheaper than the AIA Essential A Saver rider.

Mainly because it has a 5% co-payment.

The NEW option from 1 April 2019 is the AIA Max VitalHealth Rider which is the compliant with the MOH 5% co-payment scheme.

What is the difference if you use the VitalHealth A rider?

In the event of a $10,000 claim, you'd pay $500 with this VitalHealth A rider. But the premiums saving is possibly $500/y in cash premiums already.

Furthermore, this $500 co-payment is likely payable by medisave also. So there is really no need to fear co-payment. It could be a more sustainable insurance method.

I realised another difference which is the removal of "Daily hospital Cash" if you choose the government hospital wards instead. This change is seen in all other insurers also.

**Do note that if you choose to downgrade, it is a one way ticket and you will not be able to revert back to the 100% coverage moving forward.**

Summary table of differences between the AIA Essential A Saver Rider and the NEW Max VitalHealth Rider (for downgrade only)

Extra mention on the daily hospital cash difference and the co-insurance portion.

What exactly is AIA Quality Healthcare partner (AQHP)

It is AIA's network of more than 200 private medical specialists across 26 medical disciplines.

The number of clinics last year was 180 and it's good to know they have been increasing it.

Simply call AIA's medical concierge service to access the care you need.

  • Call 6248 8288 to make an appointment
  • Receive SMS confirmation within 1 hour
  • Secure appointment within 3 working days

Click here to find out more

In this system, AIA offers you a Payment-free hospital stay with their surgical bill pre-approval.

Question: What if I choose a private doctor that is not in the AIA Quality Healthcare partner (AQHP) under VitalHealth?

If you are under Essential A rider, you can visit any private clinic and get 100% bill covered.

But under the new VitalHealth rider, it is important to know what will happen if you choose a private doctor outside of AIA's AQHP.

The diagram below explains how it works.

You'd realise that the co-insurance and deductible will NOT be claimable.

The $200,000 bill will require you to pay $23,150.

So do choose AQHP private doctors or the public hospital to save all this trouble and enjoy the $3,000 cap on total co-payment.

2 NEW things to note about the AIA Max VitalHealth

1) Complimentary health screening

This FREE health screening is offered to Max VitalHealth and Essential A Saver customers. It will be offered to you when you reach the attained age at policy anniversary.

Just a brief background, Colorectal cancer as one of the most common types of cancer among men, and the second-most common cancer among women in Singapore. It is predominantly diagnosed in individuals aged 50 and above.

For colonoscopy, HC Surgical has been appointed as the SOLE colonoscopy screening provider for AIA Singapore.  As this service is new, what I can share as of now is at least HC Surgical is a listed company.

2) Premium adjustment due to integration with AIA Vitality

The is great! You can get discounts from the second policy year onwards and will depend on the AIA Vitality Status attained.

Enjoy up to 15% discounts on AIA Max VitalHealth future premiums! 

If you would like to find out more

Check here for the latest brochure.

I believe that the co-insurance scheme should slow down medical insurance inflation. 

AIA Healthshield is one of my top recommendations for a newborn because it does not have any congenital abnormalities waiting period and has the highest pre/post hospital coverage.

If you have questions or would like to arrange an application, contact Josh Tan below

Last updated on June 5th, 2019 at 12:38 pm

The Financial Advocate

I am always fascinated in how parents approach financial issues in their daily lives. There is an overwhelming amount of information available and through this blog, I hope I can shed some light on financial matters concerning parents!

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