14 April 2015

Thank Goodness we had Medical Insurance!

Over the past year, my wifey experienced a muscular injury which seriously affected her quality of life. After struggling for a year, and weeks of therapies, the specialist recommended that she undergo a keyhole surgery to fix the problem.

We decided to go ahead with it. The sufferings had gone on long enough. The surgery took place late one evening and required an overnight stay at the hospital for the anesthesia to wear off. I drank quite a bit of coffee while waiting. Coffee Bean was a beneficiary.

Guess how much was the bill? $14,000+!

No doubt it was for an A class ward and would surely have been cheaper had it been a C ward. After deducting the Medishield component, the co-payment part worked out to be $4,500+. That's still quite a hefty sum!

Fortunately, I had placed my wife on a Medishield and Medishield+ type of plan with a private insurer. So even the co-payment part was fully covered. In the end, the total amount we had to cough up was $zero. This included the medications and follow up treatments.

The annual payment for the two policies was $786 a year. Looks like we have recouped almost 18 years of payments with just one surgery. Not that we really wanted to "profit" in this manner. Regardless, it goes to show how important it is to have hospitalisation and surgery insurance.

Are you covered yet?

p/s: Can I claim for the coffee too?

And if you're really hardcore, here's how the procedure looks like (*ouch*): Rotator Cuff Repair


Anonymous said...

Good to have hospitalisation insurance like Medishield.

The cost of insurance will be lower if you opt for a restructured hospital; the medical cost will be lower if you opt for a restructured hospital.

Lizardo said...

Hi Anonymous,

[Would be great if you could have identified yourself, at least with a handle name.]

It was at NUH.

jfree said...

Hi Lizardo,

Medishield is still your money, i don't understand why hospital is charging so high...

Put in a blunt way of talking, it's cheaper to buy a coffin than to lie onto a hospital bed..!!


Anonymous said...

My hubby had a fall as he blacked out after his Sat evening run. Clinic rushed him to Alexandra Hospital but they did not have a cardiologist over the weekend. TO arrest any heart issue, I transferred him to Gleneagles where he was seen by a cardiologist and neurologist immediately and an ENT doctor on Mon. Stayed 3 nights and did many scans and tests. Total bill (+ post followup) = 20K. Fortunately, we had complete cover, including out of pocket expense. We paid $0.

My sister had to remove her womb. She had to wait 6 weeks to get an op date in KK. In the end, she chose to operate immediately in MtA. Total bill = 14k. Unfortunately, she was under NTUC and had to pay 10%.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lizardo,

Other than the hospital bill, integrated shield plans also cover the medical bills for pre and post op, usually 90 days before and after op. Some insurance companies cover up to 180 days.

Time to dig up the bills to claim!

Hi Anonymous,

If I'm not wrong, the rider NTUC's shield plan covers deductible and caps your co-insurance per year. But NTUC's rider is also cheaper than other insurers' rider which covers deductible and co-insurance. Its not something 'unfortunate', but something that is calculated.


Lizardo said...


Perhaps you confused Medisave with Medishield? In any case, it was a private Medishield plan.

Given the number of professionals involved to carry out a surgery and that these are expensive people, I can appreciate the costs involved. I give it to them considering the horrendous number of hours they work. On top of their day duties, you would note that the operation was carried out at night, on a Friday even! Not much of a life.

Lizardo said...

Anonymous 2 [better if you could have identified yourself somewhat?],

Thanks for sharing your experience. We get what we pay for. If nothing happened, it seems like we're flushing money. But when something does happen, boy are we glad!

And as we age, we realise there are more physical problems. If the plans were not bought early, all these becomes exclusions. Can be a hell to pay someday.

Lizardo said...


You are so right. The plan included 180 days before and 180 days after.

The problem is, for the 180 days before, I had been using my company plan. As a result, I had no receipts to work with. And seems like I can't claim anymore since it's been subsidised by another scheme.

How would one know that it would lead to an operation!? Damn.