Singapore’s Insurance Firms Largely Serve Themselves, Not the Public
Today’s edition of The Straits Times had a report about a Singapore-based British lawyer planning to go bald later this month to raise funds for treating her maid’s son who is down with cancer. A kind gesture indeed, hats off to the lawyer, Isabelle Claisse!!
The boy had no insurance coverage, hence the crowdfunding mission to source funds to meet the estimated cost of $140,000+.
Medical costs are very high in Singapore. So they can consider low-cost destinations where the treatment is just as good as here.
In my New Year day post on “My Wishlist for Singapore”, I had brought up the issue of how insurance companies in the country only serve themselves and sell policies that do not benefit the people much.
The lawyer’s crowdfunding drive may not have any direct relevance to how insurance firms in Singapore operate, but it does need articulation. So I will repeat herein some of the points I had raised in that post.
Trying to get a policy that will pay 100% of your hospital bills without having to fork out funds upfront is like a wild goose chase.
And if you had any pre-existing conditions, forget the idea of getting a policy as insurance companies love to chase only safe bets.
In other words, they will want all of the money that individuals pay towards their policies but with little benefits for policy-holders.
Group Insurance / MediSave / MediShield: Even corporate group insurance that will come smooth for every employee has been made stringent by companies like Prudential.
The government’s own schemes such as MediSave / MediShield also make little sense. If a person is not able to use his own MediSave amount in full for meeting medical requirements then what the heck are the CPF deductions for?
Worse, if your employer credits, say 5k, into your account, CPF unilaterally decides to put the bulk of it in your MediSave account if it was yet to reach the minimum balance.
I will want the government to stop taking away money from my CPF account and parking it under MediSave. I find keeping our funds locked with no meaningful way to use it unacceptable.
G Joslin Vethakumar