The cost of healthcare is rising in Singapore. While this is not surprising, the rate at which it is increasing can be worrying.
According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the cost of Medical & Dental Treatment has risen nearly 78% in the last 20 years, or more than 2.9% per annum. This is almost double the 20-year inflation rate of the MAS Core Inflation Measure, which is 1.5% per annum.
Further, the Ministry of Health (MOH) recently revealed statistics which showed that between 2007 and 2017, private healthcare costs increased by 9.0% per annum, rising at a rate almost double that of public hospitals.
The Singapore Government is playing an active role in ensuring affordable healthcare
On the back of this, the Singapore government has been playing an active role in the health insurance and healthcare sectors to moderate the unsustainable rise in costs.
Most recently, the MOH released a comprehensive surgeon fee benchmarks for 222 common surgical procedures at private hospitals. This is to empower patients to understand how much they are being charged compared to the recommended surgeon fee for their treatment. For doctors in private hospitals, they can now refer to the recommended benchmark and will have to explain why their fees are higher if they are charging more.
Earlier this year, the government also announced the removal of full riders for Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), which means you can no longer purchase full rider coverage for your entire hospitals bills. Going forward, policyholders will need to co-pay part of their hospitalisation bills, ensuring that they would at least be partially responsible in monitoring their types and costs of their treatments.
AIA is doing its part to provide competitive and innovative health solutions in Singapore
AIA Quality Healthcare Partners
Apart from combating healthcare inflation, we believe that we have an obligation to provide our customers with innovative solutions that will have a real benefit. Since 2017, AIA has provided our customers better access to almost 200 private medical specialists across 26 medical disciplines through our AIA Quality Healthcare Partners (AQHP) programme.
This not only provides customers with better service and access to trusted medical specialists, but also acts as a deterrence to overcharging in the industry. Our AQHP is packaged in a mobile app enabling our customers to arrange for an appointment with a qualified and experienced medical specialist within three working days. In addition, customers also receive a preferential 20% discount on consultation fees as well as peace of mind that their medical bill is covered through pre-approval.
AIA Medical Concierge Service
In May 2018, AIA partnered with Medix to become the first insurer in Singapore to provide our customers with Personal Medical Case Management service (PMCM). At no additional cost, this service connects our customers to a diverse line-up of leading medical specialists on the Medix platform, allowing them to review and re-evaluate their medical condition and medical recommendations as well as receive other forms of medical support.
By leveraging on technology and existing solutions, we are able to offer our customers another avenue to have their medical diagnosis and recommendations reviewed and re-evaluated by other specialists, around the world, on the Medix platform. AIA hopes this second opinion could lead to better healthcare outcomes, as well as to reduce unnecessary medical procedures.
AIA Vitality is a science- and data-backed wellness programme that ultimately aims to lower claims on policies, by engaging our customers and helping them lead healthier lifestyles in a fun and rewarding way.
Through activities such as walking a certain amount of steps each day, going for regular health screenings, taking part in weekly health challenges and monitoring your improvements through wearables, AIA Vitality encourages our customers to live healthier, more active lives every day.
Innovative insurance products
AIA is also staying ahead of the industry by offering innovative insurance products to consumers who are either underserved or traditionally excluded from being able to receive insurance coverage.
In 2017, we launched AIA Diabetes Care to encourage those already diagnosed with diabetes to protect themselves and their loved ones with insurance coverage. While helping this group to close an insurance protection gap they may not have been able to, we hope to also support them to lead healthier lives through our AIA Vitality programme.
AIA Mum2Baby Choices is another innovative product aimed at covering mothers-to-be from as early as the 13th week of their pregnancy, and giving them the option of transferring their base policy to their baby within 60 days of giving birth without any medical underwriting.
Looking to the future
In addition to offering innovative solutions targeted at curbing healthcare inflation in Singapore, AIA is also looking to harness the benefits of advanced medical technologies in order to create a better future.