Tuesday, June 7, 2016

NTUC H&S Rider Research

Last year in September, prompted by this post by Derek, I decided to review my insurance policies and then plan the next steps I should take to ensure that my insurance needs are met.

I did have 2 follow-up actions, and they were:

1. Figure out which NTUC rider on my H&S policy is right for me
2. Look for and consider DIRECT insurance (my next post)

Well, for FU#1, I did my research on the NTUC H&S plans. I am currently covered by the Enhanced IncomeShield (Preferred) with Assist Rider. I would say that the shield plans across the insurers are roughly more or less the same. It's probably more important to pick the ward class than to pick and choose insurers, unless you have a preference (you have a particular agent from that company that you would like to work with).

The NTUC shield plans used to only come with Assist Rider. This is a cash premium rider that effectively limits your bill to just 10% of the amount, subject to a cap (mine is $3000). To my knowledge, NTUC only had this sort of "co-pay" rider while the other insurers have "full" riders, meaning that there is zero cash out of pocket that has to be paid. Of course, with complete coverage, premiums would definitely be more than the co-pay option. Because of the lack of the co-pay option, I felt many people actually went with the other insurers, even though they have to pay a higher premium.

I think NTUC realized that consumers wanted a "complete" solution, so they added their Plus Rider, which essentially gives you complete coverage and have zero out-of-pocket expenses. However, like I said, it does come with a price.

Straight off the bat, from 19, the difference in premium is $97 a year, and this increases at every step.

I would highlight the main difference between getting the Assist Rider or the Plus Rider as:

I have too much money and I don't care = Get the Plus Rider
I am very unhealthly / prone to accidents = Get the Plus Rider
I have a very bad family history = Get the Plus Rider

Essentially, its just a question of trying your luck if you'll be in and out of hospitals frequently. If you try your luck and you are right, you save a bit more money and have slightly better cash flow. If you are wrong, you may or may not end up paying more in the long run. That's about it. You are still going to have comprehensive health coverage with whichever rider you choose.

With that done, I decided to stick with my Assist Rider policy. I have gotten my policy successfully (after many tries with wrong documents here and there) to have my own policy taken over from my father to myself now.

I personally think that H&S insurance is very important for everyone to have. Everyone should have at least the basic plan and the assist rider (which only NTUC offers). Of course, if you want something more "complete", you can get the plus rider or go to other insurers. Choices are aplenty. But the point is, you need to make a choice before its too late for you to do so.

If you don't have any H&S policy now, I urge you to get the NTUC basic plan with Assist Rider. After you have time, you can do more research and change plans if you want to, but you need to have you base covered.

How about everyone else for thier H&S plans and their riders that they have? I'm curious as to what other people have thought about and eventually decided on. I know some people with children take the Aviva plan because the rider has some insurance coverage extended to their kids.

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