One has the right to choose a higher class ward provided one is willing to accept that the MediShield Life payout will be smaller when compared to the overall size of the bill ("Standard B1 plan: Health Ministry replies"; Wednesday).
This is an acceptable principle.
However, the right to choose is not available in many private insurers' policies, which typically deny coverage if one chooses an equivalent class in a private hospital, even if the costs are no higher than those covered under the policies. Coverage is denied simply because the hospital or ward class is not that which is stated in the policies.
So, even if one can incur lower costs in a facility of one's choice, this is not allowed. Instead, one is forced to utilise the facility stated in the policy, even if it means incurring higher costs for the insurer. That cannot be right.
Is it any wonder then that medical insurance premiums are surging? Medical insurance should cover prescribed costs rather than prescribed facilities.
I hope the ongoing MediShield review will iron out such anomalies.
Maurice de Vaz
This article was first published onJuly 05, 2014.
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