Ever since the global spread of Covid-19 - originating in Wuhan, China - Singaporeans (well, everyone, actually) has been fanatical about cleanliness, stocking up on surgical masks, hand sanitisers and whatnot. Not since SARS have Singaporeans been this careful about hygiene.
Beyond being terrified of getting coughed and sneezed at, many are also worried about the treatment costs involved. Generally, Singaporeans have little to worry about as the government is footing the bill of all coronavirus patients at public hospitals.
But since this is a new virus, we don’t really know what to expect. While there are reports that some people overseas have gotten better on their own, complications can result in months of hospitalisation. Plus, we don’t really know about the long-term effects of Covid-19 on one’s health.
Insurers have responded by stepping in with coverage for Covid-19.
COVID-19 INSURANCE COVERAGE IN SINGAPORE
|Insurance company||Free coverage until…||Covid-19 coverage benefits|
|DBS/POSB||For 30 days||– $100 per day (up to 14 days) for hospitalisation
– $1,000 lump sum payment if admitted to ICU
|AIA||Until Dec 30, 2020 or 30 days after DORSCON green (whichever is earlier)||– $25,000 death benefit
– $1,000 lump sum if hospitalised
|NTUC||Until Aug 30, 2020||– $10,000 death benefit
– $100 per day (up to 30 days) for hospitalisation
|Great Eastern||Until Dec 31, 2020 or until $1 million Great Eastern Covid-19 Customer Care Fund has been paid out||– $20,000 death benefit
– $200 per day (up to 60 days) for hospitalisation
|HSBC||Until Feb 6, 2021||– $10,000 death benefit
– $200 per day (up to 45 days) for hospitalisation
|Manulife||Until June 1, 2020||– $30,000 death benefit
– $1,500 if diagnosed with Covid-19
– $2,000 if hospitalised for 5 days or more
|Prudential||Coverage for cases emerging on June 30, 2020 or earlier||– $500 cash benefit for those served with quarantine order
– $200 per day (up to 3 months) for hospitalisation
|AXA||Coverage for cases emerging on Sept 30, 2020 or until DORSCON green (whichever is earlier)||– $20,000 death benefit ($40,000 for frontline healthcare workers)
– $200 per day ($400 per day for frontline healthcare workers) (up to 90 days) for hospitalisation
- Highest hospitalisation benefit: Great Eastern and HSBC ($200 per day) & Manulife ($2,000 lump sum)
- Highest benefit for Covid-19 diagnosis: Manulife ($1,500 lump sum)
- Highest death benefit: AIA ($25,000) and Manulife ($30,000)
- Best for frontline healthcare workers: AXA (coverage sums doubled)
DBS COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $100 per day (up to 14 days)
- $1,000 if admitted to ICU
- Valid for 30 days
DBS and POSB customers and their families can benefit from free Covid-19 relief insurance coverage by signing up for the Covid-19 Hospital Cash insurance policy from Feb 24 to March 15.
The policy offers 30 days’ worth of free cover including a daily cash benefit of $100 per day (for up to 14 days) if you are hospitalised due to the coronavirus. Unlike most of the other Covid-19 insurers on this list, DBS extends this coverage to overseas hospitalisation, so long as you are not in China or a US-sanctioned destination.
You also get a lump sum payout of $1,000 if you are admitted to the ICU. To qualify, you have to be a Singapore resident aged 18 and above, and can nominate one immediate family member to be insured along with you.
The best thing is that the policy is free. You just need to sign up online or at any DBS or POSB branch.
The policy only offers coverage for 30 days beginning on the day you make your application, but can be extended if you also buy their Recovery Hospital Cash policy, which offers daily cash payouts in the event of hospitalisation for other conditions, not just Covid-19.
The coverage is decent, but lacking a death benefit.
AIA COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $1,000 hospitalisation benefit
- $25,000 death benefit
- Valid until Dec 31, 2020 or 30 days after DORSCON green
All eligible AIA customers automatically get free Covid-19 insurance cover, effective immediately and valid until Dec 31, 2020 or 30 days after Singapore’s DORSCON level goes down to green.
To be eligible, you must be a Singapore resident with a life insurance or accident and health insurance policy with AIA, issued on or before July 31, 2020.
Instead of a per-day payout, this policy pays out a lump sum of $25,000 if you die from the coronavirus, as well as a lump sum of $1,000 if you get hospitalised because of Covid-19.
NTUC COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $100 per day (for 30 days)
- $10,000 death benefit
- Valid until 31 Aug 2020
Cover for Covid-19 has been extended to policyholders of NTUC Income’s personal accident insurance or corporate insurance plans at no additional premium. This includes families who are beneficiaries of Income’s Family Micro-Insurance Scheme.
Coverage is until Aug 31, 2020, and offers a cash benefit of $100 per day for up to 30 days if hospitalised, as well as a one-time lump sum payment of $10,000 in the event of death.
GREAT EASTERN COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $200 per day (up to 60 days)
- $20,000 death benefit
- Valid until Dec 31, 2020, or until the Covid-19 Customer Care Fund runs out
Great Eastern life or accident and health policyholders can benefit from free Covid-19 coverage. This coverage is also extended to policyholders’ children (under 18 years old), spouses and (only for policy holders aged 18 and below) parents.
This includes a daily hospital income benefit of $200 per day for up to 60 days of hospitalisation, as well as a $20,000 death benefit.
Coverage will last until Dec 31, 2020, or until Great Eastern’s $1 million Covid-19 Customer Care Fund has been totally paid out to policyholders.
HSBC COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $200 per day (up to 45 days)
- $1,000 lump sum upon diagnosis
- $10,000 death benefit
- Valid until Feb 6, 2021
HSBC life insurance policy holders whose policies were issued before Feb 7, 2020 get free Covid-19 benefits for a year, ending on Feb 6, 2021.
Benefits include a $200 per day hospital cash benefit for up to 45 days, a $1,000 lump sum payout if the policyholder or a family member is diagnosed with Covid-19 in Singapore, and a $10,000 death benefit if the policyholder or family member should pass away.
This policy is one of the more comprehensive ones, with a payout as soon as you’re diagnosed. It also extends to cover family members, which are defined as spouses and children aged under 18.
MANULIFE COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $1,500 lump sum upon diagnosis
- $2,000 hospitalisation benefit (one-time, for ≥5 days hospitalisation)
- $30,000 death benefit
- Valid until June 1, 2020
Manulife’s Covid-19 coverage is effective until June 1, 2020 and offered for free to all existing customers.
Benefits include a one-time lump sum cash benefit of $1,500 if you are diagnosed with Covid-19, and an additional lump sum cash benefit of $2,000 if you are hospitalised for 5 days or more. If you pass away, a lump sum of $30,000 will be paid out.
PRUDENTIAL COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $500 cash benefit for those quarantined
- $200 per day (up to 3 months)
Prudential’s Covid-19 cover applies to cases emerging no later than June 30, 2020.
Prudential customers and their immediate family members (spouses, parents and children) will receive a one-time $500 cash benefit if they are served with a quarantine order. Those who get hospitalised in Singapore will receive a cash benefit of $200 per day, for up to 3 months.
These benefits are also offered to Prudential’s corporate and SME customers, as well as all their employees and financial consultants.
AXA COVID-19 HEALTH INSURANCE
- $200 per day (up to 90 days)
- $20,000 death benefit
- Above-mentioned benefits doubled for frontline healthcare workers
- Valid until 30 Sep 2020, or until DORSCON green
Policyholders of AXA’s life and general insurance will get to enjoy their Covid-19 benefits for free. These benefits are applicable to those who are diagnosed no later than Sept 30, 2020, or until the DORSCON level goes back to green, whichever happens first.
These include a daily cash benefit of $200 per day for up to 90 days of hospitalisation. In the event of death, a lump sum death benefit of $20,000 will be paid out.
For life and general insurance customers who are frontline healthcare workers, the hospitalisation cash benefit is doubled to $400 per day, and the lump sum death benefit to $40,000.
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY HEALTH INSURANCE EARLY
The above perks are mostly extended to people who are already insurance policy holders. In addition, some of the insurers have put in place a deadline for purchase of an eligible policy if you want to receive the Covid-19 benefits.
So, if you don’t already have health insurance, you should definitely sign up for it now, making sure that you have not missed the deadline for receiving Covid-19 benefits from the insurer you are buying your policy from.
Other than protecting you against the coronavirus, health insurance also ensures that your bills are mostly covered should you get hospitalised for a different reason. Even when this whole coronavirus thing blows over, you’ll still want to make sure you have adequate health insurance.
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.
This article was first published in MoneySmart .