Your Letters

Check medical status at point of application for insurance

The Life Insurance Association Singapore, in its letter, failed to address the main point of my letter (Insurance claims: Customers must come clean about medical conditions; Oct 30).

In my letter (Unfair to reject claims due to past medical conditions; Oct 10), I asked the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to require insurance companies to check an applicant's medical history when they process the application for upgrading or reinstating a plan. If they are not satisfied with the medical status of the applicant, they should reject the application at that point.

If the insurers accept the application, they should be barred from rejecting a claim on the grounds of non-disclosure of past medical conditions.

All parties should keep in mind the financial distress that patients face when they incur a large medical bill in a private hospital, only to be told that the claim is rejected owing to alleged non-disclosure of a past medical condition.

Often, they are not aware of thecondition or the need to disclose it.

They usually rely on the insurance agent to advise them on what needs to be declared when they upgrade to an integrated plan.

In the cases that I was aware of, the patients had checked with their insurance companies and were assured that their medical treatments would be covered under their integrated plans.

They were told about the rejection of the claims only after they were treated and their medical bills were submitted for processing.

If they had known that their medical bills would not be covered, they would likely not have proceeded with the treatments in a private hospital, and would have gone to a public hospital instead.

Consumers need to be protected and I urge the MAS to take a serious look at my suggestion.

Tan Kin Lian

President

Financial Services Consumer Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 05, 2017, with the headline 'Check medical status at point of application for insurance'. Print Edition | Subscribe