May 1 launch for AXA's IPs

Longer coverage of bills after hospital discharge, higher annual claim limits

AXA Life Insurance Singapore is offering to cover patients' bills for up to 365 days after their discharge from hospital, or double the longest period now with Integrated Shield Plans (IPs).

It is also offering higher annual claim limits for insurance plans pegged at private hospitals and Class A in public hospitals.

These appear to be the main selling points from the latest player in the market, whose entrance on May 1 will make it the sixth insurer to have health insurance that integrates MediShield Life, with a large chunk of its premiums payable with Medisave.

Its chief marketing officer, Ms Perroy Kwek, told The Straits Times: "Major medical illnesses such as cancer, stroke or progressive medical conditions like Parkinson's disease or muscular dystrophy may require a longer recovery time with multiple follow- ups after a hospital discharge.

"That is why having enough post-hospitalisation coverage is important - to ensure that customers are fully protected long enough upon hospital discharge."

Most insurers now offer 90 to 180 days of post-hospital coverage. She added that the higher annual claim limits it offers are to cover the higher claims from people who need longer post-hospitalisation treatments.

AXA Life will also offer the mandatory no-frills standard Class B1 plan that takes off also on May 1.

Based on its release yesterday, AXA Life will not compete on premiums, which are generally between mid and high levels compared with the other five insurers.

Premiums for its private hospital plan range from $172 to $10,664 a year, while those for Class A start at $208 and hit $5,933 at the upper range.

For the Standard B1 IP, which offers the same benefits across all six insurers, AXA starts at $170. Premiums from the other five insurers range from $157 to $195.

For the oldest age group, AXA is charging $4,723 compared with $3,373 to $5,056 charged by the others.

Making the announcement yesterday, the Ministry of Health said: "This will offer Singaporeans greater choice of private insurance plans."

Dr Chia Shi Lu, head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, welcomed the move, agreeing that competition should bring down the cost of premiums.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the cover was up to 360 days. It has been corrected to 365 days.

What it should have been

Published on 01 April 2016

Yesterday's article, "May 1 launch for AXA's IPs", said that AXA Life Insurance Singapore is offering to cover patients' bills for up to 360 days after their discharge from hospital. It should be for 365 days. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'May 1 launch for AXA's IPs'. Print Edition | Subscribe