(The) Boring Investor

Insurance should be the first “investment” in any investment plan, because any major medical expenditures could easily get rid of years of hard-earned cost savings and investment increases. However, insurance is usually not discussed just as much as investments since it is a boring and taboo subject. A common thinking among investors is to try to grow one’s wealth through investment quickly enough so that one doesn’t need insurance.

However, just how many of us could ensure that we could grow wealthy before we get old? A well thought through insurance plan would go towards making certain we are well protected during the period when we’re still growing our wealth and are most susceptible to any major expenditures. However, sometimes, even the best-laid plans can be fallible when the first is not in the best of health. I have a private “as-charged” Medishield plan (Plan B) that covers me for hospitalization in a Class B ward.

When I was healthier and bought the insurance, I thought I’d stay in a Class B2 ward if I were to be hospitalized. I did not buy any rider to pay the co-insurance and deductible portions of the medical costs, as I believe that medical insurance ought to be to cover large medical expenditures.

Hence, the coverage of a Medishield Plan B was sufficient — stay in B2 ward, protected up till B1 ward. I possibly could not envision myself residing in a Class A or even a private hospital ward. The money preserved from not staying in these more costly wards could be spent on a good little holiday later. In fact, I have occasionally thought about residing in a Class C ward to save more on the deductible and co-insurance portions.

Unfortunately, Man proposes, Heaven disposes. I’ve not experienced the best of health within the last few years. It has exposed gaps in my thinking and a significant risk in my medical care insurance coverage. I’ve seen specialists as a subsidized patient in a public hospital, private patient in a public hospital and private patient in a private hospital. Needlessly to say, seeing the specialist as a subsidized patient is the cheapest, but normally it takes 1-2 weeks to make an appointment. Seeing as the exclusive patient costs more than as a subsidized patient, however the cost differential between the public and private hospital is not major.

The lead time for an appointment as an exclusive patient in a public hospital can range between 1/2 week to 3 weeks, day while a private patient in an exclusive hospital can see the specialist on the same. Hence, in my own haste to get medical attention, I’ve seen an exclusive specialist in a private hospital on a few occasions.

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This then exposes me to the risk to be hospitalised in a private medical center ward. The Medishield Plan B that I have only covers 50% of the insurable expenditures in a private hospital ward, which is really as good as devoid of any insurance. Could it be a case to be penny-wise and pound-foolish in not purchasing the priciest Medishield plan?

I don’t think so, because if this is the full case, I would not need upgrading to an “as-charged” Medishield plan. It really is a case of not being able to foresee how I would act while I am not well. Exactly what will I now do? One option is to upgrade to a Medishield Plan P that covers private hospital wards, provided I am insurable still.

But honestly speaking, the annual monthly premiums of Plan P aren’t cheap. If this option is chosen, at some true point in time, I would to Programs A or B to manage the monthly premiums downgrade. Anyway, there are going to be changes to the plans with the introduction of Medishield Life. I shall wait around and start to see the benefits and payments of each Medishield plan before making a decision.