Posted on Jan 23, 2013 by Sergio Ulloa
RHI-Bupa have released new corporate Group Insurance plans for companies in Singapore. The new products, insured by Raffles Health Insurance Pte Ltd and administered by Bupa International, are the 'Company Health Select Asia Pacific' plan, and the 'Company Health Choice International' plan. With the release of these new products, RHI-Bupa are targeting the middle-market SMEs, thereby increasing their potential market share in Singapore.
Initially, RHI-Bupa was only offering plans for individuals in Singapore. However, they have now adopted a more aggressive strategy, and are making positive moves towards a greater market share by taking on these two new corporate plans as well as plans and clients previously with Aviva. As reported by Globalsurance recently, Aviva have withdrawn some of their services from Singapore, specifically the IdealMedical and Global Health plans,a move that would have left a reported 10,000 people without any insurance had RHI-Bupa not stepped up to offer a continuation option. RHI-Bupa have come to the rescue of these clients, and have furthered their growth in the region through their new corporate solutions designed for SMEs in Singapore.
The new Company Health plans on offer only marginally differ from one another. The Company Health Select Asia Pacific covers employees of the companies purchasing the plan, with coverage given for treatment anywhere in the Asia Pacific region except for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is excluded for its extraordinarily high medical costs. In contrast, the Company Health Choice International plan provides coverage for treatments in Singapore, and two other countries of the member's choosing excluding the United States.
There are some exclusions and limitations to the treatment you can receive with RHI-Bupa's new corporateplans. Both of the new plans on offer provide core in-patient coverage with an option to add on some out-patient benefits, and cover for dependents. The out-patient coverage available is limited with regard to the benefits you can claim, and the in-patient coverage is also not as complete as that seen in the RHI-Bupa individual plans, however Globalsurance believe the plans to be a reasonable offering for the mass market of Singapore, especially when considering that Aviva has just left the region. The overall maximum benefit limits for both plans is USD 250,000. Based on the benefit schedule that can be found on Bupa's website, coverage is not extensive on these plans, as they are targeting the middle-market SMEs. This is because the plans are geared towards the mass market in Singapore, and so premiums need to be kept under control. Exclusions to the plans include treatment for Chronic conditions, Maternity and Newborn care, and Pre-existing conditions.
There are limits to where you can receive treatment as well. Treatment under the new plans will only be fully covered at participating hospitals in RHI-Bupa's network. If you receive treatment at any other hospitals that are not part of Bupa's restricted network, then you and your insurer must split the cost of treatment 50/50. This is because the cost of treatments in hospitals outside of RHI-Bupa's network will be significantly higher, and the insurer wants to keep premiums low for its clients. In Singapore, those on the new Asia Pacific plan will have full access to Restructured Hospitals and Raffles Hospital only, while those on the Choice International plan can choose between two different networks. The first network allows them to receive treatment as Restructured Hospitals only, and the second network allows access to both restructured hospitals and Raffles Hospital. A list of hospitals that are in both the restricted networks is kept up to date and can be found in the MembersWorld section of Bupa's website.
Any treatment clients on these plans require must be pre-authorised by the insurer, except in the case of emergencies in which you are unable to contact your insurer ahead of time. Pre-authorisation involves contacting your insurer before receiving treatment to notify them and receive approval for the treatment you need. Your insurer will check that you are covered for the treatment you require and can get the support you need on your plan. Pre-authorisation is required for in-patient treatment, day-case and cancer treatment, MRI, CT, PET scans and post-hospitalisation services, as well as any treatments you urgently need outside of the area of cover in your plan. Your insurer will pre-authorise and pay for your treatments provided that the treatment covered by your plan; does not exceed your benefit limit, is the same as the treatment that was authorised, is medically necessary, is not for a pre-existing condition, and is within 31 days of the pre-authorisation.
Other factors include making sure that your subscription payments are up to date and that you are an active member of RHI-Bupa MembersWorld. The pre-authorisation will denote the length of stay for in-patient treatments that you will be covered for, which can be extended only through approval from the insurer. Once authorised, and treated, payment can be settled either through direct settlement between your insurer and the medical facility, or through a pay and claim system where you claim back the cost of treatment from your insurer after receiving the treatment. If you did not receive pre-authorisation for your treatment, then you must pay 50% of the costs, as applies if you are receiving treatment from a hospital outside of the RHI-Bupa network.
Overall, Globalsurance feel that the new plans offered by RHI-Bupa are a good option for companies in Singapore. This is especially so considering Aviva's recent withdrawals in the region. The new products on offer provide an attractive product to the mid-range mass market, and should help RHI-Bupa to increase their competitiveness in the Asia Pacific region. Globalsurance believe this move by RHI-Bupa is an aggressive statement of intent, showing the insurers plans to establish a hold on the sector in Singapore, and predict that we will see increased activity from them in the near future as they implement more changes to attain a greater total market share.
For any more details regarding the plans on offer, contactour team of experts here at Globalsurance.