18 February 2010

Who Wants to Insure These Kids?

A father of a child with special needs wrote to the newspaper today on the issue of medical insurance for children with special needs. Basically, there is none. Apparently, the only way you'd be able to claim insurance for your child who turns out to have special needs is if you had bought his/her hospitalisation policy 2 years before he/she is born. (Now, who would do that?)


The irony is that the children and families that need the most medical expense coverage are the least eligible for it.

Insure all newborns, regardless of health condition
by Simon Pelz

WHEN my wife was expecting our first child, we tried to sign up for an insurance plan for hospitalisation.

But we discovered we had to wait for our child's birth, so insurers could check on our baby's health condition and determine if the risk involved would affect their profitability if they let us sign on.

When our child was unexpectedly born with a minor physical defect, insurers refused to let us take up a hospitalisation plan.

The rejection basically means that parents who plan responsibly for the arrival of their newborn are precluded from medical insurance coverage.

Not only is such a policy unfair to parents and their newborn, but it contradicts the Government's prime aim of arresting Singapore's plunging birth rate by persuading couples to have babies.

Ours, we were told, is not an isolated case and many other parents are in a similar predicament.

Having a sick child without health insurance coverage has a substantial impact on the parents' financial situation, and ultimately becomes a burden to society.

We hope the Government will act to reverse this anti-childbirth policy, so future newborns will be automatically granted health insurance, regardless of their medical condition.

Such a reversal will make Singapore a more childbirth-friendly environment.