2. Health Risk
Women are expected to live longer than men (I’ll expand more on that later), but according to an article by The Straits Times in 2017, which quoted the Global Burden of Disease 2015, women are also forecasted to spend on average the last nine years of their lives in ill health, as compared to 7.5 years for men. In addition, women are also likely to have more years in disability compared to men, and this requires the need for financial plans in place to cater for the possibility of long-term care.
With this in mind, women need to have a medical and long term care plan that is more comprehensive than normal to cater for a longer timeline in the event of loss of health. This goes beyond having hospitalisation insurance such as Medishield Life or Integrated Private Shield plans, as there are some expenses that may not be covered.
Some examples of these expenses include:
i) Prolonged treatment with long-term follow-up: There is a restriction on the duration of reimbursement for the post-hospitalization expenses on the Integrated Private Shield plan.
ii) Test Drugs: Should the treatment prescribed be listed as a test drug, Integrated Private Shield plan will not cover the cost of these drugs.
iii) Rehabilitation expenses: This would apply after a successful surgical procedure, which can include cost of therapy sessions and transport to rehabilitation centres, such as specialized cabs for the wheelchair-bound.
Hence, it is vital to not only have hospitalisation insurance, but also other types of coverage such as critical illness insurance, as that will cover the other additional medical expenses which are not covered by the hospitalisation plans. Without comprehensive planning, the emotional stress of being ill will be exacerbated by the financial stress of having to find ways and means to pay for treatment.
Health risk is when the unexpected loss of good health causes a major need for cash which results in your retirement funds being severely or fully depleted. It is the transition from being a caregiver to be the one being cared for and if this risk is not mitigated well, it can be an expensive mistake that many will not be able to afford.