New Users Registration  |  Useful Links  |  FAQ  |  Site Map 
 
Go Search

 

Skip Navigation LinksHealth Xchange > News
  News  
  Categories  
     
  Chronology  
 
  2013 2015   Dec 2015 | Nov 2015 | Oct 2015 | Sep 2015 | Aug 2015 | Jul 2015 | Jun 2015 | May 2015 | Apr 2015 | Mar 2015 | Feb 2015 | Jan 2015 |
  2013 2014   Dec 2014 | Nov 2014 | Oct 2014 | Sep 2014 | Aug 2014 | Jul 2014 | Jun 2014 | May 2014 | Apr 2014 | Mar 2014 | Feb 2014 | Jan 2014 |
  2013   Dec 2013 | Nov 2013 | Oct 2013 | Sep 2013 | Aug 2013 | Jul 2013 | Jun 2013 | May 2013 | Apr 2013 | Mar 2013 | Feb 2013 | Jan 2013 |
  2012   Dec 2012 | Nov 2012 | Oct 2012 | Sep 2012 | Aug 2012 | Jul 2012Jun 2012May 2012Apr 2012Mar 2012 | Feb 2012 | Jan 2012 |
  2011   Dec 2011Nov 2011Oct 2011 | Sep 2011 | Aug 2011Jul 2011Jun 2011 | May 2011 | Apr 2011 | Mar 2011 | Feb 2011 | Jan 2011 |
  2010   Dec 2010 | Nov 2010 | Oct 2010 | Sep 2010 | Aug 2010 | Jul 2010 | Jun 2010 | May 2010 | Apr 2010 | Mar 2010 | Feb 2010 | Jan 2010 |
  2009   Dec 2009 | Nov 2009 | Oct 2009 | Sep 2009 | Aug 2009 |
 
     
  Topic  
 
  Health Policy and Announcements | Diseases and Outbreaks
  Medical Research | New Treatments and Technology
   
 
     
  RSS  
 
  Singapore   SingHealth | Health Promotion Board | Ministry of Health | Asiaone
  International   World Health Organization | Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US)
       
 
     
  News Article  
 

Insurance cover for IVF babies to rise

 
  Thursday, 02 l 12 l 2010 Source:  The Straits Times   
By: Salma Khalik
     
 

Current payouts often not enough to cover ward, treatment costs 

baby-insurancePARENTS using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques to conceive could soon have higher insurance coverage for their babies than the maximum payout of $300 a day they now enjoy. The Ministry for Health (MOH) has called a tender to increase the insurance payouts for babies conceived through IVF. This is because these current payouts are often not enough to cover treatment, especially for those in private hospitals.

Since 1992, it has been compulsory for couples going for IVF to buy such insurance for their baby, in case the infant needs more than normal care in the first six months of life. The premiums parents pay vary with the number of embryos the woman is impregnated with. They range from an almost nominal $60 for one embryo, to more than $2,330 when four embryos are transferred.

The risks of problems increase significantly as more embryos are transferred, hence the difference in premiums. The insurer currently pays $100 a day should the baby require high dependency care and $300 a day for intensive care following birth. Payment ceases 180 days from birth. While this might be enough to cover the cost of subsidised care at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, it is below even what the hospital charges private patients.  

A baby in A class needing Special Care Nursery treatment is charged $387 per day. One who needs Neonatal Intensive Care has to stump up $585 a day in A class. The cost for a baby in a subsidised ward is $88 and $175 a day for the respective levels of care. The amount of payout from the insurance company is based on each baby needing such care. So a woman who gives birth to triplets who all require intensive care would receive $900 a day for this.

Last year, of 985 IVF babies born, there were seven sets of triplets and 193 pairs of twins. Only 578 were single births. An MOH spokesman said the payout rate had not changed in more than 15 years and so “it is timely to review the benefits to ensure coverage remains adequate and relevant for the policyholders”. Between July 2001 and September 2008, 629 IVF babies had needed such intensive care, she said. The highest payout amounted to $50,000.

MOH was not able to say if any of the babies required intensive or high dependency care beyond the 180 days covered by the insurance. But the spokesman added that the aim of the insurance is to protect such couples “against financial risk of costly neonatal care”. There is no such insurance for parents who conceive naturally, although they too could have babies born premature or with other problems that require expensive neonatal care.

Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan told The Straits Times: “I support insuring against the financial risk of extended neonatal care for newborns.” MOH is “weighing the options” of different ways to achieve this, such as using MediShield to provide such cover, or having a separate scheme just for pregnant women, he said. Whether the premiums will go up when the tender, which will close on Dec 13, is awarded will depend on the bids received.

Teacher Jerome Lim, 34, wishes he had been able to buy insurance before his daughter, now one, was born. She had contracted pneumonia when she was a day old, and her seven days in intensive care at Thomson Medical Centre set him back more than $13,000. Even with Medisave, his out-ofpocket expenses came to over $8,000.

     
  Ask the Specialists - Free Doctor Q&A
(Now - 31 Oct)
 
    Renal Problems
If you have questions related to renal/kidney problems, take this opportunity to ask our expert today.
 
    Corneal Transplant
Post your questions related to corneal transplant and hear from our expert!
 
  The Answers:  
 

Autoimmune Disorders | Take the Road to a Healthy Heart

 
  Buy Now! SingHealth Healthy Living Series  
   
  Medical Expertise Contributed by:  
  Singapore General Hospital
Tel: (65) 6222 3322
 
  KK Women's and Children's Hospital
Tel:(65) 6225 5554
 
  National Cancer Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6436 8000
 
  National Heart Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6436 7800
 
  Singapore National Eye Centre
Tel: (65) 6227 7255
 
  National Dental Centre Singapore
Tel: (65) 6324 8910
 
  National Neuroscience Institute
Tel: (65) 6357 7153