Various concerns are naturally raised when a person is faced with a cancer diagnosis. Apart from worrying about their health, they may also have to face the financial burden and anxiety of whether they can afford their cancer treatments. Since 2008, International Cancer Specialists has helped cancer patients from all walks of life lighten their burden of financing their treatment, and we are happy to share how we did it in this article.
Getting Clarity On The Exact Costs Of Cancer Treatment We understand that the financial costs of cancer treatment can be unnerving at the start, especially if, like so many of us in Singapore, are unaware of exactly how much healthcare insurance we are covered for. However, just like how professional financial planning and sound advice is of paramount importance before we make a commitment to purchase a piece of property, it is equally important to do so before we commence medical treatment. At ICS, we take financial counselling for our patients seriously. With 15 years of experience caring for cancer patients, we have the experience and expertise to help you navigate through the often confusing and time-consuming journey of financial planning for medical treatments. Our financial counselling process begins with a detailed walkthrough of the expected charges (including auxiliary ones like imaging and lab tests), understanding of healthcare insurance coverage and advice on how best to optimise them, and a question and answer session with patients and their loved ones.
Payment process for cancer treatment At this point, you might wonder how the payment process is like with ICS once you commence treatment. After the first treatment session is completed, our patients first pay out of pocket for the treatment. However, upon the successful receipt of the first claim, our patients no longer have to make any future payments out of pocket, regardless of the type of reimbursement their policies impose. We are proud to say that this unique approach has alleviated the financial stress from the vast majority of our patients, so that they may put their hearts and minds to defeating cancer, rather than worrying about the cost of the battle.
Where can I claim from? At ICS, you may claim for your treatment using either Integrated Shield Plans, corporate health insurance, international private health insurance like BUPA, AETNA, or CIGNA etc. and government schemes like MediSave and MediShield. We are fully accredited as a private healthcare institution to claim from the above on your behalf. Both MediSave and MediShield are set up by the Singapore government to help patients who are unable to pay for costly medical bills, even after accounting for subsidies. In the case of MediSave, it is not a medical insurance plan and more of a CPF savings account that is designated for your medical needs and expenses such as hospitalisation, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses. MediShield Life is the basic universal health insurance plan provided to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. All Singaporeans are automatically covered by MediShield Life and will cover them for their entire life, regardless of age or any pre-existing medical conditions. The benefits include covering subsidised treatments in B2 or C wards in public hospitals, as well as selected outpatient treatments like cancer. It also covers, to a limited extent, treatment in private hospitals and facilities like ICS. Integrated Shield Plans by private insurers like AIA and Great Eastern provide additional coverage of bills, and Your insurance agent will be the main point of contact that you will liaise with in regard to claims. However, it is important to note that every policy differs in its conditions, payouts and claims. Pre-existing conditions may not be claimable by insurance policies provided by private insurers, which is why we take great effort to help you have a clear understanding of your specific coverage during our financial counselling sessions.
In addition, we have also experience with International Private Health Insurance from BUPA, AETNA, CIGNA, and others from around the world, and have successfully claimed on behalf of our patients due to our long and well-regarded track record and accreditation from the Singapore Ministry of Health. These international insurers often have very different policy schedules from patient to patient, and we take extra steps by communicating frequently with them in order to ensure as seamless a claim process as possible for our patients. Finally, corporate health insurance plans are something that we manage on a regular basis as well. Whether be it working with Third Party Administrators or even with Multinational Companies directly, our patients have been able to enjoy the coverage offered to them by their employers. Conclusion At ICS, we know that worries about the costs of healthcare can almost be as stressful as the disease itself. Thus, we take the different considerations of every patient whom we care for seriously and do our very best to help ensure that they are able to extract maximum benefit at minimal cost. We stand ready to help you do the same as well.
As a cancer diagnosis and treatment centre, we stand beside our patients to help them navigate the complex world of cancer. Apart from our specialised physicians delivering comprehensive and compassionate care, our specialist oncology nurse will be there to guide them in their cancer treatment and management plan. Feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment today at International Cancer Specialists (ICS).