Thursday, September 22, 2011

New therapies for heart valve disease

20 September 2011

TODAY (Singapore)
( c) 2011. MediaCorp Press Ltd.

Learn about advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease. Advanced imaging
capability and techniques like 3D echocardiography and percutaneous heart valve replacement allow
patients to be diagnosed more quickly and accurately.

Date: Friday
Time: 1pm to 2pm
Venue: Health Education Hub, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Main Building 1, Level 1, Lobby B, National University Hospital
Fee/Registration: Free. Registration required. Call 6772 2184.

More than 51,000 employers to get S$17 million in SEC


20 September 2011
TODAY (Singapore)
(c) 2011. MediaCorp Press Ltd.

SINGAPORE — The first payment under the Special Employment Credit (SEC) announced in this year’s
Budget will be given out by the end of this month.

The Ministry of Manpower says that more than 51,000 employers qualify.

They will receive a total of S$17 million for employing 167,000 older, low-wage Singaporeans in the first half of this year.

The SEC was announced in February as a one-off Budget measure to encourage employers who employ Singaporeans aged 55 and above and earn up to S$1,700 a month.

Eligible employers will receive notifications from the CPF Board this week.

The SEC will be paid twice a year in March and September between January this year and December 2013.

It is expected to cost the Government S$100 million over the three years.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dispute resolution for motor accident claims of up to $3,000. Accident claims of up to $3k? Go to resolution centre

2 September 2011
Business Times Singapore
(c) 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

TO ADDRESS the issue of escalating claims, non-injury motor accident claims of $3,000 or less now
have to be heard first by the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) before court
proceedings can start.

This has been raised from the $1,000 limit previously.

The move is in line with recommendations put forward by the Motor Insurance Taskforce last year.

According to a release issued yesterday by the Consumers Association of Singapore, the industry
average amount for third party property damage claims is about $4,000. As such, the move to bump up
the limit to $3,000 is expected to reduce the number of disputes brought to court. FIDReC has also
beefed up its resources so that it will be able to handle the likely increase in the number of cases.

'GIA welcomes the increased FIDReC-NIMA limit which will further enhance the promotion of amicable
and faster settlement of disputes through the mediation process,' said Derek Teo, president of the
General Insurance Association of Singapore.

Accident claims of up to $3k? Go to resolution centre

Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent
2 September 2011
Straits Times
(c) 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

Limit for non-injury cases raised from $1,000
MOTORISTS who want to make non-injury accident claims of up to $3,000 will now have to go before
the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (Fidrec) before they can file them in court.

The $3,000 limit is three times the previous cap of $1,000.

The Consumers Association of Singapore, a member of the Motor Insurance Taskforce which lobbied
for the limit to be raised, said the new ceiling is more reflective of the average claim of $4,000.

The taskforce, which views Fidrec as yet another way to tackle spiralling costs, hopes the new limit will
pave the way for more claims to be settled quickly and cheaply - without the appointment of lawyers.

Since its formation in March 2008, Fidrec has heard 218 motor accident cases and helped resolve 213
of them - even if the number is a fraction of the approximately 1,200 non-injury accident claims that go to
court each year.

The taskforce reckons the $3,000 limit will allow Fidrec to handle more cases.

But lawyers point out that claimants may simply jack up their claims to exceed the new limit to avoid the

Fidrec process - one which requires claimants to turn up personally to file and present their cases.

General Insurance Association (GIA) president Derek Teo, a Fidrec proponent, said: 'There'll be people
who will bump up their claims to circumvent this... but they will have to produce substantive evidence in
court to show that their claims are justified.'

He added that the 'main intent is for all parties to reach an amicable settlement by themselves'.

However, should they need the help of a third party to resolve a case, there is Fidrec.

But motorists can still file their claims in court if they are not happy with Fidrec's decision, which is
handed down by retired judges.

The Motor Insurance Taskforce, whose members include the GIA, the Automobile Association of
Singapore, the Land Transport Authority, the Traffic Police and the Monetary Authority of Singapore,
had actually recommended the Fidrec cap be set at $10,000.

Observers said, however, this would be detrimental to the income of many lawyers.

A lawyer who specialises in accident claims said yesterday his business had already dipped since
Fidrec was formed. But he could not substantiate his claim, nor did he want to be named.

The taskforce has introduced several measures in recent years to tackle rising costs. These include
requiring motorists to file an accident report with their insurers - no matter how minor the accident - within 24 hours, and submit on-site photos of the vehicles involved.

Also, motorists who file insurance claims against another party after an accident have to contact the
other driver's insurer before getting their vehicle repaired. The other driver's insurer will have 48 hours to
inspect the damaged vehicle. If it fails to do so, it automatically waives its right to contest the claim.

The measures have met some success.

Last year, motor claims amounted to $767 million. If the $11.6 million attributed to flood damage was excluded, the sum would have been close to the $742 million posted three years ago - even though there
are now more vehicles on the road.

Things to consider when getting an insurance plan

Should you be considering an Integrated Shield plan, here are some questions to ask the insurer or the adviser:

* What are the categories of benefits and types of cover under the Integrated Shield plan? Will it cover
claims incurred outside Singapore?

* What does the plan exclude?

* Can I buy a rider to cover the deductible and co-insurance?

* How much is the premium for the plan and the rider? How much of the premium can be paid out from
Medisave, and how much must be paid from cash?

* Might the premium be increased? Will my premium be affected if I make a claim?

* Is the plan guaranteed renewable and what is the penalty for late premium payment?

* Does the insurer provide a letter of guarantee to the hospital when I'm hospitalised?

* How do I make a claim?

If you need help in upgrading your MediShield plan, please drop me an SMS/Call me @ 91000078.

Prevention is better

95% of countries, the medical trend or cost rate exceeded that of inflation. Singapore's medical cost rate is estimated at 8.4% this year, compared with 7.4% last year.

One very important way to cover the cost of health care is through insurance. Risk pooling enables insurers to offer cover to a fairly large group, at premiums that are relatively affordable.

It is prudent to take up such insurance while you are relatively young and healthy. Once illnesses develop, insurers may levy an extra charge, or even refuse coverage for what they call pre-existing conditions.

3 ways you can enjoy heavy subsidies

  1. Acute public hospital wards
  2. MediSave which earn 4% more then OA in your CPF
  3. MediShield and private Integrated Shield plans.
MediSave- Limited amount on inpatient and outpatient expenses. Important to note that Medisave is still cash. It should be prudently used. While you are working, the contribution rate to Medisave will vary depending on your age. The contribution rate is also adjusted annually to keep pace with inflation.

Should you retire or cease working and your contributions stop, cash in Medisave could run out fairly quickly given high health care costs.

Priviate Integrated Shield - Hospital and surgical (H&S) plans are one of the most basic of health covers, and are a must for most people unless you have enough wealth to self-pay. It is also important to take up H&S plans for your children.

Many people put off taking up a H&S plan because their employers may offer very good and comprehensive cover. But you will need a private plan should you stop working. Waiting until retirement to take up one is untenable because at a later age you may develop conditions that make you uninsurable.

Why I keep emphasising on Private Integrated Shield? It the most afforadable plan that you can get using your CPF medisave account.

If you need help in upgrading your MediShield plan, please drop me an SMS/Call me @ 91000078.