COVID-19: No hospitalisation coverage for those who ignore travel advisories

SINGAPORE - MARCH 24:  A man looks at Scoot aircrafts sitting on the tarmac at Changi Airport on March 24, 2020 in Singapore. Singapore Airlines will cut its capacity by 96% till the end of April as border restrictions tighten worldwide due to the spread COVID-19 pandemic.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
A man looks at Scoot aircrafts sitting on the tarmac at Changi Airport. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Residents and long-term pass holders in Singapore who disregard travel advisories on going overseas will not be able to claim hospitalisation coverage if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 after returning.

In a media release on Tuesday (7 April), the Life Insurance Association of Singapore said that with immediate effect, those who travelled abroad from 27 March onwards and are admitted for suspected COVID-19, with onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, will not be able to claim from their MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) for treatments at public or private hospitals.

This measure is aimed at discouraging actions which run counter to the Singapore government’s containment and mitigation efforts against the coronavirus, said the association.

Similarly, foreigners who meet the same criteria will also not be able to claim from Medisave-approved non-IPs, as these are subject to the same requirements as IPs.

No claiming of miscellaneous benefits

The Ministry of Health announced on 24 March that those who disregard travel advisories to leave Singapore from 27 March and are admitted with symptoms of COVID-19 upon return will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals.

The Life Insurance Association of Singapore said that such individuals will also not be able claim for miscellaneous benefits such as daily hospital incentives, nor will they be able to claim under their IP’s emergency overseas hospital benefit if they are hospitalised overseas.

“For daily hospital incentive to be payable, the hospitalisation itself must be claimable. As individuals who have contravened a travel advisory will not be allowed to claim if they are hospitalised for suspected COVID-19, the Daily Hospital Incentive will also not be claimable,” the association said in its media release.

“Providing (emergency overseas hospital benefit) cover would run against the intent of discouraging individuals from violating travel advisories.”

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