I met with another accident while playing football. You can read about the injury here. This is my second major accident and after my first, I decided to sign up for another accident plan. I know some will say accident plans are a waste of money let alone having two. However, being an accident prone person accident plans are important to me.

Time Line of the accident:

16 July (Day of the accident)

Went to A&E @East Shore and took X-rays. Referral letter to see a specialist. | Total cost $220

19 July

Went to see a private specialist. Took X-ray and MRI. Was told to try to see if it can heal on its own and come back in two weeks. | Total cost: $1,500

2 August

Took another X-ray and was inform by the Specialist that surgery is required. I went to see another specialist for a second opinion and surgery is also required. | Total cost: $440

4 August

Went for Surgery at Mount Elizabeth. Warded for 1 day (4 bedder). | Total cost $26,200

12 August

Follow up and dressing. | Total cost: $220

19 August

Follow up and remove stitches. | Total cost $260

Yet to come: Follow up consultation, physiotherapy and removal of screws.

Insurance utilised:

Personal Accident Plan

Health Shield Gold

Health Shield Gold Rider

Pink of Health – a hospitalisation income plan

Here are my thoughts on the entire claim process:

1) Insurance only accept original receipts so keep it properly. If you misplace it, you can request for another copy from the hospital but this will delay your claims and also add to your inconvenience.

2) Request for a referral letter before seeing a specialist. Insurance may not accept your claims if you do not have a referral letter. Ask it from the doctor who attend to you on your first visit. It is not going to cost you extra.

TIP: The doctor will usually recommend a few specialists but you are free to go home to consult your family and friends before choosing your own specialist. In the referral letter, tell the doctor not to write the doctor name, ask him to write something like “Dear Orthopaedic colleague…”

3) If surgery is required, ask for a estimated cost break down. I think this is now the norm as both specialists I consulted gave me a estimated cost break down. Having a second opinion also allows you to compare the cost – they should not differ too much.

Ask if the hospital requires you to pay a deposit. Mount Elizabeth Orchard was able to do a e-file with my insurer of up to $50K during my admission, hence I do not have to pay any cash upfront.

4) Do not delay your claims. Some insurance has a number of days for you to file for your claim. We also want to get reimbursed as soon as possible ya.

5) Check every document carefully. When I was checking into the hospital, the surgery claim indicated the wrong foot. I made sure they amend it else there might be a problem with my insurance claims.

6) You will be given a discharge form when you are discharged else ask for it. This may be required if the insurer needs proof on the duration of your hospital stay.

7) Keep your agent updated and check with him if you have any queries. This is where having a good agent really shines. I will like to thank her again and will buy her a meal once I recovered.

8) The importance of having a emergency cash. Although insurance will eventually pay for my claims, except for my surgery of $26.2K, I have to pay every bill with my own money first.

I just found out that the crutches and boot are not covered under insurance. Which is why the insurer now comes out with another rider – “Mobility Aid” rider. I was upset as I have never heard of such a rider – apparently it was launched recently. I am not going to argue with the insurer and I am glad to have my emergency fund.

Final Thoughts

I went directly to a private hospital and specialist because I wanted to cut down on the waiting time. For my injury it is best to have surgery within 6 weeks to have the best possible result – I was able to consult two specialist within the same day and arrange for surgery two days later.

This is the first time that I am sedated and wheeled into an operating theatre. Come to think of it, it should be a scary experience but insurance gave me the peace of mind to focus on finding the best possible treatment and recovery.