We have long known that Insurance is meant for peace of mind. Financial peace of mind, that is.
Payouts that take care of hospitalization bills, living expenses and personal liabilities.
But there are times that we require more than just money.
A prime example is when a person is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer.
Mindset of a person (with a serious medical diagnosis)
Placing myself in the shoes of a patient who has received the bad news, these are the things that might be running through my mind:
Is my doctor right?
Can I seek a second or third opinion?
Is the treatment he/she proposing the best option I have?
Might there be new developments in this area that he doesn’t know about?
I have so many doubts and uncertainties – but our next appointment is more three days away.
I was hospitalized with a relatively minor condition that required surgery last year, and before the operation – I spoke with my surgeon for a grand total of 1 time, for less than 30 minutes. On the day of surgery, it was evident that he wasn’t even clear about my case file.
Post surgery, I got to see him for another 2 times before I was discharged. And each follow up was over 2 weeks apart – plenty of time for me to get paranoid about every ache and pain after my operation. With no medical reassurance available in between each visit.
For a person with a serious diagnosis like cancer, these problems are easily compounded. And that is only the tip of iceberg, as far as medical treatment is concerned.
Treatment options offered can be highly dependent from specialist to specialist
I am no doctor. But I do know of this saying: when all you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail. So depending on who is the specialist weighing in on a suggested treatment, they would likely have strong opinions centered around their own core expertise.
A surgeon would recommend an operation to remove a tumour.
An oncologist might favor chemotherapy first.
Throw into that mix these options: Immunotherapy, hormone therapy, stem cell replacement.
Who might be right in this case? It becomes messier if it were a complex or rare condition – with few precious precedents to refer from.
Personal Medical Case Management to the rescue
We were fortunate enough to be invited to the press release and announcement of the first ever Insurer led Personal Medical Case Management (PMCM) service in Singapore by AIA.
The service, which is the first of its kind in Singapore, will help AIA Singapore’s customers facing serious medical conditions by making sure they obtain the right diagnosis as fast as possible, have access to optimal treatment, and are supported through their treatment journey till recovery. This will alleviate the stress and pressure that customers and their families face when dealing with serious medical problems, and ensure that customers receive the best quality care.
Their partner administering the service is Medix, a global powerhouse in providing Global Medical medical management services.
In plain speak, Medix has access to to the best doctors and specialists across the globe (>3,000), and it taps into their combined expertise to assist in giving recommendations for the most appropriate medical treatments for a patient.
They provide round the clock contact access, in addition to a dedicated Personal Medical Case Manager, who is supported by a plethora of specialists, nurses, and database systems.
In their own words:
It’s all about reassessment of the medical case,planning, coordination, implementation & on-going supervision of the best quality care.
In our own words:
Patients get medical and emotional support about their condition from diagnosis to complete recovery. Medix assists the treating doctor/specialist by providing expert views from other global experts in their respective fields of medicine.
Sounds attractive enough. This leads on to a natural question.
Is it effective?
From a medical treatment point of view:
Though these are global figures, a 1 in 5 change in diagnosis is quite a powerful statistic!
From an emotional support point of view:
Yes. (My personal opinion)
Having medical professionals available to consult round the clock would make a world of difference to my mental state, rather than having to wait for days or weeks to sit down in a clinical environment to chat with my doc.
The icing on the cake
This service is provided fully free to all AIA Max Essential A and A Saver Policyholders (Their integrated Shield plans for A Class wards)
It is also fully optional, with 100% patient confidentiality.
If you currently fall under the subset of AIA policyholders with the requisite plans – congratulations.
If you are thinking of an incentive to upgrade your shield plan with AIA, this might be a good time to do so.
Unfortunately, my own shield plan is administered with another insurer. Which means I might have some serious reconsideration when it come to my next renewal date.
There are some things that money just can’t buy.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
A note of appreciation to the team at Ogilvy and AIA for their kind invitation to the press release on 9th May. We also promise to be severely under dressed at all future events!