Insurers Now Cover Allergic Reactions From COVID-19 Vaccination

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is underway in Singapore. However, not all side effects are known yet. Insurers have thus expanded their coverage to include allergic reactions from taking the vaccine. Find out who they are and what their coverage includes.

A number of insurers in Singapore have recently unveiled additional coverage for policyholders should they suffer from allergic reactions after taking a COVID-19 vaccine. Due to the unprecedented speed in which the vaccines were created by pharmaceutical companies across the globe, there hasn’t been enough time to document a full list of potential side effects.

This move by insurance companies to expand their COVID-19 coverage will provide additional encouragement for people in Singapore to take the vaccination. On a macro level, this will help the Lion City achieve herd immunity quicker and hasten its reopening.

On 25 January 2021, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore, announced that all 7 Integrated Shield Plan insurers are extending their coverage as well. The insurers consist of AIA, AXA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Prudential, and Raffles Health Insurance. The coverage will last until 31 December 2021 for now.

Several insurers have announced additional details regarding the level of support they will provide for COVID-19 vaccination side effects. These include:

AIA

On 3 March 2021, AIA launched a free insurance plan providing cash payouts should hospitalisation be required after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Dubbed the AIA COVID-19 Vaccine Cover, $500 per day will be disbursed – for up to two days – on top of an additional lump sum of $500.

Furthermore, you do not need to be an existing AIA customer to sign up for this policy. However, you do need to apply via an AIA financial advisor or insurance representative. 200,000 plans have been made available and applications close on 30 June 2021.

More information is available here.

Aviva

The British insurer has announced that COVID-19 vaccination coverage is available for all health insurance policyholders at no additional cost. The policies that will be covered include the Integrated Shield, MyShield, and group health insurance plans.

Should hospitalisation or in-patient treatment be needed due to side effects from taking the vaccine, your medical bills will be covered.

Aviva’s conditions include the following:
1. Vaccine taken must be approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
2. And you need to be medically eligible to take it

For more information or to make a claim, click here.

China Life Insurance

China Life Insurance has joined the fray too, announcing that it will offer complimentary COVID-19 Vaccine Protection to both new and existing policyholders till 30 June 2021. There are 3 benefits and these are largely similar to the ones offered by other insurers on the list.

Firstly, a hospital cash benefit of S$150 per day for up to 14 days is disbursed should the insured be hospitalised due to side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination. This is valid for 14 days from either vaccine dose.

Secondly, a lump sum payout of S$800 will be disbursed should the insured by diagnosed with pneumonia due to COVID-19 by a registered medical practitioner within 14 days of the final vaccine dose.

Finally, a lump sum payout of S$15,000 will be disbursed should the insured pass away due to side effects within 14 days of taking either vaccine dose.

For more information, click here.

DBS

DBS has partnered with Swiss insurer Chubb to offer coverage for COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations for all DBS/POSB customers and their immediate family members. This is a complimentary policy and coverage applies on top of other existing plans you have. Benefits are identical, with daily hospital cash, ICU hospital cash, and assistance for bereavement.

Dubbed Covid-19 Vaccine Protect, this plan from DBS also includes a 2-year DBS Parkway Programme and 2 complimentary teleconsultations. Applications need to be completed by 30 June 2021 and DBS states that you will receive your policy within 10 business days via email.

FWD

If you’re currently holding an insurance policy from FWD – or plan to purchase one before the year ends – you’ll be glad to know that the company is offering complimentary coverage for adverse side effects resulting from taking a COVID-19 vaccine.

A lump sum payout of S$5,000 will be disbursed if you’re hospitalised within 30 days of taking the first or second vaccine dose. This coverage is valid till 31 December 2021 for now for policyholders of the following plans:
– Big 3 Critical Illness
– Term Life Plus, Term Life, and DIRECT-Term Life
– Cancer Insurance
– Heart Attack Insurance
– Stroke Insurance
– International Health Insurance
– Essential Life
– COVID-19 Insurance
– Invest First Insurance
– Future First Insurance

Do note that the vaccine you take needs to be a HSA-approved one and administered by an authorised healthcare professional in Singapore. This is similar to what other providers on this list have laid out.

For more information, click here.

Etiqa

On 15 February 2021, Etiqa announced that it too would grant financial assistance for side effects arising from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. The insurer has sweetened the deal for policyholders by applying the benefit automatically when they take their first dose. The coverage is then valid for 3 months.

As for what the financial assistance entails specifically, it includes a daily hospitalisation benefit of S$100, for a maximum of 10 days. Additionally, there’s a daily ICU benefit of S$200 for a maximum of 5 days in the unfortunate event that you’re admitted there instead. Both private and public hospitals are covered.

Do note that you have to be at least 17 years old upon taking the first dose to receive this coverage and no older than 70 years old.

For more information or to make a claim, email Etiqa at customer.service@etiqa.com.sg or contact the Customer Care team on WhatsApp at +65 6887 8777.

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Great Eastern

OCBC Bank’s insurance arm unveiled a S$1 million GREAT Vaccine Fund on 15 January 2021 for all of its policyholders, including the Dependants’ Protection Scheme and Eldershield plans. Coverage will be valid for 3 months from the day you take the first vaccine dose and includes a daily hospital cash benefit of $300 per day, for a maximum of 7 days.

On 21 January 2021, Great Eastern announced that coverage will be extended to customers and their immediate family members, employees, financial representatives, and all respective immediate family members.

Additionally, Great Eastern’s employees will receive support in the form of the following benefits should they take the vaccine:
1. A day off on each vaccination day
2. Reimbursement for taking a taxi/Grab ride to and from vaccination clinics
3. 2 days of medical leave without the need to provide a medical certificate, should side effects occur due to the vaccination
4. Reimbursement of medical fees for treating any side effects due to the vaccination

The fund is effective until end-December 2021 or when it is fully utilised, whichever is earlier. This move follows an extension of coverage for the insurer’s medical plans regarding hospitalisation and in-patient treatment arising from all vaccinations.

Great Eastern’s conditions include the following:
1. Vaccine taken must be approved by the HSA
2. You need to be medically eligible to take it

For more information or to make a claim, click here.

Prudential

Effective 13 January 2021 onwards, both PRUShield and Group Hospital & Surgical (GHS) plans will cover hospitalisation due to allergic reactions from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Prudential’s conditions include the following:
1. Vaccine must be approved by the HSA
2. Vaccine must be administered on the recommendation of a registered medical practitioner duly licensed by the Singapore Medical Council

For more information or to make a claim, click here.

Additionally, the insurer has launched a new PRUSafe COVIDCover plan for all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners with valid passes. Fortunately, you do not need to be an existing Prudential customer to sign up. This complimentary insurance policy grants applicants a daily hospital cash benefit of S$100 should hospitalisation be required due to side effects arising from the vaccination.

This cash benefit of S$100 per day is valid for a maximum of 14 days for each COVID-19 vaccination dose. Individuals are required to sign up via Prudential’s Pulse app by 31 July 2021. Only the first 100,000 applications will be accepted and coverage is currently set to end on 31 January 2022.

In conclusion

It’s encouraging that insurers are moving quickly to increase the comprehensiveness of their COVID-19 measures, especially as the vaccine rollout accelerates. Large swathes of the population are already vaccinated or slated to receive it. These include healthcare professionals, land transport employees, senior citizens, and aviation and maritime staff.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has joined in to provide support as well. It has crafted a vaccine injury financial assistance programme to aid individuals who suffer from adverse side effects after being vaccinated.

Firstly, a one-time payout of S$2,000 will be given to individuals who require inpatient hospitalisation an medical intervention due to side effects from the vaccination.

Secondly, a one-time payout of S$10,000 will be given to individuals who were hospitalised in either the High Dependency or Intensive Care Unit but recover from the adverse side effects suffered.

Lastly, a one-time payout of S$225,000 will be given to individuals who pass away or suffer from a permanent severe disability due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders will be eligible for this scheme. However, the vaccine must have been administered in Singapore and the side effects must have been “potentially life-threatening or fatal, and has required inpatient hospitalisation or has caused persistent incapacity or disability“. Additionally, vaccine-related complications are claimable through MediShield Life.

The MOH has clarified that the program is not intended to reimburse medical costs associated with any adverse side effects, but rather a ‘goodwill financial assistance scheme’. The Ministry also mentioned that applications may take up to a month to be processed, once all supporting documents have been submitted.

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By Ebel Tang
A geek culture enthusiast who’s also a little too invested in the wide world of whisky and watches. And no, he was not named after the Swiss timepiece brand.