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. Insurance companies 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:

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. You need to be medically eligible to take it

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

Great Eastern

OCBC Bank’s insurance arm unveiled a $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.

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 $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.

Secondly, a one-time payout of $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.

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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.