How A Child’s Curiosity Turned Into A Terrifying Accident

Coen and Rover, their Singapore Special Dog

About this article:

  • Learn about Daphne’s experience navigating a stressful medical emergency after her son got injured.
  • Find out how a seamless experience at the hospital provided her and her son much needed comfort and fast-tracked his recovery.
  • Discover the advantages of having an IP, including access to quality medical care and a streamlined claims process, from Daphne’s perspective.

Every parent knows the sinking feeling that comes with witnessing their child get hurt. Daphne, a Mom of three, experienced this firsthand when her son, Coen (8 at the time), got his foot caught in an escalator while wearing Crocs.

We share more about Daphne’s experience using her son’s Integrated Shield Plan (IP) and how she is thankful that she and her husband made the decision to cover their children with private health insurance at a young age.

Table of Contents

The Injury

It happened so fast!

“It happened so fast! We were at United Square having lunch and Coen wanted ice cream,” Daphne recalled. Just as they were taking the escalator down to McDonald’s, Coen’s foot got caught on the side of the escalator and he screamed. As they got down the escalator, she rushed towards him and saw his toes bleeding profusely.

The immediate aftermath of the injury was a blur. Coen was crying, and her immediate instinct was to stop the bleeding as much as she could. She quickly got out tissues to stop the bleeding, while comforting Coen.

Judging by how deep the cut looked, Daphne knew he needed medical attention quickly.

Seeking Emergency Care

Foot Hospital Surgery
Coen's Foot After Surgery

Thankfully, Daphne knew that she and her husband had bought an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) for their son, which provided him additional coverage beyond MediShield Life (MSHL), and enabled him to be warded in class B1/A wards in government and private hospitals.

She did admit, however, that she wasn’t entirely familiar with the specifics of their IP coverage at the time.

I knew that I had a hospitalisation plan from AIA but I didn’t know the name of it or anything. The hospital checked everything for me — all they needed was my son’s birth certificate number.

Still, having an IP gave Daphne the assurance that Coen could access care at a private hospital where he would be attended to relatively quicker than at a public hospital, and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital was just across the road.

In a matter of minutes, her husband picked them up from United Square and they drove into Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre.

Swift and Caring Medical Attention

Mount Elizabeth Novena
Mount Elizabeth Novena

At the registration counter, Daphne provided Coen’s details and shared that if he was recommended to be hospitalised, she would be using his IP to claim his medical expenses. The staff noted his plan details in the system and sent them on their way for assessment.

Daphne and her husband bought an IP policy for Coen with no co-insurance feature, as the policy was bought prior to 2019. 

Post-April 2019, any new IPs sold included a 5% co-insurance requirement, requiring policyholders to foot 5% of the total medical bill in cash. 

The nurses at the Urgent Care Centre cleaned Coen’s wound and sent him to do an X-Ray to assess the extent of the injury. “The nurses were great at calming him down,” says Daphne. “They explained everything clearly and made sure he felt comfortable.”

Later, Dr. Yong Ren, an orthopaedic surgeon on Coen’s insurance panel examined Coen and explained the X-Ray report. He shared that while the X-ray confirmed no broken bones, the cut on three of his toes was deep and surgery was needed to stitch up the wound.

He shared what to expect during the procedure and managed to put any of the family’s concerns to rest. Daphne remarked how she felt her son’s treatment was in good hands.

To ensure she need not pay any amount in cash/ out-of-pocket, a doctor on Coen’s insurance panel was selected by the hospital staff. The hospital staff also arranged to obtain a certificate of pre-authorisation from Coen’s insurance provider, which approved coverage for Coen’s treatment before he was scheduled for surgery.

The surgery was scheduled the same day, and Coen was put up at the ward to rest overnight. Coen had a comfortable stay, and took full advantage of the iPad food ordering service to pick the dishes he most wanted to try!

The Importance of Having an Integrated Shield Plan

Coen in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Ward

The next morning, Dr. Yong shared that Coen was doing well and could be discharged, but advised physiotherapy sessions and a follow-up visit with him to ensure his recovery was on-track.

Daphne recalled how there was no administrative process that held the family up at the point of discharge, or even before the surgery for that matter they simply walked out of the lobby, assured by the staff that the bill was fully covered by Coen’s IP.

Coen’s medical bill including his Urgent Care costs and post-hospitalisation visits to the physiotherapist and specialist came up to around $15,000. 

The bill was entirely covered by Coen’s IP and her MediSave, and there were no remaining expenses that she had to foot with cash/out-of-pocket.

The recovery process took about a month, with Coen initially using crutches before regaining full mobility. Thankfully, the long-term impact was minimal, and Coen was back to his active lifestyle very quickly after.

Looking back, Daphne is grateful for their IP. On one hand, it enabled her to prioritise getting quality and fast medical attention, so Coen could recover quickly. And on the other hand, it also ensured that the family was not burdened with financial worry, or caught up in administrative hassle.

To Daphne and perhaps many other parents, the time and stress spared from the situation was an underrated benefit of having an IP.

The whole experience could have been a lot more stressful if we hadn't had that insurance. It allowed us to focus on Coen's recovery without worrying about the financial burden.

The surgery was scheduled the same day, and Coen was put up at the ward to rest overnight. Coen had a comfortable stay, and took full advantage of the iPad food ordering service to pick the dishes he most wanted to try!

Learning from Daphne's Experience

Daphne’s story highlights the importance of having an IP, especially for families with young children who are already time-strapped.

Unexpected accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and having an IP ensures you can access quality medical care without financial constraints.

Here are some key takeaways from Daphne’s experience:

  • Integrated Shield Plans really do provide peace of mind: Knowing you have hospitalisation coverage allows you to focus on your child’s well-being during a medical emergency.
  • IP can help you access quality care: With an IP, you have the flexibility to choose the hospital that best suits your needs.
  • The claiming process can be seamless: Many hospitals work directly with insurance companies to handle the claims process, minimising hassle for patients.

Nobody wishes to go through, or even witness an accident, but an IP can make navigating the aftermath a lot less stressful. Speak to a financial adviser or insurance agent to compare plans and choose one that meets your needs and budget today!

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