Jacklyn’s Lifeline During A Snowboarding Misadventure

A girl learning to snowboard at a mountain resort with the ski lift in the background
About this article:
  • Dealing with an overseas medical emergency can be very distressing. Knowing exactly what your Integrated Shield Plan covers you for is vital to help you navigate a stressful situation better.
  • Know the power of having a trusted insurance agent or financial adviser to offer their expertise to navigate a medical emergency.
  • Understand the value of having access to prompt medical treatment and a conducive environment to recover, so you can return to your lifestyle quicker.

Jacklyn’s passion for snowboarding found her making yearly trips to picturesque Hakuba in Japan.

Last December, she was back in Hakuba on a snowboarding trip with her friends. Little did she know, it would take an unexpected turn this time, leading her down a path she never anticipated.

Alone, in pain, and distressed

In a moment of exhilaration and slight miscalculation, Jacklyn tumbled and blacked out. When she regained consciousness, her friends were already by her side. Judging by the looks on their faces, something was wrong.

Later, the ski resort’s medical team informed her that she had broken her humerus bone, a bone in her upper arm. Panic began to set in. She was far from home, and her lack of familiarity with the local healthcare system and the language barrier only added to her distress.

Jacklyn Broken Bone Integrated Shield Plan X Ray
Jacklyn's X-Ray Results

The value of having a trusted financial adviser

Thankfully, Jacklyn had a financial adviser she could depend on.

After discussing her options, she made the courageous decision to cut her trip short and return to Singapore for medical treatment. It was a decision fuelled by the assurance that her Integrated Shield Plan (IP) would cover her medical expenses, sparing her from financial strain during a time of immense physical pain.

She spent New Year’s Eve on the plane, and arrived at Singapore at 2 am on New Year’s Day. Not the way she’d hoped to spend these days, but she kept her chin up.

"Don't worry, just come back, you will be covered," her insurance agent reassured her. These words provided a much-needed sense of relief to Jacklyn during that period of uncertainty.

The power of prompt medical attention

Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital Singapore
Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital

Upon her return, Jacklyn and her insurance agent wasted no time in getting her the medical attention she needed. Since she had a private IP plan, she expressed her preference to visit a private hospital to her insurance agent. But she was unsure about the exact details of her coverage, or the process involved to seek care.

"I know I am covered for a single-bedder ward but I don't know the details… when something happens, then (we) will check. It is always like that.” Jacklyn laughingly said.

Her insurance agent did his best to ensure she had a smooth healthcare experience during this challenging time. 

He found out which private hospital had the shortest wait time at the Urgent Care Centre (UCC), made sure that there were available beds to ward Jacklyn at the hospital, and secured a panel doctor from the insurance company’s network.

Once these arrangements were made, Jacklyn was given the go-ahead that very morning to go down to Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre (UCC) for assessment. 

By 6 am, she was seen by her doctor and advised to undergo surgery for her broken humerus bone. Her surgery was scheduled the same afternoon.

QUICK TIP!

Choosing to see a doctor from your insurance company’s network of panel doctors ensures that your out-of-pocket expenses for your hospitalisation are kept minimal.

Comfort and peace of mind to recover well

Mount Elizabeth Orchard Ward Room Interior
Interior of Mount Elizabeth Orchard

Jacklyn’s surgery went smoothly, and she spent 2 days recovering in the hospital. She marvelled at the level of care and comfort provided, likening her surroundings to that of a hotel. She was also thankful to the staff at the hospital who kept her informed all the way, relieving her from worries of financial bills and administrative hassles.

"Nobody wants to claim insurance — maybe some people will think it’s unlucky to even think about insurance," she noted, a testament to the reluctance many feel when it comes to knowing more about health and hospitalisation insurance. However, for Jacklyn, the peace of mind afforded by her insurance coverage far outweighed any hesitation.

Jacklyn’s eventual medical bill came up to approximately $30,000. After her insurance plan coverage, her out-of-pocket expenses were only a fraction of this initial figure.

"Just buy la, buy the max, you never know what will happen," she advised, emphasising the importance of having adequate health insurance coverage in place, especially in unforeseen circumstances.

As Jacklyn reflected on her journey from the slopes of Hakuba to the halls of Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital, one thing remains clear: her health insurance was not just a safety net, but a lifeline that provided reassurance and support when she needed it most. 

In a world where the unexpected can happen in an instant, Jacklyn’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of being prepared and protected, both on and off the slopes.

This story is contributed by Michael Vandol Goh, a Financial Services Associate Director (FSAD) from AIA Singapore and written by Health Insured SG.

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