Integrated Shield Plans to cover hospitalisation due to COVID-19 vaccine complications

Integrated Shield Plans to cover hospitalisation due to COVID-19 vaccine complications

A healthcare worker prepares to administer a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine dur
A healthcare worker prepares to administer a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination exercise at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in Singapore on Dec 30, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Lee Jia Wen, Ministry of Communications and Information, handout)

SINGAPORE: All seven insurers offering Integrated Shield Plans are extending coverage to include hospitalisation resulting from COVID-19 vaccination complications, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore), announced on Monday (Jan 25).

The coverage applies to Integrated Shield Plan policyholders who receive vaccines approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and get vaccinated in Singapore. The coverage will be provided until Dec 31 this year, although LIA Singapore said that extensions will be considered depending on how the situation develops.

READ: Seniors in Ang Mo Kio, Tanjong Pagar to get vaccinated from Jan 27; national roll-out for elderly begins mid-February

“This effort is in support of the nation’s measures to protect the community and enable Singapore’s return to normalcy,” LIA Singapore said in a media release.

LIA Singapore president Mr Khor Hock Seng said the extended coverage will offer reassurance as Singapore's COVID-19 vaccination drive continues.

“The life insurance industry is in full support of the Government’s efforts to encourage as many Singaporeans as possible to take the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. “This proactive commitment from our members will give Singaporeans peace of mind that any adverse effects from the vaccine resulting in hospitalisation will be covered.”

Integrated Shield Plans are made up of two components - MediShield Life run by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board and an additional private insurance coverage component run by insurance companies. The latter covers hospitalisation in A- and B1-type wards in public hospitals as well as private hospitals.

Insurers offering Integrated Shield Plans are: AIA, Aviva, AXA, Great Eastern Life, NTUC Income, Prudential and Raffles Health Insurance.

READ: COVID-19 insurance now available for travellers visiting Singapore

The Ministry of Health (MOH) website lists several common COVID-19 vaccine side effects that have been reported, which are similar to side effects from other vaccines. These include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, tiredness and swollen lymph nodes.

These side effects typically resolve within three days with rest or the use of paracetamol.

In very rare cases, the vaccine may cause a severe allergic reaction, with symptoms such as difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, throat, eyes or lips; a fast heartbeat; and dizziness, according to the MOH website. 

The ministry advises those who experience such symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

MOH will also introduce a vaccine injury financial assistance programme in the near future, the ministry said on its website, adding that MediShield Life is claimable for vaccination-related complications.

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Source: CNA/kg(hs)

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