Prudential Singapore Launches Medical Helpline in Response To Rising Healthcare Costs
- The PRUhealthcare assist helpline will be available to all Prudential’s PRUShield customers
- Helpline’s medically-trained professionals to assist customers make informed decisions on their options based on individual circumstances
- Consumer research respondents indicate that they would trust an objective third party more to provide information on medical related issues over other sources of information
Singapore, 2 May 2014 – As a value add service and to help Singaporeans better manage their healthcare costs, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited (Prudential Singapore) today launches Pruhealthcare assist (PHA), a helpline service for customers to make informed decisions on a range of medical issues.
Prudential is the first and only insurance company to provide such a service to all its Shield customers, and at no extra charge. The PHA helpline will provide information on healthcare related issues, including treatment, surgery, hospitalisation and medical insurance coverage.
Prudential is introducing the service following extensive consumer research conducted in the last quarter of 2013. The one-on-ones and quantitative survey focused on the needs, motivations and behaviors that drive decision making in healthcare related issues. Findings indicated that while Singaporeans may consult different sources for information including their doctor, family, friends and colleagues, a third party, such as a medical helpline was rated higher as a trusted source for information when they or a loved one are diagnosed with a medical condition.
The research also found that while the choice of hospital was largely determined by the availability of a specialist able to treat their medical condition, cost was a key determinant when the choice of ward was concerned.
The research results helped shape the services offered by PHA. The helpline can assist PRUShield customers on the doctors, specialists or surgeons who can treat a certain condition, and inform on options they have with regards to hospitals, wards, and clinics. However, the helpline will not provide any diagnosis of their illness or medical advice.
PHA will also assist customers with priority booking of appointments with specialists and provide medical information that focuses on clinical and service quality.
In addition, PHA will also assist in providing details on the PRUShield customer’s eligibility to claim on policy benefits on various medical conditions, surgical and/or laboratory procedures.
Exclusively developed for Prudential. the service is operated by Fullerton Healthcare and will be manned by a team of trained and qualified medical professionals. The helpline is open from Monday to Friday, between 9a.m. – 6p.m. and on Saturday from 9a.m – 1p.m.
David Ng, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Prudential, said: “Rising medical costs are a key concern among Singaporeans. With universal healthcare expected to be launched next year that will cover more hospital bills, we want to ensure that our customers are well positioned to tap into the best and most cost-efficient medical options available to them.”
“When an individual or a loved one is diagnosed with a medical condition, it is often, if not always, a difficult time. They may have many questions related to their options with regards to surgery, specialists, hospitalisation and insurance claims entitlements. The objective of PRUhealthcare assist is to provide relevant information to our PRUShield policy holders at a time when they need it most so that they can make more informed choices.”
Mr Ng said that another finding from the consumer research indicated that most policyholders, when making a medical claim against their health insurance, tended to claim only on their personal insurance, treating the group insurance provided by their employers almost as an afterthought. This, he explained, is not necessarily the most cost-efficient approach. Some customers also tended to opt for private hospitals when restructured hospitals may be able to provide the same treatment at lower costs.
The PHA helpline will provide a list of doctors or specialists in both the public and private hospitals who are able to treat a certain condition.
Fullerton Healthcare Group (FHG) is a leading provider of healthcare solutions in the Asia Pacific. FHG operates and owns more than 120 medical centres, medical call centres and third party administration centres across the Asia Pacific region, with a concentration of high quality medical facilities in Singapore. With more than 1,500 GPs and Specialists in their network, the group has been providing healthcare solutions and medical services to patients in Singapore since 1955. They utilize this deep understanding of the healthcare landscape in Singapore to value add to Prudential’s customers.
Prudential is one of the largest providers of private healthcare insurance in Singapore and also is one of the leading writers of integrated Shield plans.
ABOUT Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Singapore, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential plc, is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore. Our focus is to bring well-rounded financial solutions to customers through our multichannel distribution network, with product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment. We are one of the market leaders in Protection, Savings and Investment-linked plans with over S$25.1 billion funds under management as at 31 December 2013. With a rich history that has spanned more than 80 years, Prudential Singapore now has a dedicated team of approximately 3,600 financial consultants and over 800 employees. We are committed to serving the financial and protection needs of more than 780,000 policyholders with over 1.9 million policies.
Prudential Singapore is the first life insurer in Singapore to be named Asia's Life Insurance Company of the Year in 2000. For ten consecutive years until 2013, we have been awarded the Gold Award in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands. We also achieved the May Day Model Partnership Award in 2009. In 2010, we emerged as one of the top insurers in Singapore in the Customer Satisfaction Index, which is a national barometer that tracks 104 companies from eight sectors. Since 2007, we have been conferred the People Developer Award by SPRING Singapore for our efforts in training and developing employees and in 2013, we were presented with Asia’s Employer of the Year Brand Award by the Branding Institute and the World HRD Congress. In February 2014, Prudential Singapore was awarded AA Financial Strength rating by leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
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