AIA Singapore, which is part of the largest public listed pan-Asian life insurance group, announced that will cover the costs of 50,000 video medical consultations provided by WhiteCoat, a Singapore-based tele-medicine provider for all its HealthShield Gold Max policyholders.
Individuals who require professional medical advice can engage WhiteCoat's Singapore-registered doctors from the comfort of their own home, exclusively via the AIA Healthcare App. After 50,000 video medical consultations have been utilized by AIA HealthShield Gold Max policyholders in Singapore, they can continue to engage WhiteCoat's services at a pre-negotiated rate of S$12 per consultation.
The insurance company also said that it will include the extension of claims pre-authorization to cover all non-emergency admissions and day surgeries at all private hospitals and healthcare providers across Singapore for its HealthShield Gold Max policyholders, effective 15 April 2020.
THE LARGER TREND
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting most parts of the world, many governments and healthcare providers are increasingly looking towards telehealth as a means to manage and triage potential cases of the virus. Healthcare companies and startups have also stepped up to tackle the virus outbreak through their existing software platforms or telehealth capabilities.
In Australia, healthcare software providers such as Global Health are working with GPs who use their PrimaryClinic practice management software to provide telehealth services at low or no cost for their patients, HealthcareITNews reported.
In the UK, British company Doctor Care Anywhere (DCA) is introducing a free training program to support GPs in carrying out remote consultations as the NHS continues to see rising demand for services in the coronavirus crisis, according to a MobiHealthNews article.
ON THE RECORD
"Even as we tackle the immediate challenge of COVID-19, we also need to take steps to manage the longer-term challenge of rising healthcare costs. Pre-authorization was a key recommendation put forth by the Health Insurance Task Force and complements AIA's other efforts such as our panel of AIA Quality Healthcare Partners, and AIA Vitality -- our comprehensive health and wellness program. As an industry leader, we need to help moderate healthcare inflation, and ensure that people have assurance regarding the coverage of their medical costs," said Dr Alan Ong, Medical Director, AIA Singapore in a statement.