Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Horrible Insurance Experience (Singapore)

Hello Everyone. Today I wanna talk about INSURANCE. Yes. Buying insurance in Singapore. I want to share with you my story on a VERY BAD EXPERIENCE with this insurance agent (and possibly the insurance company itself)!!! And to remind you how important it is TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU ARE PAYING + WHO TO ASK if you have doubts + ALWAYS READ THEIR LETTERS MAILED TO YOU.

*I'm not going to state this insurance company but its super well-known in Singapore. 

Ok. 10+ years ago when i was still a child, my father bought me a hospital plan from this insurance company. So for the past 10 years he has been paying on yearly basis. Until recently last year, he wants to stop paying from his Medisave account and pay the premium by cash (i.e. thru AXS machine) instead.

Then there is this letter mailed to us informing us to make a payment. My father doesn't understand English and although i understand English (obviously), i don't know exactly know how much we need to pay via the AXS machine because the letter was so complicated.

So point 1 - KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU ARE PAYING. 

So what did we do? Ask our insurance agent la. lol. Technically speaking, it is my father's insurance agent cum friend. Insurance agent told us to pay $75 via the AXS machine and our plan will continue to be covered. Next day, went to the AXS machine and paid $75. (Paid $75 each for my sister and my hospital plan. Yeap the agent screwed up both our plans).

And we happily carried on with our life... Thinking our hospital plan is covered.... Blah Blah fast forward 6 months.

I decided to do a surgery to remove my cyst on my wrist. My father checked with his insurance agent and he told us that my surgery will be covered under the insurance plan. So I was like "Ok, i will go and remove my cyst!"

Then the next day, the insurance agent gave us a shocking news - HE SAID MY PLAN WAS ALREADY LAPSED. AND MY SISTER'S PLAN WAS LAPSED TOO. I was super dumbfounded. My father was a bit blur and didn't know what was going on...

So immediately i asked my father to give me the insurance agent's number so i can call him to clarify the situation. Called him, line was pick up and started bombing him with a lot of questions.

Most importantly of all, WHY ARE OUR PLANS LAPSED WHEN WE MADE OUR PAYMENT????

The insurance agent didn't know the answer too. He said the system says our plans are lapsed and he will check with the company. The next day, he called me and said IT IS BECAUSE WE DIDN'T MAKE THE FULL PAYMENT SO INSURANCE COMPANY THOUGHT WE WANT TO CANCEL THIS PLAN AND SO THE PLAN WAS LAPSED.

Seriously guys. At that moment, i was speechless already. My anger started to boil. All my vulgarities almost choked out from my throat.

You were the one who told us to pay that amount. We even took a photo of the letter and showed you and asked you PROPERLY how much we need to pay to continue this plan. NOW YOU ARE TELLING US OUR PLANS GOT LAPSED??? This is ridiculous.

BEST PART was that he told me i can continue my plan now. I just need to renew it. At that time, i was very confused and blur so since he say i can renew it then i will just meet him up. In my mind, i thought it was going to be a very simple process. I thought my CURRENT plan can be continued as long as i renew it. So the next day, i met him after work.

ANOTHER BEST PART. HE BROUGHT HIS GIRLFRIEND WHILE MEETING ME because that day was actually his OFF WORK. WTF. Seriously, i had to share some of my personal information and your gf was there and she could hear everything. I remember he was asking me if i want to pay extra monthly to waive off the co-insurance. He explained to me how much i need to pay at my age & how much this will increase as i age. And then HIS GIRLFRIEND INTERRUPTED : "Oh? No wonder i need to pay so much." And began asking her boyfriend some questions..........

Ok maybe i should give a little background on this insurance agent first. He is not a young man anymore. My father bought our plans from him like 10+ years ago remember? From his look, he is most probably 40+ going 50. His GIRLFRIEND (and from accent i know its from China) is probably 40 already. Alright i don't want to judge. But can you imagine the whole situation i was going through during the meet up?

I agreed on paying the extra to waive off the co-insurance. In my mind, i just wanted to hurry and finish this. I asked him "So after signing this, my plan can be renewed and i can start claiming for my cyst right?" He said "Ya can". Ok, i signed. He skipped many information and let me signed page by page. Honestly at the back of my mind i didn't know what i was doing but simply listening to him and signing and hoping this would be done ASAP.

Last page. Signed. Off i went back home. I called my mother to update her immediately. She was mad that i signed that contract and asked me to cancel immediately. Because of one reason: WHY LET HIM EARN THE COMMISSION WHEN HE GAVE US SO MUCH SHIT?

Almost immediately, i texted the agent and told him i want to cancel this plan. I gave him a reason that its because i still don't quite understand how the whole plan works and i need time to re-think. He said ok he will cancel it.

That was the last time i talked to him.

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During that time, i met a new friend who happens to be an insurance agent in that company too. So i asked him for his help. I told him about my whole messy insurance plan story and asked him how i can continue my old plan. I also called the insurance hotline to enquire about my plan and to understand why it was lapsed. It was almost a 2 hour long call. It was only WHEN I CALLED THE HOTLINE that i understand what my hospital plan is about. It was DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE THAT AGENT TOLD ME. The sum assured that he gave me was already wrong.

My friend/new agent met me in my house to talk about the plan. He told me that i cannot continue this plan anymore as its already lapsed. And by 'renewing' the plan, it means that I AM BUYING A NEW PLAN. Its not continuing this old plan that i have (this old plan that my father paid for 10years + !!! ). So I CANNOT CLAIM FOR MY CYST.

I tried to argue that my father was already paying this plan for so many years and now because of this stupid mistake that the agent done, my plan has to be lapsed and i cannot claim??? My new agent said yes. ............. DEHHHHHHHHHH i was so effing mad i swear.

Now you must be wondering how can this whole thing happen? How can it be that i paid and the plan was lapsed? And how can it be that i didn't know about the lapsed plan at all? How can an insurance agent be so unprofessional & lack of knowledge???

To answer your questions:
Q - How can it be that i paid and the plan was lapsed? 
A - I paid but it was not the full amount. The insurance agent gave us the wrong payment amount. (vulgarities coming out while i'm typing this).


Q - And how can it be that i didn't know about the lapsed plan at all? 
A - When the plan was lapsed, the insurance agent DID NOT INFORM US. He most probably didn't even read his emails.
(more vulgarities coming out while i'm typing this).
A lapsed letter was said to be mailed to us BUT WE DID NOT RECALL RECEIVING THIS. (Also part of our fault here. We always take letters foregranted.)

Q - How can an insurance agent be so unprofessional & lack of knowledge??? 
A - He is not a full-time insurance agent now. So a lot of information he got is out-dated. (And he still dare to sell insurance plans??? omg). 


So point 2 and 3 here: Know WHO TO ASK if you have doubts + ALWAYS READ YOUR LETTERS MAILED TO YOU. 

Call the hotline and ask instead of depending on your insurance agent thinking he will do everything for you. Always read the letters that your insurance company mail you. 

I do want to STRONGLY RECOMMEND SOME POINTS to all insurance companies. 

1. PLEASE EDUCATE YOUR INSURANCE AGENTS AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE MOST UPDATED INFORMATION. 
2. IF A PLAN IS GOING TO BE LAPSED, PLEASE MAIL OUT A RED COLOURED LETTER. This will at least alert people who don't usually read their letters as red indicates something important/urgent. 


What is the end of my story? 

- I bought a new hospital plan with my new agent. 
- My old plan was totally lapsed.
- My current cysts is totally excluded from my new plan (All thanks to the irresponsible agent) 

I also want to mention how troublesome it was for me to get back this plan. 

Initially they wanted to exclude my heart too because i visited a cardiac specialist when i was 14 as my mother and I were over-paranoid that time. My heart was perfectly fine and no issues at all. But in my medical history that the insurance company read in their stupid system, it only states one sentence 'irregular heartbeat'. They are not able to click in to view the whole report / read the FINAL conclusion about my heart. If they want to read, they need to pay. Which is stupid right? Idk if i'm understanding this correctly but this whole thing was so bullshit to me. First and foremost my old insurance plan was already on-going when i visited the cardiac specialist. Because of a stupid mistake the old insurance agent did, my plan was lapsed and now when i tried to re-purchase the plan, they dig out my medical history. 

Because of this, i had to specially go a clinic to do a ECG to get a report. I also wrote a complain letter about this irresponsible agent and let the new agent submit to the management on my behalf. My plan was most probably approved because of the complain letter. lol. 

Alright. That is all for my ranting and story. I strongly urge everyone to get a responsible agent who will still care about you even though u won't buy anything else from them after that. (lol hard to find but i'm sure there are some out there). I also strongly urge everyone to fully understand what you are buying. End of the day, you need to depend on yourself and not your insurance agent. 

That's all. xx. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

MY LASIK SURGERY IN SHINAGAWA EYE CENTRE

Hello everybody! Recently, i made a very important decision in my life. This will change my lifestyle forever. I finally decided to do LASIK!

I know i will be getting a LASIK one day but just not sure when. Just two months ago, this thought came out again and i was like "ok fine i'm gonna do it!!!". Since my eye degree is stable, i know i can do LASIK. There is just one thing i am very worried of - my cornea thickness.

If your cornea thickness is not thick enough (avg thickness is 550microns per eye), then you are not a good candidate for LASIK!

ok story cut short - I started asking around from my friends who did LASIK and went to google for good eye clinics for this surgery. My two friends did their LASIK at Shinagawa Eye Centre. I also have friends who did their LASIK at Eagle Eye Centre by Dr Julien Theng. If you have googled about lasik before, you will know Dr Julien Theng is very popular in this field.

After googling all the clinics, reviews and prices. I made a decision to go for Shinagawa Eye Centre for 4 reasons:
1. The next available appt to see Dr Julien Theng is 2 months later.
2. My friends who did their LASIK at Shinagawa recovers very fast and no side effect.
3. I saw a review that since Eagle eye centre is very popular, the clinic is packed with people and you don't feel the 'personal' space around you. This is clearly opposite in Shinagawa. In Shinagawa, the clinic is less crowded and you have feel the 'atas' feel. Or should i say- more comfortable in Shinagawa.
4. The assessment fee in Eagle eye was like $200+ while the assessment fee in Shinagawa was $22. I have no idea why this huge price difference. Can someone tell me? haha

If you are considering to do Lasik in Shinagawa and can't find much reviews. Then here it is for you!!! Click here for Shinagawa's Website.

In Shinagawa, there are 2 doctors (one male one female): Dr Lee Sao Bing and Dr Jovina See . When i called to make an appointment for eye assessment, the nurse asked if i have a preference to which doctor i want. Since my two friends did their LASIK each with different Doctor, i had no preference. The nurse asked if I am ok with Dr See and i said okay.

I called in on a Tuesday and i have a slot on that Saturday. Super fast right?

During your first appointment, the nurse will be running tests on your eyes to see if you are a suitable candidate. The whole assessment takes an hour or so. They test your eye sight and there a lot different machines for different purpose. Basically, there is no pain at all. No discomfort for me. At every test, the nurse will be telling me what i need to do and what she is going to do.

After all the tests, you get to see the Doctor for your consultation. i.e. Also telling you WHETHER YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASIK!

For me, my cornea thickness is as follow:
Right eye - 532 microns
Left eye - 521 microns

Wait what???! I'm less than the average?!!! In that split second i thought i couldn't do LASIK and then Dr See told me although i am slightly under average, i am still a good candidate for LASIK. Also, since my shortsightedness is not high, i have enough remaining cornea thickness after LASIK.

My degree:
Right eye -2.5 (i.e. 250 degree)
Left eye 3.0 (i.e. 300 degree)

My average corneal curvature:
Right eye -45.75D
Left eye -46.25D

Dr See said my cornea shape is round and all tests show consistency and there is no problem for me. Some questions you might want to know:

Q: What if my eye look away when i am doing lasik?? 
A: There will be something that holds your eye ball and you will be focusing on a light. Even if your eye starts to drift away, the doctor will alert you. The machine will also immediately stop if you are not looking at the correct direction.

Q:Hows the whole process like? 
A: I will explain in detail later!

Q:What are the chances of me getting blind from LASIK? i.e. LASIK FAIL
A:Chance is 0.000001% kind. The chances of you getting eye infection and then getting blind is higher than you doing lasik and get blind. (yes i asked the Dr this question. haha)

Q:Is it pain?
A:No pain at all. Just slight discomfort that's all.

Q:How long does the whole process take? 
A: The actual lasik took like less than 15 seconds per eye. The whole process took less than 30mins in total.

Q: Will i be able to see clearly immediately after LASIK?
A: I could see but it wasn't clear. For me, i had slight blurry eyes straight after LASIK. But i could walk normally and don't need to wear specs. I can still see and walk to the taxi stand. (of course accompanied by my boyfriend and mum).

Q:Is it painful after the LASIK?
A: When the anaesthesia wears off, my left eye felt stingy and i couldn't really open it. My right eye was still fine. But after a few hours of sleep, my eyes got better. The stingy feeling just feels like an eye infection that's all. It is nothing serious. Your wound takes time to heal ok!

Q: How much did i spend on LASIK?
A: I spent a total of $3904.11 This does not include the $22 eye assessment test. The $3.9K is inclusive of the LASIK surgery plus the medication. The LASIK itself cost $3588 based on referral. If no referral, it is $3888. You just need to provide the name and phone number of your friend who did LASIK there and you will get the $300 discount.

Q:What is that collagen cross-linking thing about? And how much is it? 
A: For people with thin cornea, it is recommended to add an additional step during your LASIK procedure. This additional step is called LASIK XTRA whereby it adds Vitamin B (and dunno what other stuff) into your eye thru UV light. This will extend the LASIK surgery by 30seconds more to each eye.

The cost for both eye is $1K +. So if you do cross-linking on top of your LASIK. You will be paying $5,081.11 (remember i got $300 off from referral). Did i do cross-linking? I didn't because i have enough cornea bed and this is just optional for me. But for people with super thin cornea, it is VERY IMPORTANT for you to do it.

Q: Do i have any side effects after LASIK?
A: Thank god i don't have. I guess i am very lucky. I could see very clearly without blur vision just 5 hours after LASIK. Didn't experience dry eyes also. No halo vision or dunno what kind of other side effects that you read from reviews. The next day, my eyes were completely perfect and normal. It was only when i start looking at the computer on Day 5 and my eyes tend to get dry easier and faster. Just keep putting on eye drop and that's it.

Q: How many days MC was i given? 
A: You will be given 3 days MC from the day of surgery. And MC for the review session one week after the surgery.

THE LASIK PROCEDURE



I am going to explain it in a very layman terms. For the machine that Shinagawa is using and the explanation of the procedure in more chim terms, you can visit their website.

I scheduled my surgery about 1 month after my eye assessment.

On the day of surgery.... 

1. Wear the surgery gown and cap and their slipper.
2.Tested your blood pressure. No more eye tests needed because it will tired your eyes.
3. Anaesthesia eye drops were applied on my eyes. I think the nurse applied at least a good 5-6 times before i went for the surgery. I was also given a pill for calming purpose.
4. After 6-10 minutes of waiting, doctor did last check on my eye before proceeding to create the air bubble on my cornea.
5. Laid down and focused on the white light. Just keep looking at the white light. The light might become blurry but as long as u keep looking at the white light, you are fine. Dr See also continuously say "You are doing very good. Just focus on the white light. Ok now the machine is going to create the air bubble" ...
6. Just 15 seconds per eye and i was done with the first step.
7. Then i was escorted out of the room. Sat on a chair and waited for the air bubble in my eye to dissolve. Waited for about 5-6 minutes.
8. Dr See came back. Checked that all air bubbles were gone and carried on for the ACTUAL lasik procedure.
9. Went into another room (actually just 6 steps away from where i seated. lol). Laid down. Head stationed and now focus on a green light.
10. The green light was very sharp at first but after Dr See did something to my eye, it became blur. Don't worry. All a part of the procedure. Just keep focusing on the blurry green light now.
11. The Laser ran over my eye. Smelt something burning. Then done for one eye. Go to the next eye. Takes only 20seconds for one eye.
12. Dr See will keep calming you down and explaining to you what she is going to do next.
13. After reshaping my cornea (i.e. the burning smell via the laser), she washed my eyes with some water and that's it. I was done!!!
14. Escorted to a sofa and rested awhile.
15. The nurse came with a bag of eye drops and eye shield. She explained each eye drop's purpose clearly. LIKE SERIOUSLY, VERY CLEARLY and patiently.
16. Had my eyes checked again with Dr See before i went home.


First 5 hours after surgery.... 

- Eyes slight blurry but can still see
- Reached home and started feeling sleepy
- Slept with my eye shield. But wake up every 1 hour to apply all the eye drops.
- Left eye feeling more discomfort than right eye. While i was doing the surgery, i could already feel that my left eye is more tired than my right eye. Left eye almost couldn't be opened. But i continued sleeping.
- 5 hours later, my eyes were back to ok status!


One day after surgery.... 
- Must go back to the clinic for review the next day. Dr See checked on my eyes. She said my cornea is healing very fast. Everything is very good. Just keep applying the eye drops.
- Cannot let water get into your eyes.
- Basically, my eyes are fine liao... Nothing much to write already.

Two days after surgery....
- Eyes feeling better and better everyday!

Seven days after surgery .... 
- Go back for review. Dr See said almost cannot see my cornea flap already. Healing very well.
- Can stop using the disinfect eye drop. And gave me one gel tube to lubricate my eyes.
- Can start washing my face like normal after 7 days and put on make up. BUT DON'T RUB YOUR EYES HARD.

Ten days after surgery ....
- Today is the 10th day. My eyes are perfect already. Even when looking at the computer, it doesn't get very dry too. But i just keep applying eye drops to lubricate my eyes every hour still.



So everything is very good now! I must protect my 6-6 vision now! I am not going to wear specs anymore. At the end of the day, we must choose a really good doctor. I trusted Dr See and i am very happy with my results!

If you wish to share your LASIK experience, you can comment down below.

That's all for now. Ciao~! xx