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Posts Tagged ‘insurance

A week ago, I received an SMS from my health insurance provider. It was a reminder to pay my annual premium.

NTUC insurance SMS.

Yesterday I received snail mail saying the same, except with more words and paper.

What is the problem?

I had already paid my premium in October. I went to a branch to confirm this and the representative even made a Singaporean “double confirmed” declaration that my policy was in place and paid for. I even reminded them that I was not supposed to receive snail mail since the adoption of e-notifications. I reflected on all this earlier and linked this administrative nincompoopery to a lack of empathy.

How so? The provider was not able to see how blind policies and habits were affecting individual customers. A week ago, I mentioned how teachers also need to empathise with students — they need to remember what is was like to learn before trying to teach.

Today I focus on the “if” statement in the SMS: If you have made payment on 02 Nov 2020 or thereafter, please disregard this message.

If you had first bothered to check that I had paid, you would not have sent me the SMS or snail mail. If you did that first, you would not cause me distress or waste resources. If your systems actually communicated and synchronised with one another, you would not come across as incompetent. The onus is not on me to respond; it is on you to take due diligence.

Ditto for teachers and school leaders. Do not assume that students have not submitted work. Check the submission system first. Do not craft warning letters and spout policies and threats. Check with the students first.

I have a fortnight of intense grading (I am handling 40% of a cohort) and another of performance assessment. So I need to keep my head down, grit my teeth, and write some blog entries in advance.

I mentioned on Saturday that I would share some unsolicited advice on being a freelancer or an independent worker. This is Q&A 1.

Do you need to take care of anyone other than yourself?

Do you have a family? Do you or a family member have a chronic health issue? Are you the sole earner in your household?

If so, you might think twice about leaving full-time employment. Your employer might already offer a good health insurance plan. They might even pay for it in part or in full.

If you go independent, you have to get your own plan. In Singapore, it is also compulsory to top up your Medisave account in one lump sum every year or in monthly instalments. This can be a strain if you do not have a regular flow of income.

Those considerations apply whether you only need to support yourself or if you have others to take care of. If you are the sole earner in the family, bump those factors up by each person you need to cover.

In short, if you have others to take care of and are thinking of flying solo for work, seriously consider grounding your plans for the sake of those you love. Take flight only if you have a considerable nest egg (see next question).


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