Private insurers will have to offer new Integrated Shield Plans (IP) with riders that incorporate a co-payment rate of 5% or more on select medical bills and a co-payment cap set at $3,000 or higher per policy year for treatments under the insurer. This means that those who purchase the new rider will have to pay at least 5% of hospitalisation bills, capped at a minimum of $3,000 for treatments by doctors under the insurer?s approved panel, or had received prior approval from the insurer.
This new rider scheme was announced on March 7, 2018. Private insurers will have until April 1, 2019, to introduce new riders that take into consideration the mandatory co-payment and cap. While changes will not affect those who already have existing riders, the new scheme will affect those who purchase from 8 March 2018, whom will have to switch to the new scheme by April 1, 2021. No full riders can be purchased after April 1, 2019.
This new rider scheme is expected to have lower premiums, compared to existing full riders. For policyholders, it should mean cost savings in terms of premiums paid.
Understanding Integrated Shield Plan
Integrated Shield Plan (IP) is additional private insurance coverage on top of MediShield Life, a mandatory and basic medical insurance for all Singapore citizens and permanent residents. With MediShield Life, medical coverage lasts an entire lifetime (compared to MediShield offered previously, protecting only until 92 years old and excluded certain pre-existing conditions), for certain medical bills such as hospitalisation, as well as certain outpatient treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy. Each year, the maximum claim amount is $100,000.
With MediShield Life, everyone, including those previously turned down by private insurers owing to age or medical condition, or have never even considered getting medical insurance, fall under this whole-life protection scheme, unless he or she resides abroad and chooses to suspend the scheme.
While MediShield Life payouts will only cover you for Class B2 or Class C wards at public hospitals, an IP allows you to upgrade to a Class A or Class B2 ward in a public hospital, or even stay in a private hospital and the choice of your preferred doctor, with the surplus paid using Medisave and/or cash. Currently, only six insurers in Singapore offer IPs.
Amongst those who already have an IP, many also have opted for insurance riders, which are basically added benefits to the plan. With full riders, medical bills are paid for fully, regardless of the total amount. Currently, about 1.1 million people is Singapore have full riders.
What does the new rider scheme mean for you?
With the implementation of co-payment, you can no longer receive full coverage for hospitalisation bills. For you, this could mean obtaining a higher coverage in the event you require long-term medical treatments and hospital care.
What about a possible lost of income? And do you also have dependents to care for? Given that unforeseen circumstances like death or permanent disability can have far-reaching impact on your family, you could consider obtaining a life insurance or critical illness coverage that will pay out a lump sum in the event of death and permanent disability, to offset bills and replace lost income.
This lump sum will enable your family to better tide cope with the financial and emotional stresses when something untoward happens to a family member. Ultimately, it is about identifying your needs to ensure that you and your family are well-protected.
More information about MediShield Life
As of November 2015, MediShield has been replaced by MediShield Life to provide all Singapore citizens and permanent residents with a mandatory, basic and affordable medical insurance. Similar to MediShield, MediShield Life premiums can be paid using Medisave to make claims for certain medical bills such as hospitalisation, as well as certain outpatient treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy. For lower- and middle-income Singaporeans, subsidies are provided on the scheme?s premiums. Pioneer Generation members also enjoy this subsidy. To make this scheme available for everyone, individuals who are unable to pay for the premiums even after subsidies can apply for additional premium support.
MediShield Life offers enhanced coverage, compared to MediShield, because it provides better medical coverage and higher claim ceilings, at lower co-insurance rates. Examples when MediShield Life cannot be used include private charges, cosmetic surgery, ambulance services, vaccinations, maternity charges, infertility or assisted conception treatments, and treatments for alcoholism or drug addictions.
To be able to use MediShield Life for your hospitalisation bill in public hospitals, you must be hospitalised for at least eight hours, or be admitted for day surgery. To make claims using MediShield Life, simply inform a hospital staff that you would like to claim from MediShield Life. He or she will assist you in submitting a claim to Central Provident Fund Board.
Learn more about medical coverage and how much is needed when you have a young family to support. Speak with a representative and receive a 24-piece diaper pack as our little gift to you when you sign up here!