Now that every Singaporean is covered by MediShield Life, your basic hospitalisation insurance, do you still need the additional coverage offered by Integrated Shield Plans?
Here are 4 things you need to know before deciding whether to take up or stay on an Integrated Shield Plan.
The Integrated Shield Plan (IP) consists of two components:
i) a MediShield Life component managed by CPF Board and
ii) an additional private insurance component managed by private insurers.
MediShield Life coverage is designed for hospital stays in subsidised class B2 or C wards and costly outpatient treatment in public hospitals. The additional private insurance coverage you get in an IP provides additional coverage for higher ward class stays such as in class B1 or A wards in public hospitals or private hospitals. As such, IP policyholders enjoy the benefits from both MediShield Life and the additional private insurance coverage.
Your choice to take up or stay on an IP will depend on your preferences when you are hospitalised. If you prefer to stay in higher ward class such as class B1 or A wards in public hospitals or private hospitals, you may wish to consider an IP targeted at your preferred ward class.
Many of us do not realise that our private hospitalisation insurance plans are IPs and already provide us with hospitalisation coverage. If you are covered by one of the six plans below, you already have an IP in place.
i) AIA HealthShield Gold Max
ii) Aviva MyShield
iii) AXA Shield
iv) Great Eastern Supreme Health
v) NTUC Income IncomeShield
vi) Prudential PruShield
Medisave can be used to pay the premiums for both components in your IP – the MediShield Life component and the additional private insurance coverage component.
You can use your Medisave to pay for your entire MediShield Life premiums. For the additional private insurance coverage component, you can use your Medisave for the premiums up the Additional Withdrawal Limits (AWLs). AWLs were introduced from 1 November 2015 to help Singaporeans pay for the premiums of the additional private insurance component of their IPs.
A new Standard IP that covers class B1 wards is now available from all private IP insurers. The Standard IP provides Singaporeans looking for additional coverage
with a more affordable option than those which covers Class A wards or private hospitalisation.
The benefits of the Standard IP are identical across all IP insurers. Just like MediShield Life, the Standard IP offers coverage for hospitalisation stays and selected outpatient treatments, and have co-payment features of claim limits, deductible and co-insurance. The Ministry of Health reviews the benefits with IP insurers from time to time to ensure that they remain relevant to Singaporeans.
Buy a plan that meets your needs. Here are two questions to ask yourself before choosing an IP:
i) Do you wish to choose your own doctor and/or prefer facilities such as an air-conditioned room in higher class ward in public hospitals or private hospitals? If so, getting an IP which offers additional benefits above MediShield Life may be suitable for you.
ii) Can you afford your IP premiums in the long term? As IP premiums increase significantly with age, you may have to pay more out-of-pocket cash as you are older.