What are Hospital and Health Insurance?
A Thorough Comparison & Analysis
“It is cheaper to die than to fall sick in Singapore.” – Every other Singaporean
The healthcare landscape of any other Singaporean Singapore is quickly changing. If there’s one thing about our healthcare that’s continuous, it’s going to be our ever-increasing healthcare costs, also called the gross medical inflation rate.
This improves the importance of health insurance to help cope with the potential economic stress that may be caused by unforeseen conditions that may affect our health.
With that, we’ve will compare a list of Singaporeans’ health insurance, breaking down how the system works, and create a smarter choice to get coverage.
Do you know...
- All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents receive MediShield Life (Mandatory Basic Health Insurance), administered by the Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB), covering fundamental treatments in Class B2/C government hospitals ward.
- With an Integrated Shield Plan (IP), you can increase MediShield Life’s coverage, giving you the choice to be treated in better class wards and private hospitals.
- From 1 Apr 2019, you must bear a minimum 5% co-payment, with a $3,000 cap for new Integrated Shield Plan riders while the insurance company pays the rest.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Hospital & Surgical coverage
MediShield Life (English)
What is MediShield Life?
MediShield Life is a set of basic health insurance that is administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board. It provides coverage for huge hospital bills and expensive outpatient therapies like dialysis and cancer chemotherapy.
- 1. Higher claim limit
- 2. Covers pre-existing conditions
- 3. Lifetime coverage
Here is the summary of what you can expect from MediShield Life:
- Fully payable by Medisave Account
- Covers Pre-existing conditions
- Covers hospitalisation in Class B2/C wards in restructured hospitals
- Does not cover deductibles and co-insurance
- Maximum Claim Limits: $100,000 per year
- Overseas Medical Treatment is excluded
How does MediShield Life claim work?
What is the Integrated Shield Plans (IP)?
An Integrated Shield Plan (IP) enhances coverage on top of your MediShield Life. Different types of IPs provide different coverage. Some cover you for a higher-type ward (A/B1) in a public hospital, while others cover admission into a private hospital.
An Integrated Shield Plan (IP) comprises two parts:
MediShield Life which you’re already covered for, and
An additional private insurance coverage component offered by a private insurer
Your MediShield Life is fully payable for from your MediSave account. You may need to top up using cash or MediSave for the additional premiums for higher private insurance coverage.
Should we upgrade Private Integrated Shield Plan?
Praveen has a number of pre-existing conditions. If he decides to get an IP, he will need to declare these conditions to the insurer in the application process.
Depending on the insurer, these conditions may be excluded from the additional private insurance component of his IP or the insurer may not want to cover him. However, his conditions will be covered under MediShield Life.
In the event of hospitalisation, Praveen wants to stay in an A/B1 ward in a public hospital, or in a private hospital. An IP may be more suitable for him in this case, since there are IPs targeted at coverage for these ward types/private hospitals.
On the other hand, if Praveen is comfortable with a B2/C ward in a public hospital, MediShield Life coverage will be sufficient. While he would still be able to stay in other ward types/private hospitals, a smaller proportion of the bill would be covered under MediShield Life, and he would have to pay the rest with cash or Medisave.
Praveen will always be able to pay for his annual MediShield Life premiums fully using his Medisave. If he decides to upgrade to an IP, the annual premium for the additional private insurance component is payable by Medisave, but only up to the prevailing Additional Withdrawal Limits (AWLs), which vary according to age.
Can we use MediSave to pay for Private Integrated Shield Plan?
If you are using MediSave to pay for the additional private insurance component of the IP premium, you can utilise up to the prevailing Additional Withdrawal Limits. When you reach the maximum withdrawal limit for MediSave, you have to pay the rest of the premiums in cash.
Integrated shield plan providers in Singapore
What is Integrated Shield Plan Rider?
Adding on a rider for Private Integrated Shield Plan (IP)
With effect from 1 April 2019, all new integrated shield plan riders will have to incorporate a co-payment of at least 5%, subject to an annual cap of $3,000 (though insurers are allowed to set higher thresholds).
For example, if you incur a hospitalisation bill of $15,000, a 5% co-payment will mean having to fork out $750, with the remaining $14,250 being covered by the private integrated shield plan.
This applies only to new integrated shield plan riders which are .
Existing integrated shield plan with full riders will not be affected and still have 100% of the bill covered. The illustration above applies for the existing pre-5% co-payment private Integrated Shield Plan.
What are the common benefits of Private Integrated Shield Plan to MediShield Life?
Currently, there are 7 Insurance companies in Singapore providing the Private Integrated Shield plan. They are AIA, Aviva, AXA, Great Eastern, NTUC, Prudential and Raffles Health Insurance. Each of them comes with different premium and different benefits. The IP should you get is very dependent on what benefits do you prefer.
To find out more about the benefits provided for:
- For Comparison of Integrated Shield Plan: please refer to the MOH Integrated Shield comparison here.
- For Standard IP: please refer to the MOH Standard IP comparison here.
- For Class B1: please refer to the MOH Class B1 Plans comparison here.
- For Class A: please refer to the MOH Class A Plans comparison here.
- For Private Hospital: please refer to the MOH Private Hospital Plans comparison here.
How does Private Integrated Shield Plan (IP) claim work?
How to check if you are covered by an Integrated Shield Plan (IP)?
It will be good to upgrade your Integrated Shield Plan if you have not done so, you can get in touch with us if you wish to get assistance on it
Common misconceptions about Integrated Shield Plan (IP)?
Firstly, there is still no full coverage by MediShield Life. Co-insurance and deductibles are two components borne by you if you are admitted to the hospital. Having a Private Integrated Shield Plan will greatly enhance your medical coverage as well as having a more comfortable environment.
Secondly, MediShield Life has a cap limit of how much you can claim. Any amount higher than the claim limit have to be borne by you.
Thirdly, Private Integrated Shield Plan has a higher cap limit of how much you can claim, some up to $2 million.
Private Integrated Shield plan is packaged together with MediShield Life. Do not confuse the premium you are paying as a duplicate. In actual fact, the premium you paid for the Private Integrated Shield Plan is divided into two portions. The first portion of goes to CPF Board for MediShield Life coverage while the remaining is directed to the private insurer.
MediShield Life only covers basic hospitalisation expenses. Personally, we would prefer to get ourselves covered with Private Integrated Shield Plan. There are three reasons why:
- Hospitalisation plans give the highest coverage per dollar of premium paid, especially so when it is a Government sanctioned scheme.
- Without Private Integrated Shield Plan, MediShield Life only covers hospitalisation costs of up to B2/C ward. If we choose to seek treatment at a private hospital or stay at a higher ward class, the additional costs incurred will be our responsibility.
- We would not want to worry about the deductibles and the coinsurance components of the hospital bill should we be admitted.
The Ministry of Health has provided an easy use calculator to show exactly how much each individual needs to pay for MediShield Life coverage. The premiums are intentionally kept affordable for the majority of Singaporeans and the entire amount can be deducted through Medisave.
- We are also allowed to use Medisave to pay for the approved Private Integrated Shield Plans subjected to a maximum withdrawal limit. Hence in purchasing the Private Integrated Shield, there may be a cash top-up component involved.
- Riders are an additional option and cannot be paid by CPF-MA, thus will require to be paid by cash.
- Premiums for health insurance usually increase with age, are not guaranteed and subject to change. Insurers may choose not to renew a plan or charge a higher premium when there are excessive claims.
- 5% co-payment for new Integrated Shield Plan riders will have a cap on the co-payment amount each year, with most insurers planning new riders with an annual cap of S$3,000.
For more information on MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans, do check out the MediShield Life.
Alternatively, if you are considering if upgrading from MediShield Life to Integrated Shield Plans (IP) is for you, then take the first step to compare the different companies’ Integrated Shield Plans.