When you are hospitalised, if your hospital can obtain a letter of guarantee (LOG) from your insurer, you can reduce the amount of your upfront payment to the hospital.
What is a letter of guarantee? Is letter of guarantee always guaranteed? How to obtain the letter of guarantee under private integrated shield plans in Singapore?
What is Letter of Guarantee
A letter of guarantee is an assurance of payment offered by insurers to hospitals, on behalf of a patient, for the portion of the hospital bill covered by insurance. The purpose of the LOG is for you to obtain a waiver of the upfront cash deposit required by the hospital. Most of the time, the LOG is only applicable to hospitalisation and surgery, it does not apply to outpatient treatment.
You should also note that the issuance of a LOG does not mean that insurer approves or admits any claim. The claim will still be subject to a review by the insurer.
Letter of guarantee for private integrated shield plans
In competitive insurance markets in Singapore, all private integrated shield plans offer letter of guarantee services for selected public hospitals and institutions – AH, CGH, NUH, SGH, TTSH and KTPH. Please check with your own insurer for more information.
Costs of obtaining a medical report
To process claims, insurers may require your medical records. Either you as a claimant, or your insurer, can request medical records from medical institutions. This request, however, usually comes at a cost from $75 to $250.
According to MOH data, in 90% of the cases, private insurers will absorb these costs. However, there might still exist situations where the claimant is requested to pay for medical records.
How to obtain a letter of guarantee for integrated shield plans
In Singapore, you should approach the business or admin office of the hospital. Generally, most of the LOG can be generated instantly from the electronic LOG system by the staff of the selected Singapore Government Restructured Hospital.
The patient will need to sign three forms
- Medisave Authorisation form
- Letter of Guarantee
- Private Medical Insurance claim form
However, if the insured is under 21 years of age, the next of kin will need to sign the above documents on the insured’s behalf.
When will insurer decline issuance of the letter of guarantee?
The issuance of LOG is subject to various factors, including policy duration and any special terms. At times, the information furnished may be insufficient for the insurer to review and the LOG will not be issued.
In some circumstances, letter of guarantee will not be issued at all. For example
- The estimated claimable amount based on your plan falls within the applicable policy deductible amount;
- The coverage for specific medical condition(s) is excluded or the medical condition(s) was previously rejected under a claim;
- Treatments at private medical institutions/clinics, outpatient treatments and admissions to community hospitals;
- Treatment for all overseas expenses;
- Non-Medisave approved integrated Healthshield plans;
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