In Singapore, basic health insurance needs are covered under CPF Medishield scheme, you can upgrade your basic Medishield to private insurers for better coverage. These plans called private Integrated Shield Plans (IPs).
In this article, I will explain what Medishield is and how the integrated shield plans work.
What is Medishield
MediShield is a basic medical insurance scheme designed to help with large hospitalisation bills as well as certain outpatient treatments at approved medical institutions. It targets Class B2 and C wards and subsidised treatment in public hospitals.
Apart from the MediShield scheme, you can upgrade your plan to Medisave-approved Integrated Shield plans offered by private insurers.
What is Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plan
These Integrated Shield Plans provide you with additional benefits and coverage when you opt for Class A and B1 wards in the restructured hospitals, or private hospitalisation. Since 1 July 2005, each of these Medisave-approved plans have been integrated with MediShield to form a single integrated plan.
If you are covered by one of the following plans, you have an integrated plan.
If you are not sure if you have an Integrated Shield Plan, follow the steps below to find out. Remember to have your SingPass ready!
- Go to www.cpf.gov.sg
- Log on to my cpf Online Services (You will need your SingPass)
- Go to “My Messages”
- See “Insurance” section
How Integrated Shield Plan works
Integrated Shield Plans comprise two parts:
- A MediShield portion run by the CPF Board.
- An additional private insurance coverage portion run by private insurers, typically to cover Class A/B1 wards in public hospitals or private hospitals.
This means that if you have an Integrated Shield Plan, you are already covered by MediShield. The premiums you pay to your private insurer already includes the premiums for the MediShield portion. As MediShield is part of your IP, there is no duplicate coverage.
In other words, policyholders pay their premium, and submit claims directly to their private insurer. Their private insurer will then sort out all arrangements with MediShield.
By end-2015, MediShield Life will automatically replace the MediShield portion of your policy, to give you better coverage.
No action is needed on your part. Like MediShield, since MediShield Life is a part of your integrated plan, there will be no duplicate coverage.
MediShield Life will cover you for life, including your pre-existing conditions. This is the case even if your pre-existing conditions are not covered under the additional coverage from your private insurer.
Integrated Shield Plan Premium
Medisave can also be used to pay for premiums of these private Medisave-approved Integrated Shield plans. From 1 Nov 2013, the Medisave withdrawal limits for Integrated Shield plan are:
- $800 per policy, per year, for those aged 65 and below next birthday;
- $1,000 per policy, per year, for those aged 66 to 75 next birthday;
- $1,200 per policy, per year, for those aged 76 to 80 next birthday; and
- $1,400 per policy, per year, for those aged 81 and above next birthday.
You will also receive subsidies for the MediShield Life portion of your integrated plan, if you are eligible.
There are 8 things you need to know about Integrated Shield Plans
For more updates of these Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plans, click the link below:
- AIA Healthshield Gold
- Aviva MyShield
- Great Eastern SupremeHealth
- NTUC Incomeshield
- Prudential PRUShield
What are the Service Indicators for these plans
Besides the benefit of the products. Ministry of Health periodically update two indicators here.
(I) Claims return rate
The following claims return rate table shows how long it takes each insurer to process claims with positive payouts.
The phrase, cumulative claims return rate, refers to the percentage of claims processed by the insurer within one week, two weeks and one month. Note that the fifth column shows the median number of days it takes each insurer to process claims.
|CUMULATIVE CLAIMS RETURN RATE||MEDIAN CLAIMS RETURN RATE (DAYS)|
|<= 1 WEEK||<= 2 WEEKS||<= 4 WEEKS|
|AIA||92%||95%||96%||0 (Same Day)|
|AVIVA||84%||89%||94%||0 (Same Day)|
|Great Eastern||93%||95%||97%||0 (Same Day)|
|NTUC Income||93%||96%||97%||0 (Same Day)|
|Prudential||94%||96%||98%||0 (Same Day)|
(1 Oct to 31 Dec 2014)
Note (1): The number of days insurers take to process claims includes the time it takes to obtain medical records from claimants or medical institutions.
(II) Letter of guarantee and medical records costs
When you are hospitalised, if your hospital can obtain a letter of guarantee from your insurer, you can reduce the amount of your upfront payment to the hospital. 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.
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. All insurers currently absorb the cost of obtaining medical records.
|PROVIDES LETTER OF GUARANTEE**||ABSORBS COSTS OF OBTAINING MEDICAL RECORDS|
**Provided to selected public hospitals and institutions – AH, CGH, NUH, SGH, TTSH and KTPH. Please check with the insurer for more information.
(As of July 2012)
Note (1): Insurers who absorb the cost of obtaining medical records, do so in more than 90% of cases. There might still exist situations where the claimant is requested to pay for medical records.
This post was last updated on 15 June 2015
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