A summary on 5% co-payment of insurance for Integrated Shield Plan (IP)

Jes 8 Comments

Why the need to impose co-payment?
It was 100% full riders coverage previously and I have blogged about the different prices of different insurance companies. However, premiums have increased by up to 80% due to a small group of people abusing the system, so the rest of us have to pay for higher premiums unfairly.

What do you mean by abusing the system?
When you are fully covered, people will be more keen to do many more check ups, tests or examinations that may be unnecessary. That means higher charges to the insurance companies. The insurance companies will in turn charge everyone the same amount, which means we will have to keep paying higher premiums every year.

But the insurance companies still profit right?
All 6 insurance companies suffered losses for  Integrated Shield Plans (IP) last year. That is also why premiums for 100% coverage full riders went up by more than 200% last year.

Are you sure about that?
There have been instances where someone claimed for 12 nose examinations a year for no specific reason. Another incurred $70,000 for a lump removal that actually cost only $5,000! Kiasu/Buffet mentality - since I have already paid for full coverage, I might as well claim for more things to 'get back' the cost.

So what is the big deal?
Comparing the average hospital bill for a person without IP versus the one with IP, the hospital bill can go up to 60% difference!

Not many people have Integrated Shield Plans (IP) right?
About 29% of the population has them for full coverage. I am also one of them.

How will this 5% co-payment helps? 
People will think twice when they have to pay, and thus discourage unnecessary treatments. Plus, the treatments will be subjected to the insurer's approval or their approved panel.

So premiums will drop?
Yes definitely, but you will also have to pay 5% co-payment.

Oh dear, I have to pay?! How much?
It will be up to a maximum of $3,000, only with the insurer's approval or their approved panel. Only 4 of the 6 insurance companies have their own approved panel so we should be aware of this.

But don't worry, they have done some calculations.
Based on last year's bill, with 5% co-payment, 75% of the claimants will pay $670 or lesser. That should be affordable to most people.

All sources of information in this article came from Straits Times

I already have an Integrated Shield Plan (IP), what should I do?
Think of what your needs are. You can still be fully covered till April 2021 and you will also be given the option to downgrade to buy the policy to pay 5% co-payment.

Can I still buy an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) for full coverage now?
Yes you can buy and will be fully covered till April 2021. After which, you will have to pay the 5% co-payment.

How do I feel about it?
I am all for it! I have been considering to downgrade to such plans where there is a cap on the amount I have to pay simply because it is much cheaper and luckily, I am still young and healthy! I will definitely downgrade once I get hold of the new plans. When premiums go down, it will benefit the whole population and revamp the health industry.

I know people are against it just because they have to pay out of their own pocket, but think of the long term results, you will definitely be paying lesser! Of course, that is provided you are healthy. Probably for people who have to be admitted often, I agree that this might not be good news.

Overall, it's beneficial for most of the people and that's good enough for me.

I will be blogging about the different prices once the policies are out so stay tuned!
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  1. It's the way to go, else we'll end up like the US --- which is mainly commercial for healthcare insurance. Over there for 100% coverage, annual premiums are $10++K to $20+K even for relatively young healthy people.

    Even millionaires over there will be hard pressed to fork out $50++K or even $100K per year for full 100% healthcare coverage in their 70s, 80s.

    The inflation rate for S'pore's similar shield plans over the last few years can only lead to similar end results eventually.

    1. Hi there,

      Woah. that's very exorbitant and not affordable for young people! If that's the case I think paying a little bit is better than going the way of the US. I guess millionaires don't think health insurance since they can afford to pay for the bills.

      Glad you agree, I just hope more people will think like you and less complains online! :)

  2. Actually, this isn't new in Singapore. For example, there is already NTUC assist rider which one has to pay the copayment of 10% cap at 3000.

    Now is just another category of 5% cap at 3000.

    I would guess the final premium for this 5% once should be the simple average of the premium between the current full rider and the assist rider .

    1. Hi Sgdividends,

      Nice to see you! Yeah, my partner has the NTUC assist rider which is why I was thinking to switch to that. Premiums cost around half that of full coverage and the cap at $3,000 is a good assurance on exorbitant bills.

      Guess some doctors won't be happy about their lower revenue now! :P

  3. Due to certain % of misused and penalised the future policy holder is unfair.

    The insurer can investigate the claims before payout, or tighten the claiming cobditions for their so called unnecessary claims.

    This move is clearly a planned move to obsolete full rider plans that could eat into their earnings, at the expense of people who really needs it. They already have ways like increasing premium etc which the currenr new changes so calles dip in premium will also reaCh one day and by then one will be paying for copay plans. What a short change.

    When we buy plans, we want a piece of mine egerything settled so that we can recover properly, when the folks cried for saving money, old Liao can die, then is the time one see tge light of today's darkness.

    1. Hi Kirby,

      Not sure I understood you fully but to have higher premiums every year is also unfair to people who do not claim much. I would much rather pay a little bit if I could have my premiums lowered to half or more.

      Peace of mind is essential but giving more money every year to insurance companies is not the solution either. If cannot afford then don't have to buy riders, it's not necessary, it's for people who can afford. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes it is exorbitant. Given someone at the age of early 30 and have to fork out $600+ cash plus $600 (medisave) for the annual protection premium. Definitely will switch to the 5% co-payment in future!

    1. Hi Chew,

      I fully agree with you it's better to switch to save money on the premiums. However it's not so expensive. You can check out my updated comparison post for all IPs (https://simplyjesme.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-ultimate-price-comparison-of.html).

      The cheapest IP for early 30s only requires 200+ Medisave and 400+ cash. :)