New Integrated Shield Plan riders. Am I affected?

Yvonne March 26, 2019

(Source: Ministry of Health (MOH))

Resulting from Ministry of Health’s policy, with effect from 1 April 2019, all insurers offering Integrated Shield Plan will not be allowed to offer riders that fully cover every dollar of your co-insurance element. The impact to policyholders is that, for every hospitalisation claim, you will have to fork out your own money.

The co-insurance portion is 5% which means that you have to personally bear 5% of the total bill (over & above Deductible where applicable) for each claim. There can be a cap to this, subject to conditions stipulated by individual insurers, based on their new Rider schemes.

So, are you affected? If you have bought your Integrated Shield Plan on/before 9 March 2018, this change in regulation does not affect you now. You can, however, opt to switch to the new plan if you wish. If you have bought your Shield Plan on 10 March 2018 or later, you will be required to transit to the insurer’s new rider with co-insurance element latest by 1 April 2021.

One of the questions I often get is, if I have company health insurance, do I still need to have an Integrated Shield Plan. Company health insurance are great, as they typically provide both in-patient hospital coverage, as well as outpatient (GP and/or Specialist) coverage. In some cases, dental coverage may also be offered.

My personal recommendation is YES, you must get your own private medical insurance. Here’s why:

  • Most of the time, company insurance only covers you for as long as you remain employed with the company (unless it’s a portable medical insurance). Whereas, your personal medical insurance will give you coverage for lifetime.
  • In the event that you develop any health condition or make a hospitalisation claim whilst being covered by company insurance only, you may become uninsurable by the time you decide to buy your own Integrated Shield Plan. If you’re lucky, maybe exclusions will be imposed for pre-existing conditions.
  • Company health insurance typically have lower claim limits than Integrated Shield Plan, therefore, in the event that company insurance is insufficient to cover the bills, you can fall back on Integrated Shield Plan.

If you or your loved ones do not have an Integrated Shield Plan yet, do look into it before any medical bill blows away your accumulated assets. If you are unsure about how the new riders work, do get in touch with me and I will be happy to provide advice.