Major Change is Coming to Your Integrated Shield Plans

Integrated Shield Plans Changes
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Last Updated on by Tree of Wealth

MediShield Life and our Integrated Shield Plans play a huge role in our day to day lives as they provide a financial safety net for when unexpected situations occur. However, the government has seen fit to make several major changes to these programs. The first of which is to increase both your coverage and premiums. The second change is to add a co-payment feature for the majority of riders.

These are fairly good changes with the exception of the price hike but even then, there is a justified reason for that and you will still benefit from it. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming changes to your integrated shield plans:

The Addition of Co-Payment Riders

The original program stated that all Integrated Shield Plan riders that have full coverage after 8 March 2018 will have the new co-payment feature from 1 April 2021 and onwards. However, this has been changed. The new plan now includes Integrated Shield Plan riders purchased before 8 March 2018. Once you renew your plan after 1 April 2021, you will receive a notice that will explain the introduction of the co-payment feature.

So, what is this co-payment feature? Basically, riders that pay for your complete medical bill have been phased out. This sounds bad, right? However, studies have shown that people who have these kinds of riders typically pay 60% more than people who do not. The new copay rider feature is designed to help you save money. Here are some factors you need to consider:

  • Co-Insurance Minimum:

In accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines regarding the co-payment feature, the minimum co-insurance for policyholders or the amount that needs to be paid will be 5% of the medical bill. Policyholders can still use their CPF MediSave in order to pay the copayment amounts, within their MediSave withdrawal limits.

  • The Addition of Deductibles:

Along with co-insurance, insurance providers have also added some deductibles within the new co-payment feature. This means your insurance company will only begin reimbursing your medical bills once the accumulated value exceeds a certain amount, which is your deductible amount.

This can be a bit tricky because every insurance company is different and they have their own unique deductibles. Some will only have a deductible for non-panel specialists in private hospitals, some have deductibles for surgeries, and some may only have deductibles for hospitalizations. Make sure you check with your insurance provider to find out what deductibles they now have with the new feature.

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What are Panel and Non-Panel Specialists in Private Hospitals

Your insurance provider categorizes doctors that work in private hospitals into two different groups, which are:

  • Panel Specialists:

Panel specialists are doctors that have a panel agreement with the insurance provider.

  • Non-Panel Specialists:

These are doctors that do not have a panel agreement with the insurance provider.

What does this mean for you? If your doctor is a panel specialist with your insurance company, you will be entitled to additional benefits, such as a $3,000 copayment cap per year (This can change depending on your insurance provider). This means even if your medical bill is $100,000 you will only need to pay $3,000 every year. This cap was implemented to provide people with the peace of mind knowing that they will not have to fork over a large sum at once, regardless how large the bill actually is.

Insurance companies do not categorize doctors in public hospitals and if you go to one of these hospitals, the benefits will be the same as going to a panel specialist at a private hospital.

It is crucial to note that non-panel specialists will not have this $3,000 copayment cap. Instead, you will need to pay 5%. This means if your bill is $100,000 you will need to pay $5,000. This is a rule that applies to most insurance providers but it is still a good idea to check with your particular company.

The introduction of the copay rider will actually mean better prices for you. This will make the entire system more efficient and allow insurance companies to price their policies more competitively.

Interested to learn more?

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The Increase in Your MediShield Life Premiums

The change that many of us will notice the most, is the increase in our premiums. This is something that can be hard for many of us, especially during these tough times but the additional coverage does make it worth it. The new amount you will be paying will be determined by a number of things, such as your age and the increments will be the same for both MediShield Life and your Integrated Shield Plan.

If you are a permanent resident, a Singaporean citizen, or a dependent of one of the two, you will be able to pay the increments through CPF MediSave.

If your policy is being renewed after 1 April 2021, you will receive a notice about the increase in premiums. Here is what you can expect to pay:

Age at next birthday Current premium REVISED premium
1-20 $130 $145
21-30 $195 $250
31-40 $310 $390
41-50 $435 $525
51 -60 $630 $800
61-65 $755 $1,020
66-70 $815 $1,100
71-73 $885 $1,195
74-75 $975 $1,320
76-78 $1,130 $1,530
79-80 $1,175 $1,590
81-83 $1,250 $1,675
84-85 $1,430 $1,935
86-90 $1,500 $2,025
>90 $1,530 $2,055

Many of us will feel the increased premiums but the introduction of co-payment riders can help offset the additional expenses. These two are the most significant changes but are designed to make our financial lives a little bit better when the unexpected comes knocking.

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