An Integrated Shield Plan (IP) is one of the most popular types of health coverage, since it helps to offset a significant amount of hospitalisation costs. Different types of Integrated Shield Plans provide different levels of coverage. While some provide coverage for a higher-type ward e.g. Class A or B1 wards in a public hospital, others cover private hospital admission.
In other words, an Integrated Shield Plan is made up of your MediShield Life, together with your additional private health insurance for extra coverage. An additional rider can be purchased to partially or completely cover the deductible components and co-insurance of your bill.
Since the IPs generally provide similar coverage, and medical or hospital bills can only be claimed from one plan, you can only pay for one Integrated Shield Plan via MediSave for yourself, at any given point in time.
Consider if you should upgrade to an IP
Since MediShield Life covers all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) for life regardless of age or pre-existing health condition, you may wonder if there is a need for an IP.
Consider the following:
- In the event you are required to be hospitalised, what is your comfort level? Since MediShield Life is implemented to cover subsidised treatment in public hospitals’ Class B2/C wards, you will need an IP to cover your treatments in private hospitals, public hospital Class A or Class B1 wards.
- What is your budget? Can you afford the IP premiums in the long run, especially when the premiums increase with age?
Private insurers provide riders or extra protection to cover the co-insurance and deductibles portion of MediShield Life. This separate premium will have to be paid in cash and cannot be deducted through MediSave.
Find out if you already have an Integrated Shield Plan
If you’re uncertain of whether your current health insurance plan is an Integrated Shield Plan, you can simply log on to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) website to check. Make sure you have your SingPass in order to check.
- Go to gov.sg
- Log on to my cpf Online Services
- Go to “My Messages“
- See “Insurance” section
What does an Integrated Shield Plan cover?
While the benefits of the standard Integrated Shield Plans are similar across all insurers, different insurers provide different benefits for private hospitals and Class A plans. Here’s a look at the general types of coverage you can expect.
1. Outpatient treatment
Outpatient treatments include kidney dialysis, cancer treatment, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, immunosuppressants for organ transplants, and erythropoietin. Find out more about the benefits provided by the Standard Integrated Shield Plans via MOH website.
2. Inpatient & day surgery
This includes treatment cost, daily ward, and surgical costs. Diagnostic endoscopies are considered medically necessary even if they do not lead to hospitalisation or inpatient treatment, since they are viewed as day surgeries. However, there may be other policy terms that apply to this coverage, so check with your insurer to find out more.
3. Selected pre- & post-hospital treatment
This covers mandatory follow up treatment and diagnostic costs that are incurred before or after hospitalisation.
4. Serious complications from pregnancy and delivery
Although not all pregnancy and delivery-related costs are covered under your shield plan, limited lists of serious complications that arise during pregnancy and delivery are eligible for claims. These generally include inpatient treatments for congenital anomalies, as well as serious complications including involuntary miscarriage after 13 weeks of pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. Again, since different insurers provide different benefits, remember to check with your provider on the exact policy terms.
5. Lump sum payouts
While the primary purpose of the Integrated Shield Plan is to offload the exorbitant hospitalisation and treatment costs, some rider plans from insurers even offer lump sum payouts of up to S$10,000 per lifetime if diagnosed with selected critical illnesses.
What does an Integrated Shield Plan not cover?
1. Outpatient diagnostic scans and scopes
While Integrated Shield Plans are put in place to offload hefty hospitalisation and surgical fees, outpatient diagnostic procedures including MRI scans, CT scans, annual health screenings, and X-rays are typically not covered, unless it results in hospitalisation, inpatient treatment, or are a part of pre- and post-hospitalisation treatments.
2. Regular pregnancy delivery
While regular delivery without complications is not insured under your shield plan, you can make use of your MediSave Maternity Package to offset pregnancy-related bills including ultrasounds, consultations and delivery.
|Provides coverage for
|Does not provide coverage for
|● Outpatient treatment
● Inpatient & day surgery
● Selected pre- & post-hospital treatment
● Serious complications from pregnancy and delivery
● Lump sum payouts
|● Outpatient diagnostic scans and scopes
● Regular pregnancy delivery
Who are the insurers offering IP?
At the moment, there are seven private insurers offering IPs. These include:
- AIA: HealthShield Gold Max
- Aviva: MyShield
- AXA: AXA Shield
- Great Eastern: SupremeHealth
- NTUC Income: Enhanced IncomeShield
- Prudential: PruShield
- Raffles Health Insurance: Raffles Shield
Find out more about the best integrated shield plans here.
How do I pay for my IP premiums?
Like MediShield Life, your IP annual premiums can be paid for with your MediSave. However, take note that there is a cap on the MediSave amount Singapore residents can use to pay for their IP.
This amount allowed to be offset from their MediSave to make payment for their IP premium is known as Additional Withdrawal Limits, and are as follows:
|Additional Withdrawal Limits
|40 & below
|41 – 70
|71 & above
Understand the claims process
According to the Ministry of Health, most insurers typically take 1 to 3 days to process the claims.
To ensure that your claims processing is a smooth one, make sure that your claims meet the following criteria:
- Claim amount is above the deductible
- Medical condition is included from the policy
- Does not fall under the general exclusions, such as pregnancy and maternity expenses
During your hospitalisation, check if your hospital can get a Letter of Guarantee (LOG) from your insurer to reduce the upfront cash deposit that you have to pay to the hospital.
An LOG is provided by insurers as an extra service, and issued by them to selected hospitals to fully or partially waive the upfront cash deposit required for surgeries or hospitalisations, dependent on the estimated portion of the expenses covered by the insurance.
Following your discharge from the hospital, your hospital may still require you to settle the hospital bill while your IP insurer assesses your claim according to your coverage. You will then be reimbursed by the hospital, after your insurer pays your hospital.
Do you have enough health coverage?
When it comes to buying an Integrated Shield Plan, remember to always consider your needs, comfort levels, and budget.
Compare the Integrated Shield Plans available in the market and choose one that fulfills your needs. Have more burning questions? Don’t hesitate to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be more than happy to help!