Your Complete Guide to Integrated Shield Plans in Singapore

An Integrated Shield plan — or IP for short — supplements the existing MediShield Life plan that’s mandatory for all Singaporeans and PRs. Unlike the government-issued health insurance plan, however, Integrated Shield is not compulsory.

And, while MediShield Life is managed by the Central Provident Fund Board, the IP component is managed by selected private insurers in Singapore. Their primary purpose: to cover you for treatment in Class A or Class B1 wards.

So: should you get an IP? That really depends on your needs, because MediShield Life is in itself a bare-bones plan. It’s designed to be affordable for the masses, which means its coverage is likewise minimal.

Here’s a quick look at whether it’s worth getting an IP.

MediShield Life is designed to cover B2/C class ward costs.

According to the Ministry of Health, some two-thirds of patients in Singapore opt for Class B2 or Class C wards when admitted to hospitals.

If you’d prefer to stay in a higher class ward, you can choose to pay for the difference using your MediSave or cash savings. However, the Medishield Life benefits offered in Class A/B1 wards will be prorated based on the costs in Class B2/C wards before claims are computed. Any additional coverage of bills would therefore be covered under an IP.

Source: MOH

Your surgery fees are capped with MediShield Life

In the unfortunate event that you get hospitalised, the maximum claimable limit for surgeries is $2,600. Considering surgery fees tend to run into the thousands, it’s easy to see why Singaporeans and PRs turn to Integrated Shield Plans to lighten the brunt of costly surgical procedures.

MediShield Life also doesn’t cover you for pre- or post-hospitalisation treatments. Examples include medical consultations and scans, physiotherapy, or post-surgery follow-up sessions. In fact, such treatments often amount to more than the actual surgery itself, making it all the more important that you factor in these additional costs.

What’s the difference between hospital wards in Singapore?

In Singapore, there are four kinds of hospital-class wards to know. Here’s a quick look at how they differ. Facilities may differ depending on which medical institution you’re admitted to.

Hospital Ward /

Class Type

FacilitiesCovered by MediShield Life?
CFive to six beds

Nurse station

No air-conditioning; fan ventilation
Bedside locker

En suite shower and toilet

B2Five beds

Nurse station

No air-conditioning; fan ventilation
Bedside locker

En suite shower with separate toilet

B1Four beds

Nurse station

Air-conditioning with fan ventilation
Key-lock wardrobes

En suite shower with separate toilet
TV and telephone

Yes; additional coverage of bills can be covered with an Integrated Shield Plan (IP)
A1One bed

Air-conditioning with fan ventilation
Wardrobe with safe

Bedside locker
Mini bar fridge

En suite shower and toilet
TV and telephone
Day bed

Yes;No; additional coverage of bills can be covered with an Integrated Shield Plan (IP)

Information extracted from Sengkang General Hospital

How does an Integrated Shield Plan complement MediShield Life?

If you choose to get an IP, you’ll enjoy MediShield Life benefits in addition to the plan. In Singapore, there are seven private insurers for you to choose from:

  • IncomeShield by NTUC Income
  • HealthShield Gold Max by AIA
  • SupremeHealth by Great Eastern
  • MyShield by Aviva Singapore
  • PruShield by Prudential
  • AXA Shield by AXA
  • Raffles Shield by Raffles Health Insurance

Each of these plans are further split depending on what type of hospital class ward you’re looking at. In general, the IPs range from increasing your benefits to cover B1 wards, to A wards and Private hospitals.

Medishield LifeIP
Surgical feesUp to SGD2,600Up to annual claim limit .e.g SGD2 Million
Annual limitSGD100,000
Daily ward chargesSGD700/day
Pre- and post hospital medical expenses$0Up to 365 days pre- and 13 months post- hospital stay

We’ll go into a further premiums breakdown in awhile.

Your chosen insurer, then, will act on your behalf for medical claims such as surgery fees and hospital stays. The Ministry of Health website highlights the specifics of each of the above policies for your easy reference.

What subsidies can I get under the Integrated Shield Plan?

With IP coverage, your chosen insurer is the middleman who facilitates all transactions. As a policyholder, the premiums you pay are split into two components:

  • Your private insurance premium, which falls under IP, and
  • Your MediShield Life premium, which falls under CPF Board

So you won’t have to pay the CPF directly, since your elected insurance company will handle it on your behalf.

Here’s what to consider when selecting an Integrated Shield Plan:

  • Cost of insurance premiums
  • The coverage you’ll get for pre- and post-hospitalisation treatments
  • Your annual coverage limit
  • MediShield Life subsidies

The annual coverage limit is a tricky one. While an IP plan should ideally cover the bulk of your hospital fees, the annual coverage limit imposes a maximum sum claimable per year.

MediShield Life premium subsidies are also available for all Singaporeans, and calculated based on your income status. The Ministry of Health website offers a detailed breakdown:

How much does an Integrated Shield Plan cost?

That really depends on which hospital class ward you’re looking to be covered for. Your premiums vary — and obviously get steeper — if you choose to get coverage for a Class A ward.

And, while you’re able to use your MediSave to pay for your IP premiums, there is a CPF withdrawal limit to take note of. Above all, keep in mind that IP premiums will increase with age.

Here’s an overview of claim limits for surgical procedures:

Information extracted from Ministry of Health

Let’s now assume you’re looking to be covered for a Class B1 ward. For brevity, we’ll be looking at Class B1 IPs from five insurers:

Class B1 Integrated Shield Plan Types*
Integrated Shield PlanYearly premiumPre-hospitalisation coveragePost-hospitalisation coverageAnnual coverage limit
NTUC IncomeShield Basic$381 – $29190 days90 days$250,000
Raffles Shield B$39390 days90 days$300,000
AIA Healthshield Gold Max B Lite$412100 days100 days$300,000
Aviva MyShield Plan 3$41090 days180 days (for public hospitals and panel specialists only)$300,000
Great Eastern Supreme Health B Plus$380120 days$380120 days

*Assuming you are a Singaporean citizen aged 31- to 40- years-old.

The above list highlights why it’s essential that you do a proper comparison before committing to an IP. These premiums will only increase with age – so choose one depending on your needs.

Read more: Best Integrated Shield Plans

What happens if I need to make a claim under my Integrated Shield Plan?

In such cases, you’ll first need to submit a claim with your insurer. If you are a Singapore citizen or PR, the claim can be done easily via the medical institution or hospital via “Electronic-filing”, where the bill and medical details are sent directly to the insurer.

If you are a foreigner, in most cases you will need to pay for the bill first and get reimbursed after.  If approved, your insurer will then go ahead with determining how much coverage you’re eligible for.

But keep in mind that you might need proof of your medical records to facilitate these claims. Depending on the medical institution, these may come at a cost of between $75 to $250  — a fee that may not be borne by your IP.

Once everything’s in order, your insurance company will then make the necessary deductions from your MediShield Life through the CPF Board.

If you do decide to get an Integrated Shield Plan, take the time to properly peruse your options before committing, and consider setting a personal budget you can actually stick to. Getting an A-class hospital ward might not be necessary, particularly if you’re concerned about premium costs more than the comfort and convenience.

Protip: Manage your money better with Planner Bee’s free finance-tracking app — your future self will thank you for it.

2 thoughts on “Your Complete Guide to Integrated Shield Plans in Singapore

    • Cherie Wang says:

      Hello Sally, we are only stating all the possible shield plans avaialble. No cost comparisons were done as it differs depending on the age band. Hope this helps clarify!

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