Integrated Shield Plans’ (IPs) Coverage for Cancer Treatment Has Changed. Here’s What You Need To Know

As of 1 April 2023, Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) no longer provide “As Charged” benefits to all policyholders. This is with the exception of patients with an IP and who are on cancer drug treatments as of 31 March 2023. For this group, IP insurers have committed to maintaining their current IP coverage until 30 September 2023.

For everyone else, what changes and solutions do you need to know and consider in your IP coverage? Here’s what you need to know.

What are the changes affecting policyholders with an IP?

Outpatient Benefits
Before 1 April 2023
On and after 1 April 2023
ChemotherapyAs Charged
ImmunotherapyAs Charged

Replaced with the following:

Outpatient Benefits
On and after 1 April 2023
Cancer Drug Treatment (CDT) benefit/month
Up to 5 times of MSHL* Limit
Cancer Drug Services (CDS) benefit/policy year
Up to 5 times of MSHL* Limit

*MediShield Life

Cancer Drug Treatment (CDT) benefit per month

  • Only outpatient cancer drug treatments on the Cancer Drug List (CDL) will be claimable under your Policy, up to the treatment-specific benefit limits.
  • The MSHL limit for cancer treatment can vary from S$200 to S$9,600 per month, depending on the drug used.
  • Selected outpatient cancer drug treatments beyond the CDL will be claimable under riders.

Cancer Drug Services (CDS) benefit per policy year

  • Services that are part of any outpatient cancer drug treatment (including services for treatments not on the CDL).
  • This includes consultations, scans, lab investigations, preparation and administering of the cancer drugs, supportive care drugs and blood transfusions. They will be claimable under the Cancer Drug Services benefit, up to specified benefit limits.
  • As of 1 April 2023, the MSHL limit for cancer drug services has increased from S$1,200 to S$3,600 per calendar.

Read more: Singapore’s Integrated Shield Plans to Stop Paying for Entire Hospital Bills

What will happen to the IP policyholders if the cancer drugs are not on the Cancer Drug List (CDL)?

According to MOH, CDL covers 90% of the HSA-approved cancer drug treatments in Singapore.

In Singapore, about 2.9 million people (slightly about 70% of Singaporeans and PRs) have Integrated Shield Plans. About 2 in 3 of them have also purchased riders to cover most of their medical bills.

For the cancer drug treatments that form the remaining 10% and are not on the CDL, IP policyholders will need to rely on their IP riders to cover the treatments.

Besides having coverage on non-CDL cancer treatments, the IP rider will also help to boost the benefits limits (on top of the main IP policy) for the Cancer Drug Treatment and Cancer Drug Services.

However, this will vary across the 7 IP insurers.

PlanAIA HealthShield Gold Max AGreat Eastern GREAT SupremeHealth P PLUSHSBC Life Shield AIncome Enhanced IncomeShield PreferredPrudential PruShield PremierSinglife Shield Plan 1
Raffles Health Insurance Raffles Shield Private
Outpatient Cancer Drug Treatment
Drugs NOT on Cancer drug list (CDL)
Up to $200,000/ yr with AIA Max A cancer Care Booster, otherwise $0Up to $250,000/yr with Totalcare riders, otherwise $0$30,000 /mthUp to $15,000/mthUp to $150,000 / yr with PruExtra rider, otherwise $0Up to S$30,000/ yr with Health Plus riders, otherwise $0
Up to S$20,000/yr with Premier rider, Up to $5,000/yr with Key rider, otherwise $0.

Refer to the detailed coverage across all the providers here.

What can IP Policyholders do to increase the coverage limit above and beyond the IP main policy and rider?

The main reason for imposing this change is to control medical inflation rates. And done so by proposing a co-payment to the cost of these drugs. For those who are looking to cover this gap, which arguably is an unknown sum, there are two types of polices you can look into.

First, critical illness insurance via a whole life insurance or term insurance. This type of policy will provide a lump sum payout upon diagnosis and the money could be used to pay for the treatments that are not covered by the IP.

Second option is to take on an additional rider that sits on top of your IP. Singlife, for instance, has launched a standalone plan called Singlife Cancer Cover Plus. This plan complements your coverage under your existing medical insurance plans such as Integrated Shield Plan and riders.

This plan provides “As Charged” coverage for your cancer drug treatment and services. The annual limit is up to $1.5 million per policy year. It also comes with an option for overseas cancer treatment (subject to pre-approval from Singlife).

The premium is affordable. For someone who is 30 years old, the annual premium comes up to only $145. For someone who is 40, that amount rises to $190.

Read more: Your Complete Guide to Integrated Shield Plans in Singapore


Regardless of which IP insurer you are with and/or how comprehensive your medical insurance plans are, now is a good time to review your medical insurance coverage to ensure that you have a sound protection plan in place to take care of your medical bills.

This is especially so if cancer treatment is of special concern to you. At the same time, it’s important to address issues of financial support if your IP main policy and riders cannot fully cover costs such as health supplements, going for alternative medical treatments, paying for better food nourishment and replacing loss of income.

Read more: Guide to Buying Private Integrated Shield Plan

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