Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Private shield plan can cost up to $3,500 per year

Customers compare the coverage offered by private shield plans. They think that the higher coverage, the better the plan.

Here are a few important facts:

- in most cases, the higher coverage is not needed, especially if the patient is treated in the appropriate ward in a restructured hospital.

- a plan that offers a higher coverage can cost up to 60% more in premium.

For example, under plan A, a plan that pays "as charged" will cost $3,500 per year at age 80. NTUC Income offers a similar plan that charges a premium of about $2,100 at age 80, ie $1,400 lower. Our plan pays the same amount for most of the typical hospital stays.


sharon tay said...

It is very important to carefully assess one’s needs before blindly signing up for high coverage plans.

As Mr. Tan has pointed out, higher coverage is not needed in most cases.

I think the individual can save on the excess premium and better utilize the cash by investing in NTUC Income’s large and well-diversified fund, like the Combined Fund.

Mr. Tan’s radio talk is a great avenue for more information.

It is very educational and sheds light on many issues pertaining to Incomeshield.

This helps people make better-informed choices. Truly remarkable!

Christopher Loh said...

Dear Mr Tan,

I strongly think you are misleading consumers (or what I like to call our aging population). You should compare similar coverage plans or similar premium plans to determine which is more suitable instead of blindly comparing NTUC Income's Plan A to AVIVA's Plan 1 (Income Plan A should be compared to AVIVA Plan 3, given the similar premium and coverage).

IncomeShield + Rider is a great yet cheap way to get over big bills, provided you stay in a heavily subsidised ward. Do note that our dear government might probably not be providing subsidies to C and B2 wards patients, give the fact of (1) medical inflation, (2) fast aging population and (3) less healthy generation. To depend on the government is the last thing on my mind, given the ever changing environment.

Do you know that:
1) About 0.01% (<400) of the population get kidney problem/failure every year?
2) More than 55% of 15000 deaths in the last 3 years are related to heart and cancer diseases ?
3) Kidney patients have to wait 6-7 years or even longer for a suitable kidney transplant?

Mind you, I did research before I buy a product for life. I do not understand why NTUC Income would want to come out with an IncomeShield Plan "P" in the very near future that has enhanced features (to recover lost ground to AVIVA?). All these acts only shows that all the talks on why it is not that important (high coverage) is exposed.

Be a leader, innovate and not follow others. I supposed this blog talking as a personal opinion, but why the promotion of NTUC Income's products? So are you being biased or fair to others? I have yet to see you talk about products that some people can afford and willing to pay for AND most importantly, not from NTUC Income.

gandoo said...

Hi, If i were to purchase rider plans B , were being hospitalised, bills were below $2000, will i still under claim or the rider plan have to be come with the incomeshield plan too?

Tan Kin Lian said...

This is my reply to Christopher Loh.

Incomeshield plan A and B provides coverage that is adequate for most hospital treatment in the appropriate ward in restructured hospital.

There is no need to buy a higher plan that can cost 50% more in premium. You will be wasting your money. The cost can be quite high, when you get old.

The chance of contracting a very major illness is quite small. Most people already have a critical illness plan, such as the living policy from NTUC Income, that covers illness such as organ transplant, kidney failure, cancer.

We like to offer the appropriate coverage to the general public and keep the premium affordable. We do not want to scare people into buying expensive plans that are not really needed.

If you wish to discuss your statistics with my actuary, you can send an email to me.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Here is my reply to Aiyoyo.

You have to buy the rider with Incomeshield. It will cover bills below $2,000. You can call our hotline or come to our business center.

sharon tay said...

Hi Christopher,

This is my personal opinon.

You said - “Be a leader, innovate and not follow others. I supposed this blog talking as a personal opinion, but why the promotion of NTUC Income's products? So are you being biased or fair to others?”

I wish to refute that. From what I have observed, Mr. Tan does his utmost in educating the public.

Not only does he conduct seminars and radio talks, he also tries his very best to address issues raised by individuals through this blog.

Mr. Tan has also exhibited true qualities of a leader.

He possesses great integrity, a remarkable understanding of the business, the ability to listen (and address issues), and he leads by example.

In my opinion, statistics can be easily obtained from websites related to healthcare.

However, like what Mr. Tan has suggested, you might want to consider discussing your figures with the actuary before taking on the view that Mr. Tan is “misleading consumers”.

Christopher Loh said...

Dear Mr Tan,

May I ask " adequate..." is how much coverage and " the appropriate ward in restructured hospital..." is which ward? These have to be quantified with actual data and without such data, people like me who do not trust insurance agents at all will not be able to know what am I insuring against.

Again, "The chance of contracting a very major illness is quite small". If MOH's public data shows about 8000 deaths every year resulting from cancer and heart diseases, which is like 2 out of every 1000, it is a small number?

My own sources of data shows average claim amount from critical illnesses is about $50K to $70K in the last few years. I am not sure if it is enough to cover fully for a major operation if the IncomeShield + Rider is factored in, as the general public do not have means to know these costs until they are hospitalised, which might be too late.

I would like to see more actual claims resulting from Major Organ transplants, heart and cancer surgeries in different wards of restructured hospital. We must look at an average claim and another at 95 percentile in order to know what kind of risk we are taking by getting the IncomeShield + Rider and what opportunity costs we are facing if we pay higher premium for other plans.

I will email you personally.

gandoo said...

Hi Mr Tan, i wish to know more about your success path in your career. =)

1.What is ur previous job before being a CEO of NTUC income?

2.Do you buy lottery?

3. What is your highest education?

4. What are your financial goals when you were at the age of 24?

Thanks for spending time reading and replying my questions as they are appreciated. =)

Tan Kin Lian said...

Here is my reply to Christopher Loh.

About 1 million people in Singapore are insured for critical illness plan, such as the Living policy from NTUC Income.

This plan pays out the full sum assured in the event of a major illness, such as cancer, organ transplant, etc.

The sum assured is usually more than adequate to pay for the cost of treatment. This payment is in addition to the coverage provided by Incomeshield plan.

There is no need for people to pay 40% higher premium under a private Shield plan to provide higher coverage for these small proportion of cases.

Christopher Loh said...

Dear Mr Tan,

Pretty interesting to know that you would use Whole Life / Term policies with critical illness coverage as a part-insuring technique to cover hospital charges. It really depends on individuals how they want to insure themselves.

Personally, I would use critical illness plan to protect possible payments I would not be able to make in the next 2-5 years, plus possible daily expenses I would incurred in the event of temporary disability.

Perharps you did not do a detailed look at the benefits IncomeShield, MyShield, HealthShield and SupremeShield offered. Each of the 3 other shield plans offered at least something IncomeShield do not, which is why the extra premium.

In fact, if NTUC Income do not come out with a IncomeShield Plus Rider, I would not even consider it, as GE's SupremeShield is far more superior in terms of coverage/dollar and affordability. Of course we would have higher risk in change of management with GE than Income due to the fact that GE is still a profit driven company.

Christopher Loh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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