Sunday, December 11, 2005

Q&A on medical insurance

1. I am currently insured under MediShield and my company's medical insurance. Do I need to purchase additional insurance? If there is a claim, would I be able to claim under all three?

Reply: If you are covered under several medical insurance plans, you can decide on which plans to make your claim. However, the total amount that you can claim should not exceed the actual amount that you have paid. You are not allowed to make a profit by going to hospital.

Generally, if your company already cover you for medical benefits, you do not need to buy another other insurance plan.

However, many people still take Medishield (or Incomeshield) for the following reasons:

- to cover any excess payment that is not covered by the company's plan
- to have continuity of coverage if they leave their existing company.

As the premium for Medishield or Incomeshield is quite low, this approach is quite sensible.

2. Now that MediShield has been privatised, how will it affect my MediShield plan? Would I have to pay higher premiums?

Reply: The Basic Medishield plan remains with CPF board. Those who were covered for Medishield Plus have now been taken over by NTUC Income. We have renamed the scheme to Incomeshield M plans with benefits being enhanced and premiums lowered.

We will offer an option for these policyholders to move from the Incomeshield MA or MB plans to our more popular A or B plans. They will be contacted separately.

3. I went for a surgery recently and found out that my comprehensive medical insurance plan did not cover the X-rays. Why does it not cover the X-rays, which I would think as an essential part of the medical treatment?

Reply: Different insurers offer medical insurance plans with differing terms and conditions. Under Incomeshield plans, we cover x-ray expenses as part of the Room & Board charges.

4. I have elderly parents in their 70s who are in poor health. I am worried that my savings will be wiped out if both should fall in at the same time. What kind of medical insurance can I buy for them?

Reply: All medical insurance plans are underwritten based on latest health conditions. You can discuss with your insurance advisor before deciding on the best insurance plans for them.

If your parent are not insured, you can send them for treatment in Class C ward at government or restructured hospitals. There is a higher government subsidy for these wards. The cost is quite affordable, and the standard of care is quite good.

Many elderly people do not mind being treated in Class C ward, as they do not wish to incur a heavy medical bill.

5. What is "as charged plan" as compared to Incomeshield plan? Does Income offer an alternative to "as charged plan"?

Reply: The "as charged plan" pays the entire bill, but is still subject to the deductible and co-insurance of 10%. The premium is much higher than a similar plan with sub-limits for certain items.

If you go to a re-structured hospital, the bill will be within the sub-limits. There is no need to pay more for a "as charged" plan.

Incomeshield P plan allows insured to go to a private hospital. The benefit limits are 50% to 100% higher than Incomeshield Plan A and would be adequate for majority of private hospital bills.

6. Why should I purchase medical insurance from a cooperative and not a private insurer?

Reply: As NTUC Income is a co-operative, we do not aim to increase profit for shareholders. We actively manage claims to avoid escalation of cost. This allows us to keep the premium rates as low as possible.

Most private insurers aim to make a profit on their medical insurance. They will increase their premium rates to maintain their margin and generate profit for their shareholders. It is better to insure with a cooperative that aims to take care of its policyholders.

1 comment:

Bengamon said...

Hi Mr Tan,

I have a question in mind. I understand that Incomeshield is quite ideal for average working Singaporean. But i have heard that although its deem suitable for all, but the claim process is tedious. I have also heard that ppl saying this phase:
NTUC = No Trouble Until Claims.

Pls help to clarify on this claiming process from NTUC?


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