20 February 2006
The Straits Times
I refer to the article, "Incomeshield removes limits on amount of lifetime claims", by Lorna Tan (Straits Times, 15 February 2006).
In the article, Mr Patrick Lim of Promiseland Independent was quoted as saying "Incomeshield's new top-up rider came with a catch. Unless it is an emergency case, policyholders are required to seek Income's approval for the treatment, by giving the insurer four days' notice prior to incurring the expense."
I wish to give our perspective of this feature.
NTUC Income recognises the concerns of some policyholders that the current limits are inadequate for major illnesses. The top up rider will pay for the additional expenses. In most cases, the policyholder can claim under the basic plan for the ordinary expenses, before hitting the current limit. The need for top-up expenses applies only to a small percentage of cases.
Our approach is to ensure that the larger medical expenses are kept at a reasonable level. If necessary, we will ask our own doctor to give a second opinion on the proposed treatment. This will be beneficial to the policyholder as well.
We aim aim to avoid excessive billing under a blanket "as charged" plan. We will manage the claims effectively and keep the premium affordable for our policyholders. This is important, as premium rates are expected to increase significantly when the policyholder gets older.
We have 800,000 people insured under our Incomeshield plan. As a cooperative society, our aim is to look after their best interest. We believe that a top up rider will pre-approval condition will serve them best in the long run.
Tan Kin Lian
Chief Executive Officer
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