Dr Lim Boon Hee asked, "did NTUC Income bite off more than it can chew"?
The frank answer is "yes". We are suffering from temporary indigestion. But, it is not serious. We hope to be able to recover from it fully by October.
When we tendered for the Medishield Plus scheme, we wanted to offer to the 300,000 members a better package that gives about higher coverage at a reduced premium. Our offer was the most attractive. We were given the entire portfolio of 300,000 members.
We made the best estimate of the likely work load based on our experience with 500,000 Incomeshield policyholders that are insured with us, and with the data provided by the Ministry of Health.
The actual volume of claims was higher than expected. This is due to the difference in the way of handling the claims through the integrated system. We have to change the computer system to deal with the higher situation and new way of processing. It takes time to design and implement the changes. There were other integation issues as well.
The matter was aggravated in June, when we introduced the Enhanced Incomeshield plan to meet with the many requests from our existing policyholders. We offered a two month period for upgrading of this plan. We received 60,000 requests. It was not possible for us to cope with this unexpected volume, as many policyholders rushed in to beat the deadline.
We have now decided to offer the upgrading to the remaining policyholders to take effect on the next renewal of their insurance plan. All existing policyholders will be given an additional opportunity for the upgrading within a 12 months period. The terms of the upgrading will also be clearly explained in the FAQ that will accompany the renewal notice.
We apologise to our many policyholders who were affected by our backlog. We plan to sort out this matter by October.
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08/13 - 08/20
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