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MOH asks AIA not to reduce payouts to policyholders

AIA to review cases where benefits shrink after policyholders switch plan

Published on Dec 16, 2013 8:06 AM
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Madam Sim, seen here with her daughter Rachel, was moved to a different plan after her old one was discontinued. The new plan covered only 70 per cent of the cost of her dialysis treatments at a private centre. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has asked insurer AIA not to reduce the payout to policyholders when they switch to a different plan. Its response comes after The Straits Times alerted MOH about the affected policyholders.

A spokesman for MOH said it has directed AIA to review cases "where policyholders have seen their coverage compromised" to ensure that they meet the regulations and conditions of Integrated Shield Plans. These are medical insurance plans whose premiums can be paid for with Medisave.

AIA told The Straits Times that fewer than 20 people are affected.

One of them is Madam Esther Sim, who has been going for dialysis treatments since March last year. Her original medical insurance plan helped pay for 90 per cent of her treatment cost.

 
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Background story

CHANGE IN BENEFITS

  • AIA told Madam Esther Sim that she will be covered under another insurance plan and that her existing plan would be discontinued. Her premiums will go up by about $300 a year to $1,119, but the benefits are better.
  • However, the claimable amount is pegged at 100 per cent for treatment cost incurred at public institutions, but only 70 per cent at private facilities under her new policy. Her original policy did not discriminate between the two.
  • Previously, her co-payment was 10 per cent. Now, it is 37 per cent (30 per cent + 10 per cent of 70 per cent).