Integrated Plan insurers pledge not to raise premiums for first year of MediShield Life

Chairman Mr Bobby Chin (fourth from left) with members of the Medishield Life Review Committee, speaking during the press conference, held at the Suntec City Convention Centre on June 24, 2014.
Chairman Mr Bobby Chin (fourth from left) with members of the Medishield Life Review Committee, speaking during the press conference, held at the Suntec City Convention Centre on June 24, 2014. PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Private insurers have agreed not to raise premiums for their portion of Integrated Shield plans for at least 12 months after MediShield Life kicks in.

This means that any increase in premiums will be due to the bumping up of coverage when the existing MediShield is expanded to become MediShield Life.

Currently, premiums for private Integrated Shield (IP) plans come in two parts - a basic portion to pay for MediShield, and a "top-up" portion which pays for the extra perks such plans provide.

"This initiative reflects the life insurance industry's efforts to facilitate a smooth transition for IP policyholders during this period as the Ministry of Health (MOH) moves towards providing Singaporeans with healthcare coverage for life," the Life Insurance Association (LIA) said on Friday.

The association represents the five IP providers - AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern Life, NTUC Income, and Prudential.

However, the LIA said that while the increase in coverage from MediShield Life is expected to reduce the claims payout from the top-up portion, rising healthcare costs mean premiums are still likely to rise in the longer term.

On average, it said, IPs targeting either B1 or A-class public hospital wards have seen a 12 per cent increase in claims each year.

Meanwhile, plans targeting private hospital wards have seen a 17 per cent yearly increase in claims over the past few years.