Forum: Extend Integrated Shield Plan coverage to private clinics

The letter "Insurers set dangerous precedent by not covering diagnostic procedures" (Aug 29) brings to the fore another issue concerning insurers which is worth reviewing.

The matter came to my attention when my wife visited a gynaecologist and was given two options for a minor procedure she required.

The first was to get it done at his private clinic for under $2,000, paying by cash and Medisave without use of the Integrated Shield Plan (IP) coverage.

The second was to do it at a hospital for over $4,000 with IP coverage.

I believe many who have IP coverage would pick the hospital option, despite the higher cost, as much of the cost would be borne by the insurer.

In order to keep healthcare costs low, insurers should reconsider providing coverage for procedures at private clinics, if the same treatment can be performed at a lower cost.

This not only helps to free up limited hospital facilities for other patients who may need them more, but also reduces the healthcare costs for both the insurers and their customers.

Wong Boon Hong

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