The Forum letter sent in jointly by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on health insurance coverage offers hope (All have part to play in keeping health insurance affordable, Sept 24).
Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers will now have to seek approval from MOH for changing IP terms and conditions.
MOH and MAS also plan to enhance surveillance on inappropriate medical practices by doctors, as well as unjustified rejections of medical claims.
To further protect all stakeholders, I suggest setting up a medical insurance committee comprising representatives from the Life Insurance Association of Singapore, Singapore Medical Association, Consumers Association of Singapore, MOH, and MAS.
Before IP insurers change their terms and claims policies, they should seek approval from the committee.
Patients who disagree with any rejection of their claims can appeal to the committee.
IP insurers can also inquire if certain medical practices by individual doctors are appropriate.
Such a multi-party committee would help pre-empt and solve any dispute among IP insurers, medical practitioners and patients.
Rebuilding trust and confidence among all stakeholders is the first step to working together to reduce healthcare costs.
Desmond Wai (Dr)