Clearer picture of IP premiums needed

I refer to the report (IP insurers' losses raise possibility of premium hikes; June 25).

Back in 2015, when MediShield Life was launched with great fanfare, I was greatly alarmed that it was going to lead to incessant premium hikes.

While MediShield Life was a praiseworthy social achievement in that many who were previously uninsured were roped in, it was manifestly unfair to those of us who had paid for Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) for many years.

The promised government subsidies did not placate me as they were good for only the first few years, while I would be paying premiums for the rest of my life.

Given that this is a matter of great concern to all Singaporeans, it is critical that the complete picture be reported and tracked.

For instance, why report on only the losses for 2016 and last year?

Why not the profitable 10 years before that?

How much surplus has been accumulated?

Is the imminent hike warranted, or a case of jumping the gun or, worse, blatant profiteering? Policyholders are really at the mercy of insurers.

The least that can be done is more transparency and some help from the press to explain the numbers as few of us can competently crunch the data on the Monetary Authority of Singapore website.

Christie Loh (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2018, with the headline 'Clearer picture of IP premiums needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe