Don't force consumers to buy plan that doesn't cater to them

CareShield Life should be open to the insurance industry, which has the expertise, resources and systems to administer the plan.
CareShield Life should be open to the insurance industry, which has the expertise, resources and systems to administer the plan.PHOTO: ST FILE

CareShield Life, a new compulsory government-run scheme which will be implemented from 2020 for everyone between the ages of 30 and 40, is intended to replace the optional ElderShield scheme (Govt to run ElderShield scheme from 2021; Jan 8).

While the objectives of the plans are noble, it is important that the public is given actuarial studies showing the claims experience and the probability of claims in Singapore for those between the ages of 30 and 40 for such long-term care needs so as to justify starting the plan from that age and warrant it being mandatory.

With the Government taking over these long-term care plans, consumers are tied to a one-size-fits-all plan.

In the event of a dispute of claim, there is no impartial body for the consumers to seek resolution from, unlike in the insurance industry.

Also, the personnel, training and system resources of the current participating insurance companies will be wasted and made redundant after the takeover. Restructuring would be unavoidable, potentially causing loss of employment to many.

CareShield Life should be open to the insurance industry, which has the expertise, resources and systems to administer the plan.

A schedule of benefits to provide a minimum set of requirements could be mandated and the private insurers could be given the flexibility to include additional benefits according to the needs of the various groups of consumers as well as how much they are able to afford.

Consumers will then have a selection of choices and the competition will drive insurance companies to continuously improve the quality of their customer service.

Consumers who are financially protected through insurance or other financial means should not be forced to purchase a plan that does not cater to their needs at that age.

Theresa Wee (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'Don't force consumers to buy plan that doesn't cater to them'. Print Edition | Subscribe