Rising cost of Integrated Shield Plans: Income replies

Mr Ang Bock Leng wrote about the rising cost of Integrated Shield Plans, or IPs ("Ensure IPs are affordable in long term"; Tuesday).

IPs comprise two parts - the MediShield/MediShield Life portion managed by the Central Provident Fund Board, and an additional private insurance coverage portion offered by private insurers, typically to cover A/B1 class wards in public or private hospitals.

In the example cited by Mr Ang that spanned over eight years - from 2007 to 2015 - the rise in his premiums is attributed to premium increases from both MediShield and additional private insurance coverage over the years in providing better benefits, as well as the implementation of MediShield Life in November this year to increase access to all Singaporeans.

The increase in premium is also to keep pace with medical inflation.

According to the Life Insurance Association Singapore, claims have escalated by about 12 per cent to 17 per cent a year in the past few years for public hospital class A/B1 wards and private hospitals.

This is consistent with NTUC Income's experience.

We assure our policyholders that as a social enterprise, NTUC Income is committed to providing the best value to our policyholders, and our premiums are among the most competitive in the industry.

Medical inflation is an issue of concern to us.

We are monitoring this closely, and working with the Government and relevant bodies to ensure that healthcare costs in Singapore are managed effectively.

Peter Tay

Senior Vice-President

Life & Health Operations

NTUC Income

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline 'Rising cost of Integrated Shield Plans: Income replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe