Health Check Podcast: Picking an IP insurer with a good panel of doctors

Integrated Shield Plans insurers recorded rapid rises in claim costs from 2010 to 2015.
Integrated Shield Plans insurers recorded rapid rises in claim costs from 2010 to 2015.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Health Check Ep 58: Picking an IP insurer with a good panel of doctors

20:35 mins

Synopsis: This is a fortnightly podcast series on Wednesdays by The Straits Times that aims to help you make sense of health matters that affect you.  

Many private sector doctors are upset with Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers for maintaining panels of doctors that they call “highly exclusive”. These panels are one of the measures that IP insurers have undertaken to reduce their costs, but doctors say that the IP sector created its own problem and should not penalise them for it.

Doctors have failed to get on the panel, even though they adhere to the fee benchmarks published by the Ministry of Health. 

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks to Dr Wong Seng Weng, medical director and consultant medical oncologist at The Cancer Centre, who sits on several IP panels.

He shares some tips on how one can go about picking an IP insurer with a good panel of doctors. They discuss the following points:

1. Dr Wong's own experience of being selected for such panels (1:30)

2. Why seeing a "non-panel" doctor could hit your pocket more now (7:00)

3. What are correct clinical quality measures? (9:08)

4. How can policyholders tell if the panel provided by an IP insurer is good (11:20)

Produced by: Joyce Teo (joyceteo@sph.com.sg), Penelope Lee and Ernest Luis 

Edited by: Penelope Lee & Aleemah Basirah

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