Integrated Shield plan - what is it?
A Shield plan is designed to cover major/catastrophic events related to Hospitalisation & Surgery (H&S). It is not meant to cover minor ailments and visits to general practitioners.
CPF Board operates the CPF MediShield, which covers up to 80 per cent of your H&S bills at subsidised wards in restructured hospitals.
The private Integrated Shield Plans run by private insurers are designed to cover hospitalisation in A & B1 wards in restructured hospitals and private hospitals. You may still choose to stay in a subsidised ward if you have a private Shield plan.
Figure 1: Compares some key details between MediShield and private Shield plans.
||Restructured hospital B2 ward & below
||Has a sub limit
Below are some FAQs related to Shield plans and integrated Shield plans.
I have basic MediShield from the CPF Board. Do I need an integrated Shield plan?
Yes. I strongly believe that everyone living in Singapore should purchase an integrated Shield plan (if you can afford the premiums). CPF Board administers MediShield, which is only basic medical insurance. An integrated Shield plan is designed to complement it and works to cover major hospitalisation events as our government recognises that the basic MediShield may not be sufficient to meet a person’s medical needs.
Both private Shield plans and CPF MediShield plans impose a deductible and co-insurance.
The newer private Shield plans work on an “As Charged” basis when compared to CPF MediShield, which has sub-limits.
Also, the integrated Shield plans cover the insured's entire lifetime while CPF MediShield only provides coverage until the age of 85.
How does the private Shield plan work?
When you purchase a private Shield plan, it actually sits on top of your basic MediShield. That simply means that you are extending the hospitalisation coverage. Think of MediShield as an umbrella. Now when you buy a private Shield plan, you are upgrading to a bigger umbrella. When riders are added on, it gets even bigger.
What is the difference between an integrated Shield plan and other H&S plans?
Other H&S plans in the market are payable by cash only. These include your employer's Group H&S plans and comprehensive health plans. Typically, outpatient treatment, e.g, a visit to your general practitioner, is covered as well.
In terms of premium, the integrated Shield plans are very competitive due to the large pool of insured (as compared to cash H&S plans).
What is a Letter of Guarantee and how does it work?
When you are hospitalised, you need to place a deposit with the medical institution before treatment even begins. This usually comes from your Medisave account or cash. However, NTUC and Aviva offer a Letter of Guarantee (LOG), which allows the waiver of deposit up to $10,000. This is granted on a case by case basis.
I am already covered with an earlier integrated Shield plan. Should I upgrade the plan to the newer enhanced plans with “As Charged” features?
Yes. Medical cost is rising. The older plans have sub-limits and in general, there are limitations like a lower annual limit and lower lifetime limit. With the new enhanced plans in place, you have peace of mind that the bulk of your medical bills will be covered.
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