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Standardised B1 Integrated Shield Plan available from May

THE new standardised Integrated Shield Plan (IP) targeted at Class B1 wards in public hospitals will be available to Singaporeans from the five IP insurers from May this year.

The benefits of the new standard plan are identical across the five insurers - AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income and Prudential - but premiums vary.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday said this is because premiums for the standard plan are based on the individual insurers' commercial considerations and risk assessment frameworks, similar to existing IPs.

The five insurers have agreed to freeze premiums of the new plan for the first two years.

Key design features include having claim limits sized to fully cover nine out of 10 public hospital Class B1 bills; coverage for hospital stays and selected outpatient treatments including chemotherapy and kidney dialysis, similar to MediShield Life; and co-payment features of claim limits, deductible and co-insurance, which are in line with efforts to manage healthcare costs, MOH said.

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It added that Medisave can be used to fully pay for all insurers' standard IP premiums up to the next birthday age of 75 years.

The new B1 plan is a private insurance product to provide additional coverage beyond MediShield Life and will be an additional option for those IP policyholders who want to switch from Class A and private hospital IPs to a more affordable plan, the ministry said.

Today, there are four non-as-charged Class B1 IP plans with different benefits. Policyholders on these four plans will have the option to switch to the standard B1 plan without additional medical underwriting.

With the exception of Aviva policyholders, those with Class A or private hospital IPs can do the switch with their current insurer without additional underwriting.

This announcement comes almost two years after the government accepted the MediShield Life Review Committee's suggestion to develop a standardised IP plan covering up to class B1 wards.

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