The Business Times

High claims, costs hit integrated shield plans

Underwriting profit margin shrinks to 3.5% last year from 17.9% in 2009

Published Tue, Aug 5, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[SINGAPORE] Pressure is mounting on Singapore's Integrated Shield Plan (IP) sector to find ways to remain profitable, as rising claims and substantial management and distribution costs are chomping off chunks of its underwriting profit margin.

Already, the five IP insurers - AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income and Prudential - are feeling the heat, with next year's introduction of MediShield Life, which will provide lifetime coverage for Singaporeans' subsidised bills, regardless of how their life and health circumstances change.

But the sector has a more immediate concern, as reflected in the insurers' annual returns filed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It is understood that more than 80 per cent of the health insurance data in Form 7 - the document through which the five insurers submit their accident and health insurance data to the MAS - represents the IP businesses in Singapore.

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