Overview of Integrated Shield Plans (Premium Comparison Table for all 6 insurers included)

By The Boy Who Procrastinates - March 17, 2018


Following from the previous post on the Pyramid of Insurance Needs, I will touch on the Hospitalization component of the pyramid in this post. Citing a common saying: "One can die, but cannot fall ill", it underscores the growing concerns of the high healthcare cost in Singapore. In my opinion, hospital bills can potentially have a devastating impact to your wealth. While I am thankful that I have not been admitted to hospital before (touch wood!), I understand that we should not be taking good health for granted. Given that hospitalization usually incurs huge expenses, it is thus prudent to ensure that there is sufficient health coverage in this area. 


MediShield Life

All Singaporeans and PR are provided universal coverage under MediShield Life, including those with pre-existing conditions. It is a basic health insurance plan that helps to pay for hospital bills and outpatient treatments. Implemented from Nov 2015, the premium for Medishield Life can be paid in full via Medisave, hence minimising cash payment. 

MediShield Life payouts are pegged at Class B2/C wards in public hospitals. It can be used to subsidize the bills incurred for Class A/B1 wards in public hospitals or in private hospitals, however the payout will only make up a smaller proportion of the bills. Another thing to note is that patients will still be required to pay the deductible and co-insurance component of the bills. To put it simply, deductible refers to the fixed amount (first layer of the bill) that the insured has to pay whereas co-insurance refers to a percentage of the medical bills (second layer of the bill) which the insured has to pay on top of the deductible, before he can start filing for claims under MediShield Life.

Typically, the types of wards are as follows: 

  • Private Hospital: Single to 4 bedded room, Air-conditioned, TV
  • Public Hospital Class A: Single or 2 bedded room, Air-conditioned, TV
  • Public Hospital Class B1: 4 bedded room, Air-conditioned, TV
  • Public Hospital Class B2: 5 or 6 bedded room, naturally ventilated
  • Public Hospital Class C: 8 to 10 bedded room, naturally ventilated

Integrated Shield Plans ("IP")

This is where the private insurance plans for hospitalization comes in. They exist in the form of IP that provide additional private insurance coverage, typically to cover medical expense in higher-class wards (ie. Class A/B1) in public hospitals or private hospitals. 

To find out if you have any existing IP, you can log into your CPF > My Messages > Insurance. I have included the premium comparison tables for all 6 insurer below.



Additional Withdrawal Limits ("AWL") 

Before we proceed to examine the IP premium, you will be glad to know that AWL was introduced from 1 Nov 2015 to help Singaporeans pay for part or all of the additional premiums for the private insurance component of Medisave-approved IPs, using Medisave. 



The AWLS amounts for the respective age groups are as follows: 


For example, if the premium for your additional private insurance coverage is $215 when you are at the age of 28, you do not have to fork out any cash as the AWL of $300 will fully cover the premiums. 

However, if the premium for your additional private insurance coverage is $380 when you are at the age of 35, the cash outlay will be $80 as the AWL will cover the premiums, up to the aforementioned cap.


Premium Comparison Table

I have compiled the information from various insurers and highlighted the lowest premiums across all 6 insurers in green for each age group. Kindly note that the premiums indicated in the tables below are for Singaporeans/PR, updated as of 10 March 2018 and are inclusive of the 7% GST.

The last entry age for the Shield plans is at age 75. The figures beyond age 75 as shown in the tables are for renewal only. 

Given the recent updates on the IP riders as announced by MOH, I have excluded the riders for comparison as they may be subjected to changes. I may revisit the comparison on riders when more information is available.

[Updated the premium of the age group of 76 and above for AIA HealthShield Gold Max]


Private Hospital


Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

The total amount of premium to be paid from age 21 to 75 for Great Eastern Supreme Health P Plus which is cater for private hospitalization appears to be the lowest at $45,499. This is followed by AXA Shield Plan A at $48,346. 

Beyond age 74, Great Eastern Supreme Health P Plus has also maintained its ranking. 


Public Hospital Ward Class A and below


Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

The total amount of premium to be paid from age 21 to 75 for NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield Advantage which is cater for public hospitalization-ward A appears to be the lowest at $22,220. There is a close tie between Great Eastern Supreme Health A plus at $22,231 and Prudential PRUShield at $22,294. 

However, from age of 76 to 90, AXA Shield Plan B appears to have the lowest premium and Prudential PRUShield takes it from age 91 onwards.


Public Hospital Ward Class B1 and below


Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

The total amount of premium to be paid from age 21 to 75 for Prudential PRUshield Standard Plan which is cater for public hospitalization-ward B1 appears to be the lowest at $10,342. This is followed by AXA Standard Shield Plan at $10,744. 

Beyond age 61, Prudential PRUshield Standard Plan has also maintained its ranking. 


Benefit Comparison Table

Of course, we should not be just looking at the premium of the IP Shield Plan as this will not provide an apple-to-apple comparison. One should also research on the benefits that each plan provides and choose one that caters to your needs. Running the risk of oversimplification, I have included a few common benefit factors as comparison variable. Delving into and understanding the detailed benefit information for the each insurers is highly encouraged for each individual needs. 

Private Hospital

Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

Great Eastern Supreme Health P Plus has the highest maximum claim limit at $1,500,000. Prudential PRUshield Premier and AXA Shield Plan A tied for the longest time frame for the pre- and post-hospitalization treatment. 

Public Hospital Ward Class A and below

Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

Great Eastern Supreme Health A Plus has the highest maximum claim limit at $1,000,000. Prudential PRUshield Plus and AXA Shield Plan B tied for the longest time frame for the pre- and post-hospitalization treatment. 

Public Hospital Ward Class B1 and below

Source: Compiled from Insurers Websites

Great Eastern Supreme Health B Plus has the highest maximum claim limit at $500,000, as well as longest time frame for the pre- and post-hospitalization treatment. 

There are caps of $1,700/day and $2,900/day for Room,board and medical-related services and ICU expenses respectively for Prudential PRUshield Standard Plan and AXA Shield Standard Plan.


Other Considerations 

But of course, we will just be scratching the surface if price is the only factor we look at. Aside from comparing the premium, there are many intangible areas to consider when choosing the right IP Shield plan such as:  

  • Level of coverage: How comfortable will you be staying in either ward class A/B1 in public hospital or private hospital if you are required to be hospitalized? 
  • Scope of coverage: Does the IP Shield Plan provide a comprehensive coverage such as inpatient/outpatient hospital treatment and overseas medical treatment?
  • Policy Exclusion: Do you have any pre-existing illness medical conditions which the IP Shield Plan will exclude coverage of?
  • Ability to choose your own doctor: How much do you value the choice of your preferred doctor? 
  • Claim Limits: One of the key consideration is to understand the maximum amount you can claim which can take the form of a policy limit, lifetime limit or annual limit. 
  • Riders: One should also give thought to the available riders and examine its suitability to complement the IP Shield plan. (eg. coverage of deductible / co-insurance)
  • Affordability of future premium: As with Medishield Life, the premiums for Shield plans tend to increase as the policyholder becomes older. Besides the current premium, it is vital to also consider the affordability of the future premiums.
  • Claims Processing Duration: How long it will take for the insurer to process IP claims with positive payouts? For example, according to the MOH website, Great Eastern has a higher median claim processing duration as compared to other insurers.


Hospitalization Coverage for The Boy who Procrastinates

I am currently covered under NTUC IncomeShield Standard Plan which cost me $44 in annual premium. The ward entitlement is for Public Hospital ward class B1 and below. My parents have probably gotten this for me when I was 10 years old and I have been procrastinating to review my insurance coverage since I have started working 3 years ago. This is probably the first step that I took to understand more about this topic and not shun it like before. I would most likely go for IP Shield plan that covers public hospital ward A but will make a decision when there are updates on the riders. 

Disclaimer: Kindly note that this is not a sponsored post. The author is in no way affiliated with any of the insurers and does not receive any form of remuneration for this post. The Boy who Procrastinates has compiled the information for his own reference, with the hope that it will benefit others as well.



Reference

NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield

Prudential PRUshield

AXA Shield



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7 comments

  1. Good analysis. Thanks for sharing. Will be great if you could add the rider that cover from first $ as this plan is going to be removed from 1 April onwards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wai Keat,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, I agree that the comparison would be more comprehensive with the inclusion of riders.

      At this stage, MOH is giving insurers until April 1 2019 to come up with new riders that include the co-payment and cap. Furthermore, for insured who purchase existing rider between 8 March 2018 and 31 March 2019 have to transit to the new co-pay rider from 1 April 2021 upon policy renewal. Therefore, I will be monitoring the development and may update with rider comparison when more information is disclosed.

      Delete
  2. Excellent post and good comparison. Definitely benefit us who are looking for insurance coverage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sweet Retirement,

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad that it is helpful for you =)

      Delete
  3. Why premium charges for AIA ceases after age 75?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zhong Zheng,

      Thank you for enquiring. The website for AIA HealthShield Gold Max has indicated the premium amount up to the age 75 only. I have made a trip to the AIA Booth earlier today and was informed that the product summary is only provided upon request.

      Nevertheless, I have managed to obtain the remaining figures and have updated the premium comparison table above.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for sharing this information it has helped me to know more about international travel insurance

    ReplyDelete