We assume you have bought a hospital cash insurance policy where the benefit is that you receive a fixed amount of cash when you are in hospital. Given so, you should be able to claim from both this policy and your MediShield policy.
MediShield is a national catastrophic medical insurance designed to help Singaporeans pay part of the large hospitalisation bills for treatment of serious illnesses or prolonged hospitalisations at Class B2/C wards in restructured hospitals. MediShield is administered by the CPF Board.
Integrated Shield Plans
A private shield plan (i.e. integrated shield plan) provides higher medical coverage than MediShield. They are suitable if a person plans to use Class B1, Class A wards or private hospitals. This plan is combined with basic MediShield and policyholders pay one premium for coverage under both the private plan and basic MediShield. So, it is like, if MediShield is (A); then Integrated shield plan is (A+B), where B is the top-up. Currently, there are five insurance companies offering this product.
MediShield and an Integrated shield plan provide similar benefits, the difference is in the extent of coverage. Under the CPF rules, a person can hold only one such plan.
As to whether or not to upgrade from MediShield to an Integrated shield plan, you need to consider the following factors:
- Benefits - What is the level/quality of healthcare which you would like to have should you be hospitalised?
- Current coverage - What kind/level of coverage do you already have?
- Current health condition - How is your health status since you bought MediShield? The private insurer will assess your application based on your current health condition at the point of application. If there is a change in your health status since you bought MediShield, the private insurer may impose exclusion on your integrated shield plan, i.e. any claim relating to the medical condition that had developed will not be payable. However, any additional exclusions imposed by the private insurer will not be applicable to the MediShield portion. It will continue under the Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plan following the terms and conditions offered to you when your plan was underwritten by the CPF Board.
- Affordability - Are you able to pay the premiums over the long term? As an Integrated shield plan provides higher coverage, it does costs more.
You will have to prioritise your needs, and structure your medical insurance according to your ability to pay the premiums.
Posted by Life Insurance Association of Singapore on 25/3/2012