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What should I consider when I purchase or review my Integrated Shield Plan (IP) coverage with my insurer?

Buying and maintaining an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) is a significant lifetime financial commitment. The degree of protection you need evolves and changes with your circumstances and age. As you reach your retirement years, your earning power is likely to reduce while your premiums will rise sharply and your priorities may shift. Depending on your hospital/ ward preferences, you may not want to pay additional premiums for an IP. You should consider the following carefully:

  1. Are you likely to choose to seek treatment or be hospitalised at a public or private hospital?
  2. If you intend to go to a public hospital, will you choose a B2/C ward (six to eight beds) or Standard B1 ward (four beds) or A ward (single bed), taking into account affordability?
  3. If you intend to stay in B2/C wards, you need not buy an IP. This is because MediShield Life is generally sufficient as payouts are pegged to B2/C wards after government subsidies. The deductible and co-insurance can be paid via MediSave, as well as any remaining co-payment subject to the MediSave withdrawal limits.
  4. If you prefer to go to a private hospital, assess your means and ability to pay the additional premiums throughout your lifetime. Your annual premiums will increase sharply with age, which means that your premiums will be much higher in your retirement years. Based on the median premiums for each IP plan type, you can potentially save a significant sum.

You may also refer to the checklist when reviewing your IP coverage.

Did You Know? Your additional private insurance premiums could be ~4 times of your MediShield Life premiums for someone in their 70/80s. Click this link to find out more.