What’s happening to my IP Hospital shield plan, again?!

As you may be aware, the Ministry of Health (MOH) recently released a list of cancer drugs that will be covered by MediShield Life and other integrated shield plans. The list includes both generic and branded drugs, and covers a range of cancer types, from breast cancer to lung cancer.

The inclusion of these drugs on the list is a significant step towards ensuring that cancer patients receive the treatment they need without facing undue financial burden. However, it is important to note that not all cancer drugs will be covered by your integrated shield plan. If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment or are simply concern with adequate coverage for cancer treatment, it is important to review your plan and understand the coverage available to you.

We understand that cancer can be a challenging and difficult disease to navigate, and we want to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare.

How am I affected by this?

From 1 April 2023, upon renewal of your Policy, your Policy’s (As Charged) outpatient Chemotherapy benefit and Immunotherapy benefit (if applicable) will be replaced with

– a new outpatient Cancer Drug Treatment benefit and

– Cancer Drug Services benefit.


• Cancer Drug Treatment benefit (CDT) – Only outpatient cancer drug treatments on the CDL will be claimable under your Policy, up to the treatment-specific benefit limits. Selected outpatient cancer drug treatments beyond the CDL will be claimable under riders. If you require cancer treatment following the changes, please consult your doctor early on whether your treatment is on the CDL.


• Cancer Drug Services benefit (CDS) – Services that are part of any outpatient cancer drug treatment (including treatments not on the CDL), such as consultations, scans, lab
investigations, treatment preparation and administration, supportive care drugs and
blood transfusions, will be claimable under the Cancer Drug Services benefit, up to
specified benefit limits.

Changes to the IP plan by the various insurers are as follows

Main plan

Singlife ( known as Aviva previously)

  • up to 5x Medishield Life claim limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS

AIA

– up to 5x Medishield Life claim limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS

Income

– ranges from 3 to 5x Medishield Life claim limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS depending on the plan

HSBC (known as AXA previously)

– ranges from 2 to 5x Medishield Life claim limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS depending on the plan

Next, IP riders

Singlife

  • Existing rider does not boost limits for CDT (CDL) nor CDS. However, it includes a benefit for CDT (Non-CDL)
  • Introduced a New Cancer Cover Plus rider
  • boost the limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS and includes a benefit for CDT (non-CDL)
  • benefit limits are on As Charged basis up to S$1.5mil/yr, subject to plan deductibles and co-insurance
  • you can apply for the rider, subject to health underwriting and additional premium
  • Note : this rider can be purchased to complement IP policies issued by third party insurers

Brochure

AIA

  • Existing rider seeks to cover part of the deductible and co-insurance for CDT (CDL) and CDS

New Cancer Care Booster rider

  • Boosts the limits for CDT (CDL) and CDS and includes a benefit for CDT (non-CDL)
  • this rider will be automatically added to your policy upon renewal without need for health underwriting but will be subject to additional premium. You can choose to opt out.

Income

– Existing rider boosts the limits for CDT (CDL and Non-CDL). Nothing for CDS

– No new rider

HSBC

  • Existing rider boost the limits for CDT (CDL) and includes a benefit for CDT (non-CDL)
  • No new rider

In summary

  1. IP main plan does not cover CDT (non CDL)
  2. Cancer treatment is no longer on As charged basis and shall be catagorised into CDT (CDL) and CDS and shall be subjected to certain benefit limits.
  3. Main concern for policyholders will be the uncertainty on whether the CDT and CDS limits are adequate and whether it’ll be adjusted for inflation down the road.
  4. To address these concerns, Insurers have either enhanced existing riders or introduced new riders. Personally, I’ll encourage to apply for the rider especially if you’re on a private hospitalisation plan. However, new riders may be subject to health underwriting and additional premiums
  5. Perhaps an additional solution may be through a life plan with critical illness cover
  6. Switching of IP insurer is highly discouraged especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions
  7. IP plans have gone through significant changes over the years (e.g removal of full cover riders and introduction of panel specialists and pre-authorisation) and I foresee that it will get increasingly more complex

If you have any questions about your coverage or would like to discuss your options, please get in touch with your trusted adviser.