SINGAPORE - Private insurers should offer a standardised integrated shield plan providing coverage for B1-class wards, said the MediShield Life review committee on Friday. Doing so would give people better coverage than MediShield Life, but still be much cheaper than plans targeted at A-class wards or private hospital stays.
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MediShield Life Committee explains its recommendations on Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and other issues:
"The Committee's Terms of Reference do not cover a review of IPs.
"However, given the significant public interest, the Committee studied IP-related issues. About 60 per cent of Singaporeans have bought IPs, which consists of MediShield and a top-up portion, and will continue to be integrated with MediShield Life in future.
"The Committee recommends that the Government work with the insurance industry to develop key features for a standardised IP, targeted at Class B1 level coverage. This would give Singaporeans an option for enhanced coverage beyond the basic MediShield Life level in a standardised, affordable and easily understood package.
"The Committee also suggests that Government improve the current regulatory and accountability framework for IP insurers, including setting clearer guidelines and rules for insurers in the selling and renewing of IPs and enhancing responsible selling requirements.
"The Committee has also made observations in the areas of public education, managing healthcare costs and employer medical benefits. It has suggested that the Government:
"a. Step up outreach and public education efforts on healthcare finance;
"b. Explore measures to manage healthcare inflation, including encouraging healthy living and working with healthcare providers and insurers to manage price inflation; and
"c. Strengthen incentives to companies willing to provide portable medical benefits for their employees."