Relevance of IPs raised at dialogue

THOSE with Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) all stand to benefit from the rollout of MediShield Life next year, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door dialogue with 250 grassroots leaders in Punggol yesterday, Dr Khor said most of the questions raised were on the impact of the new state insurance scheme on IP holders.

"We want to assure IP policy holders that they will not be disadvantaged with MediShield Life," said Dr Khor. "In fact, all IP holders are going to benefit... because they will be covered for life and for all conditions including pre-existing conditions, even if they are excluded from the current integrated plans." She noted that the new lifelong coverage would "automatically replace the MediShield portion of IPs".

The relevance of IPs, or optional plans run by private insurers for hospitalisation in higher-class wards and private hospitals, is being questioned now as all Singaporeans will be covered next year by MediShield Life, which provides hospital coverage for all in C and B2 wards.

Dr Khor said her ministry welcomed insurers' commitment not to increase premiums for the top-up portion for IPs for a year after MediShield Life kicks in.

"We will work with IP insurers as well as with the Life Insurance Association to study how we can implement some of the recommendations of the MediShield Life Review Committee... for instance, the setting up of key features for a standard IP," she added.

At a separate event at Redhill, Mr Baey Yam Keng, chairman of Chinese Development Assistance Council's volunteers engagement and development committee, said residents should wait for more details on MediShield Life before deciding on their IPs.

Mr Baey, also an MP for Tampines GRC, was speaking on the sidelines of a dialogue held by the Council to explain the Pioneer Generation Package to seniors.

Mr K. T. Tan, 83, took a half-hour bus ride from his home at Everton Park to Redhill to ask the experts if he ought to renew his current policy. "That's the question a lot of people are asking and I am glad there is someone to ask face to face," he said.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.