This may be what's left of our Shield riders.
Of over-consumption, over-servicing and over-charging of shield
You can NO LONGER go to an insurer and buy Shield riders that will pay your entire hospital bills.
Last week was a whirlwind for me as an adviser.
The abrupt announcement by MOH to replace Full-Cover Shield rider with Co-Pay ones got me bombarded with lots of concern from my clients and community.
The most commonly asked question was, "Would this movement affect the existing policyowners like myself?"
The answer is a comforting no. At least, not at the moment.
To give you a clearer picture, I've done up an illustration below to sum up the entire Shield saga:
WHY NO MORE FULL-COVER RIDERS LIAO?
Full-Cover riders has resulted in a “buffet syndrome”, and it drove up medical claims for insurance companies to All-Time-Highs.
Here are some obscene examples:
1) A simple breast lump removal of $5000 in doctor fees went up to $70,000 instead.
2) Another full-rider policyholder made claims for 12 nose scopes in a year, without clear medical need.
JIALE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CO-PAY RIDER?
In the future, your Shield riders would pay a maximum of 95% of the bill. Patients must bear a minimum 5 per cent co-payment of the medical bills, with an annual cap of $3000.
(Note: This does not affect existing policyowners at the moment)
SO IF I CHIONG TO BUY MY SHIELD RIDER NOW, WHAT WILL HAPPEN AH?
Anyone buying a rider from Thursday (8th March 2018) to 31st March 2019, has to switch to the new scheme (Co-Pay rider) by April 1, 2021 at the late. Too late, bro.
HUH, SO WHEN WILL THE CO-PAY RIDERS BE LAUNCHED?
MOH is giving insurers until April 1, 2019 to come up with new riders that include the co-payment and cap. At that point, no full riders for Shields can be sold.
WAH PIANG, LIKE THAT STILL NEED TO BUY RIDERS OR NOT?
As an adviser and a consumer myself, I would still purchase a Shield Rider so that I limit my medical bills exposure to only $3000 at max. I'll give the same advice to my family members.
SO JIALE, WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL TAKE ON THIS SAGA?
Here are my personal suggestions as an experienced adviser, as well as a Policyowner myself. In fact, credits to many clients who gave me similar good feedbacks. I have summarised the top 3 suggestions below:
1) Make available a centralised and detailed pricing list of all medical treatments across all hospitals, so patients could be a better-informed consumer.
2) New riders to be payable via Medisave too. No need for cash outlay.
3) Once Co-Pay Rider is in place, reduce premiums for all as healthcare costs/ claims should drop by then too.
Once again, existing policyowners are not affected at the moment. You still enjoy full coverage :)
Do stay tune for more updates in this space.