Just a few years back, Singaporeans could confidently say that their hospitalisation plan will cover them for “everything”. That is, as long as you have an as-charged plan with rider. However, the situation has since changed and the coverage from our basic health insurance (Medishield Life) and our private medical insurance are no longer like before.
For one, co-payment is now mandatory. Insurers have also employed various methods to manage costs such as the removal of fringe benefits, encouraging treatment with panel doctors & claims-based pricing method.
A recent change on the Curb on Cancer treatments Coverage is yet another move to contain escalating medical inflation cost in Singapore.
In 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) introduced a list of approved cancer drugs with proven efficacies and are known to be cost effective to help keep MediShield Life premiums sustainable for the long haul.
This change will take place from this September 2022 (for Medishield Life) / and April 2023 (integrated shield plans):
· Only treatments on the positive list (approved cancer drug list) will be claimable
· The approved cancer drugs & services claims will also be revised to a range of $200 to $9,600/month instead of a fixed amount like before.
While the change is supposed to be for the ‘greater good’, this leaves many feeling insecure about their coverage. What if you require cancer treatment that is not on the list? This is the dilemma of one brain cancer patient as the new change takes effect. Soon, his cancer drug which cost $20k monthly will no longer be claimable under his shield plan. See the attached article.
As policyholders, some of the options we can tap on if we were to face such a scenario would be:
1. Understand the scope of our employee benefits, if any and utilise them.
2. Check for options to increase our critical illness coverage upon life events on our existing policies
3. Boost our critical illness coverage with a critical illness/cancer plan. Premium for $100,000 cancer coverage can be as low as $138-$228/year (for someone age 30) or $348-$688 (for someone age 45)
Reach out to us if you wish to have a better understanding on how this new change will impact your existing portfolio.
Cheers and have a restful weekend ahead!