The Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) on Wednesday (Mar 7) welcomed the changes in co-payment requirements for new Integrated Shield Plan (IP) riders.
Patients must bear a minimum 5 per cent co-payment for new IP riders, Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat announced on Wednesday during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate.
The changes will affect those who have paid for full riders, which cover the entire co-payment amount, on top of Integrated Shield Plans.
The incorporation of co-payment for such riders will encourage consumers to “play an active role” in choosing medical providers and treatments and encourage healthcare providers to recommend “medically appropriate and cost-effective treatments”, said LIA Singapore in a press release.
The measure will also enable IP insurers to “better manage” claims cost and reduce the need over time for significant premium increases, LIA Singapore added.
“LIA supports the new requirements from the Ministry of Health. IP insurers’ adjustment to their product design is another proactive tool to help manage rising premiums, rather than relying on raising premiums to cope with higher claims,” said Mr Patrick Teow, president of LIA Singapore.
In line with recommendations made by the Health Insurance Task Force in October 2016, the trade body said it has also developed “best practice guidelines” to help consumers manage healthcare costs.
These include a pre-authorisation framework to establish a process for policyholders to obtain a review and approval for a medical treatment and its estimated bill size before the procedure is carried out.
They also include the establishment of a panel of preferred healthcare providers that IP insurers are confident will offer “appropriate and cost-effective” medical services.