MediShield Life v/s Integrated Shield Plan | Health Insurance Coverage Singapore

Health Insurance | Insurance
by Priyadarshini 16 September 2022

Did you know that you are covered by MediShield Life if you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident? However, two-thirds of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents have purchased the Integrated Shield Plan? In this blog, we discuss MediShield Life v/s Integrated Shield Plan insurances in Singapore.

MediShield Life v/s Integrated Sheild Plan

What is the difference between MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan (IPs)?

MediShield Life is an improved version of MediShield that was introduced in 2015. Every Singaporean and Permanent Resident, including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, is now covered for life. There is also no lifetime claim limit (and the annual claim limit is currently $150,000), so you don’t have to worry about losing coverage if you have major medical expenses early in life. Other benefits, such as daily ward and surgical claim limits, have also improved. In other words, MediShield Life is vastly superior to our previous MediShield coverage.

IPs combine MediShield Life with additional private health insurance coverage provided by private insurers such as AIA, Singlife with Aviva, AXA, Great Eastern, NTUC Income, Raffles Shield, and Prudential. You get additional coverage beyond MediShield Life, aimed at Class B1 or A wards in public or private hospitals, but at a much higher cost. Consider IPs to be a larger meal; you get more, but it also costs more.

Related – Get the Best Health Insurance in Singapore

Do you need MediShield Life if you already have an Integrated Sheild Plan?

Integrated Shield Plans (IP) are like an instant insurance plan covering most of your needs. Similarly, when you enroll in an IP, you are still paying for MediShield Life coverage. The additional premium you pay is for the additional coverage provided by the IP, such as higher ward class coverage and additional benefits such as pre-and post-hospitalization (excluding riders, co-insurance, and deductibles).

MediShield Life v/s Integrated Sheild Plan

Is MediShield Life’s coverage inadequate?

You don’t need to upsize your plan if the basic plan fills you up, and you may not need the additional coverage that an Integrated Shield Plan can provide. When you are hospitalized, MediShield Life provides adequate coverage, especially if you want to stay in a Class B2 or C ward in a public hospital.

So, why do people want to increase the size of their plan? Because we may prefer a larger coverage and better benefits. Similarly, if we need to be hospitalized, we may want to stay in a higher ward class in a public hospital, or even a private hospital and the IPs target coverage at this level. It is important to note that MediShield Life will cover you even if you are admitted to a Class A or B1 ward or a private hospital; however, you should expect to pay significantly more because MediShield Life benefits are based on the estimated Class B2 and C ward expenses in public hospitals.

Are the premiums for MediShield Life expensive?

Because of the introduction of MediShield Life, premiums have increased in comparison to the previous MediShield, but many Singaporeans are now eligible for subsidies to offset the increase. As an example:

Subsidies for Pioneer Generation range from 40% to 60%.
Subsidies range from 5% to 10% for the Merdeka Generation.
Low to middle-class Subsidies for households range from 20% to 50%.
Middle- to upper-class Subsidies for households range from 15% to 40%.
And don’t forget that MediShield Life premiums are so low that they won’t even affect your cash flow because you can pay for it entirely with your Medisave account.

Is MediShield Life preferable to the Integrated Shield Plan?

It all comes down to your ward preferences and your ability to pay the higher IP premiums. Do you mind sharing a Class B2 or C ward with others? Then you might want to stick with the coverage MediShield Life provides.

However, if you prefer more privacy, including the ability to choose your doctor and stay in air-conditioned rooms, and can afford to pay higher premiums in the long run, you may want to purchase an IP for this additional coverage.

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