Singapore:Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers will use standard Pre-Authorisation Form from 1 Oct

| 08 Sep 2019

All Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers that offer pre-authorisation services will use the standard Pre-Authorisation Form from 1 October 2019 and no later than 31 March 2020.

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) introduced a standard LIA Pre-Authorisation Form on 6 September, to be completed by the policyholder’s attending doctor, for purposes of the pre-authorisation application and assessment.

The LIA Pre-Authorisation Form was developed with feedback from doctors and aims to minimise the administrative burden for doctors. It is designed for elective treatment in the private healthcare sector, that is, for patients (policyholders) who are seeking specialist care by private doctors in private hospitals.

Objective of standardisation

Prior to this, insurers were each using their own pre-authorisation form. Doctors had to complete different forms with different required information.

A standardised approach brings about consistency of practice among all IP insurers, and result in a hassle-free application process for attending doctors.

A unified practice would avert a situation such as the one in the United States where a lack of standardisation has led to an excessive administrative burden on medical providers.

No action is required for policyholders.

IP insurers will use the LIA Pre-Authorisation Form, commencing from 1 October 2019.

This latest initiative follows the LIA guidance paper issued last year, outlining good practices on the Pre-Authorisation Framework/Process2 for IPs. It simplifies insurance procedures and provides information to manage claims cost inflation and premiums, and is one of the recommendations made by the Health Insurance Task Force (HITF) in October 2016.

About the pre-authorisation service offered by IP insurers

As part of the HITF recommendations, this is a service where the insurer would pre-authorise (i.e. preapprove) the medical treatment and associated costs prior to the actual procedure.

The benefits are three-fold:

• Patients or policyholders gain peace of mind knowing their procedure is within their insurance coverage;

• Healthcare providers have clarity on the type of procedures covered by insurance to better advise their patients prior to the actual procedure; and

• Payers (insurers) are able to assess the medical necessity and cost of the treatment to ensure it is within the terms and conditions of the policy’s coverage.

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