All seven insurers offering Integrated Shield Plans (IP) will implement key initiatives to provide additional support for IP policyholders amid implementation of the Cancer Drug List (CDL) by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
These initiatives will contribute towards greater affordability of cancer treatments for Singapore residents in the longer term, said the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIAS), in a recent media release.
The CDL was developed following recommendations of the MediShield Life Council. The CDL comprises clinically proven and more cost-effective cancer treatments that are claimable under MediShield Life and MediSave, and the corresponding limits.
This has been implemented from 1 September 2022. The CDL for IPs will take effect for new IP policyholders who make a purchase from 1 April 2023 onwards. For existing IP policyholders, the CDL will take effect from their respective policy renewal dates on or after 1 April 2023.
Key initiatives by IP insurers to support IP policyholders during this transition are:
- Keeping premium rates for IPs steady from 2 September 2022 to 31 August 2024. This will only apply to IPs, but not IP riders.
- Providing transitional support for patients with IPs until 30 September 2023 whose IPs are renewing between 1 April 2023 and 30 September 2023, and are on a course of cancer drug treatments as of 31 March 2023. This will provide them more time to consider treatment options and adjust to the changes.
- Offering consumers the choice of getting coverage beyond the CDL through optional IP riders from 1 April 2023.
Mr Khor Hock Seng, President of LIAS, said, “The well-being of our policyholders is the top priority for all Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers. As an industry, we are committed to ensuring the continued access to cancer drug treatments in Singapore. We hope that these initiatives will provide IP policyholders with the support and assurance they should have amid this transition period from their IP insurers.”
“As we look to the longer-term, we recognise that IP claims costs are likely to increase due to medical inflation. This will invariably result in the need for increased premiums in future so that IP insurers can continue to offer IPs. Nevertheless, IP insurers will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and others within the healthcare eco-system to achieve our joint commitment to providing quality and cost-effective treatments for cancer patients,” he added.
IP insurers will announce more details on changes to their respective IPs and IP riders by the end of 2022.