NTUC Income’s hospital and surgical plans, also known as shield plans, are probably one of the most popular shield plans out there.
Perhaps they are popular because people see them as a cooperative rather than a for-profit entity. While a cooperative is still required to be sustainable, customers who lean towards NTUC Income may feel that the insurer will put their customers first, compared to all the possible shenanigans of other insurers.
All that changed when on Jan 2022, NTUC announced that they will no longer be a co-operative but a corporate entity, citing the need to be competitive in an intense industry.
Recently, they announce changes to their premium for certain shield plans and their riders.
Here are the changes:
The only shield plan that has changes in premiums is the Preferred. This is also the one that most would go for if they wish to hedge their risk of needing to go to a private hospital.
Most people would go for this which may explain that the premiums for the rest of the plans were not raised.
It is likely that NTUC is observing a lot of private hospitalization claims that they struggle to offset with the current premium structure.
Those that are above the age of 50 would feel the pinch the most.
If you are between 51 to 55, your annual premiums on Preferred will rise from $880 to $1080 which is a $200 rise.
There were no changes for the more expensive Delux Care Rider.
The main rider premium change takes place in the cheaper Classic Care Rider if you are pairing it with the Preferred shield plan.
Why is it like this?
I suspect that after the introduction of the panel doctors for private hospitalization plans, and that customers would have to share the deductible and co-insurance cost with the insurer, NTUC’s Deluxe plan was severely nerfed.
If you wish to seek a non-panel doctor, the riders do not do much to offset the amount that you have to pay. The riders have some use in reducing the out-of-pocket money if your bill is not relatively large. But if the amount is not relatively large, then you should be able to pay for the out-of-pocket cost in the first place.
I think most could not live with the Deluxe premium so they downgraded to the Classic but they would still pair it with the Preferred shield plan.
This situation honestly does not help anyone.
- There is still a lot of people seeking private health care. Perhaps this is the function of how long it takes to arrange an appointment at a public hospital.
- Whichever plans you choose, likely you are among the plan the consesus chose. You are likely to be slapped with rising premiums.
Enhanced Incomeshield was one of the options that I was considering switching to, from my very painful Aviva MyShield. It looks like no matter where I switched, we faced the same problem for the grade of health care we desired.
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