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Factors to Consider in Discontinuing an Integrated Shield Plan

Public Healthcare

Public HealthcarePublic healthcare in Singapore got a boost on November 1, 2015 when MediShield Life went into effect. It replaced the old system that put an age limit to its beneficiaries, and did not cover certain medical conditions. Many that could afford the premiums made up for it by getting an integrated plan.

Now that MediShield Life is in effect, those with an existing IP are wondering if it is time to pull the plug. It would mean saving a lot on premiums. The question is, is the new system as good as it sounds? Here are some factors to consider before deciding to discontinue an existing IP.


IP premiums for people 40 years old or younger are not that high. It can be as little as $158 a year. If your company does not offer employee health insurance, it may be a good idea to continue with your IP. However, if you are over 40, it is likely that your premiums will shoot up to a minimum of $631 a year because this is when you are most likely to start getting sick. You need to remember that premiums will only go higher, and the IP will only cover a part of the hospital bill. It might be better to save the premiums early on against a time when you really need it, such as a decade or so after retirement at which point you probably will not be able to afford the premiums.

Medical Condition

On the other hand, if you are already collecting from the insurer because you are sick or have a disabling condition, you should definitely not let go of your integrated shield plan. Diabetics, in particular, are looking at many problems down the road.


Downgrading to MediShield is not a problem. You can do it at anytime. On the other hand, if you want to upgrade to an IP, it is harder. You may not qualify if you have a medical condition. As you grow older, it becomes more difficult to get IP.

An IP can come in handy when your public healthcare does not cover your needs. However, it can be expensive. Before deciding to downgrade or give up your IP, think about your current and future needs.

Healthcare in Australia: Factors that Should Affect Your Decision


doctorHealthcare is a universal thing in Australia, and they are provided by both the government and private institutions. The sheer variety of healthcare plans and different providers means that choosing one that fits your and your family’s needs can be a daunting task.

Bountify notes that there are many factors that should determine your choice of healthcare plan, and sometimes it isn’t just what is covered and what isn’t that you need to consider carefully.

The Cost of the Plan

On top of what the healthcare plan covers, its cost should be a defining factor that affects your choice. Generally, the higher the monthly premium you pay upfront, the lower the out-of-pocket expenses are when you receive medical care. A platinum tiered health plan, for example, covers 90% of costs whereas Bronze only covers 60% of the costs.

What does this mean for you? If you believe that the medical conditions you or your family has are more expensive, a plan with a higher premium is the better choice since the out-of-pocket expenses are barely noticeable. On the other hand, it isn’t wise to get a higher premium plan if you and your family are generally healthy individuals.

Within the Network

While healthcare is indeed universal, the doctor or hospital that you prefer may not be part of your health insurance’s network. This is something that many people tend to forget checking, and they eventually end up regretting the healthcare plan they get because the insurance company won’t cover the bill. In the event that they make an exception and cover the cost, you’ll find that you’ll actually have to pay a higher share of the cost.

If you are regularly visiting a specific doctor or hospital, it’s a good idea to ask the insurance provider if they’re part of the network and if the costs will be covered. If you’ll be getting your healthcare plan from your job, you may ask your human resource or employee benefits department for a list of the doctors and hospitals the provider works with.

By taking note of these other factors, you’ll avoid the possibility of choosing the wrong healthcare plan for you and your family.