Last updated on March 20th, 2018 at 06:17 pm
I come from a privileged position of knowing a little on how hospitals work from my spouse (Supply-side) and seeing how insured-turned-patients think (demand-side). If you feel confused as to why IP riders need a mandatory co-payment for medical treatment moving forward, it can be summarised in a quick phrase
STOP MEDICAL OVERCONSUMPTION
Let’s be logically, the main group benefitting from over-consumption are the clinics and hospitals (supply side). Not you.
You and I pay premium. We want to keep cost manageable.
The truth is, it is common to see unnecessary test, excessive prescription, expensive prescription, overstaying in wards, overpriced fees… especially in private hospitals. They are profit driven and rightly so for their shareholders.
A simple ACL ligament reconstruction procedure that cost less than $10k in a government hospital is more than $22,000 in a private hospital. Do you really need a private hospital service for a procedure that is non-life threatening and you discharge in a few days?
It’s like taking BUSINESS CLASS just to Bangkok.
WHY is overconsumption prevalent?
The full IP rider covers the inpatient bill entirely.
When it’s FREE, the insured-turned-patient surely prefers a private hospital.
When it’s FREE, the insured-turned-patient wouldn’t care less at looking at the bill.
EVEN a $200/day hospital cash to opt for a downgrade (to government hospitals) does not seem enough an incentive.
WHY 5% co-payment MAY solve overconsumption?
Not that 5% is going to cost a bomb, according to MOH themselves, 75% of bills with this co-payment will just need $670. But it is to tell the insured-turned-patient to LOOK AT THE FREAKING BILL. I hope that you and I may be more conscious to what is being charged and decide if we can accept a simpler treatment.
You are unlikely to benefit from the full IP rider in the long term.
Many of the shield plans that I complete for clients are on full rider coverage. The premium at a younger age doesn’t seem that much more and it is a very personal choice. But I’ve long advocated co-payment riders as they are more sustainable. In a sept2016 blog post, I brought up using NTUC’s assist rider as an example.
The REAL financial pain in premium comes only when you are at a older age. At age71 today, premium is $5k-$6k already. Who knows how much the premium will be when you eventually reach that age group and need medical services THE MOST! Insurers have been inflating premiums on our IP over the last 2years at a 5%-30% at each round of revision, partly to cover their losses from all of our own over-consumption.
But they were the ones who came up with this full coverage rider in the first place…..
You can check how much it is with our IP premium calculator with this link here.