New rider policyholders must pay 5% of hospital bill, Existing policyholders NOT affected – Sure Boh Singapore


All new policyholders with rider plans must pay 5% of hospital bill moving forward. Existing policyholders are not affected at this point in time.

Sure Boh Singapore understands that existing policyholders can enjoy existing benefits subject to review of their policy by their insurers.

Minister Gan Kim Yong announced in Parliament today that co-payment in all healthcare schemes will help ensure that our healthcare system is sustainable.

He said that all stakeholders including patients have a stake in making prudent decision in healthcare services.

Zero co-payment coverage “undermines the co-payment principle” and “dilutes the personal responsibility to choose appropriate and necessary care”.

When healthcare services are over-consumed, it will lead to escalating healthcare costs not just for people with riders, but for everyone.

Moving forward, new integrated shield plan (IP) riders must have a co-payment of 5% or more. 

There will be a cap on the co-payment amount each year so policyholders do not have to worry that they will have to dig too deeply into their pockets especially for large bills.

Ministry of Health (MOH) is giving insurers until April 1, 2019 to implement new riders that include co-payment and cap.

From now till then, no full riders for IPs can be sold.

Anyone buying a rider plan from 8 March has to switch to the new scheme latest by April 1, 2021. This is to stop people from rushing to buy full riders after hearing about this announcement.

This move only applies to new policyholders and will NOT affect the 1.1 million people with full riders.

Earlier in the morning, there were news that all six insurance companies selling IP wanted existing and new policyholders to pay part of their hospital bills.

Thankfully, MOH decided to only effect this change on new policyholders.

This will help existing policyholders with pre-existing illness to continue to have a peace of mind in seeking healthcare treatments.

However, we should be mindful that over-consumption and over-prescription of medical services will cause healthcare expenditure and health insurance premium to increase in the long-run.

Rising premiums will not only affect you but everyone around you including the ones you love.


This article was published on by Anne Sim

March 26, 2018 |

Patients with full insurance riders will soon have to pay part of the hospital bill – Sure Boh Singapore


Latest update by MOH: New rider policyholders must pay 5% of the hospital bill, Existing policyholders are NOT affected at this point in time. Read the latest news here

Do you have private Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) with riders that can cover your entire hospital bill?

Soon, you won’t have this privilege anymore.

Six insurance companies selling MediShield Life-linked health insurance have appealed to Ministry of Health (MOH) to make it mandatory for policyholders to pay a part of their hospital bills.

This includes existing and new policyholders.

Paying part of your hospital bills

The Health Insurance Task Force (HITF) suggested that patients should pay part of their hospital bills to prevent claims for escalating too quickly.

Insurance companies said that patients with full riders are making more claims and their claims are 20 to 25 per cent higher than people who pay a part of their bills.

These large claims are causing premiums to increase for everyone.

1 in 2 people in Singapore (1.3 million people out of 2.7 million people) are covered by private Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) with riders – they pay very little or almost nothing for their hospital bills.

The insurers have asked MOH to make patients with full riders to pay a small portion of their hospital bills.

It’s understood that patients may need to pay 5 to 8 per cent of their bills. However, there will be a safety net to protect patients against very large bills. 

The task force recommended that all patients have to co-pay part of their bills to encourage prudent spending.

When patients have to pay, they would likely question if they would require certain lab tests or consumables recommended by the private hospitals and doctors.

Cases of over-consumption/over-prescription

For example, a patient with stomach and chest pains was admitted to hospital and did gastroscopy and colonoscopy procedures to check on his stomach and intestines. He was also referred to a heart doctor, dermatologist for skin rash and an ophthalmologist for blurred vision.

His total bill for one-day stay in hospital was $14,000.

Here’s another example of questionable claim by a patient with full rider treated in private hospital.

A 40-year-old man with pain and swelling in his big toe, requested to be admitted into hospital and chalked up $6,000 for being hospitalised for four days.

The doctor said the treatment would usually be done in the clinic and the patient’s hospital bill was eventually rejected by the insurer.

Another common example would be cataract surgery.

A patient could have done it as a day procedure that would only take approx. one hour or so but he opted to be hospitalised since he was covered by rider.

In the end, his one-day stay each time for each eye cost him a total bill of $21,000.

The average cost for cataract surgery of one eye in private hospitals is $5,000.

That means, the hospitalisation cost alone was approximately $11,000 ($21k-$5k) and it’s borne by the insurer.

Insurance companies losing money

All six insurance companies clocked underwriting losses in 2016 and turned to MOH for help. 

Here’s what MOH said in 2016 press release on HITF’s recommendations:

However, as observed by the HITF in its report, there are private insurance product features and riders that provide policyholders with 100% coverage without any co-payment. The absence of any co-payment may encourage over-consumption by some patients and over-servicing or over-charging by some healthcare providers which will eventually increase healthcare costs and insurance premiums for all Singaporeans.

MOH has been working with insurers on the implementation of the task force recommendations and will be sharing more details soon.

This article was published on by Anne Sim

March 24, 2018 |

Insurance Checklist In Singapore – What You Need To Know



 While you are out shopping for insurance, here are a few terms that will help you make informed decisions on insurance products.

Insurance Checklist #1: Who Should Be Covered?

You can choose to buy insurance as a single with no dependents, a couple, or a family. Generally, the larger your group the lower the insurance premiums. No independents means you have no child, elderly parent or spouse who claim a deduction on your tax return.

Be sure to coordinate coverage across spouses and family members. If you have spousal benefits in your pension plan, you will want to manage your insurance policies according to when these income streams will be paid.

Insurance Checklist #2: Be Forward Thinking

Today, technology is helping us predict what future illnesses we are at risk of acquiring. Gene tests can confirm if you are at risk of certain illness such as breast cancer. You should also review your family’s health history. Taken together, this information can help you make more informed decisions about your future healthcare needs.

Knowing whether or not you will break a bone on the ski slopes is harder to predict. But if you are an avid downhill skier, you should consider adding fracture coverage to your health insurance plan, if it is not already included.

Insurance Checklist #3: Practice Preventive Care

Preventive care can lower your insurance premiums. It also can identify a serious illness early. Preventive care measures can include:

– frequent and regular doctor’s check-ups

– regular testing – for example, mammograms

– regular exercise

– a healthy diet

Prepare in advance for health events you know will take place. If you are planning to become pregnant within the year, take out prenatal care coverage. A thorough policy that takes care of pre-natal consultations and all pregnancy scans can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Change your diet and eating habits, accordingly. Know the waiting times before coverage kicks in. How soon and often can newborns receive health checks and vaccinations? A delayed vaccination can put your child at risk, especially if you are spending a lot of time in hospital environments.

Insurance Checklist #4: Anticipate Medical Expenses

Does every member of your family have high blood pressure? Do you measure high but not yet in dangerous territory? High blood pressure medication may be a future expense. Hopefully, through healthy low stress living and medication classes, you can beat your family odds. But if you do see high blood pressure treatment as an option on your insurance plan, you may want to opt in. Are the drugs you require available as generic drugs? Could you lower your insurance costs by switching to generic versions? What is the likelihood you will need long term care?

Insurance Questions to Ask Your Financial Consultant

Insurance Checklist #5: Choosing Doctors and Health Service Providers

Singapore’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world. One advantage is that patients can choose their healthcare providers, whether in the public or private system. The doctor-to-patient population is healthy, and contributes to quality healthcare. Check any restrictions on doctor or healthcare service provider choices.

Insurance Checklist #6: Read the Fine Print

Even if you are renewing a policy, terms changes from year to year. The mortality rate used to determine your premium five years ago may have changed, and this will affect the cost of your insurance premiums. Always double check deductibles to avoid getting stung in your pocket book. Your choice of provider networks may also have changed. You may discover that the new offerings do not meet your criteria.

Insurance Checklist #7: Past and Current Treatment Exclusions

If you have recently had medical treatment, you may be excluded from having similar treatment within a specific time period. These are called exclusion periods. Examples of exclusions to watch for include:

– Pre-existing conditions for which you have previously received treatment. Treatment may be provided but a waiting period applied.

– Homecare, private nursing – Demand for these services is growing. While they may be standard in a disability plan, the services may not be covered in a general health insurance plan.

– Dental or vision care. Accident insurance may cover it in relation to an accident only. A separate plan or plan add-on will be required.

– Plastic surgery – This includes many forms of non-elective surgeries – nose jobs, face lifts and tummy tucks. Some plastic surgery may be covered such as that related to a mastectomy or skin grafting of burn victims.

– Drug exclusions

– Behavioral or learning problems

– Alternative and complimentary medicine – In Singapore, Chinese medicine is often covered or available as an add-on.

Insurance Checklist #8​: Beyond the Premium

A plan with low premiums but high deductibles may turn out to be too expensive. Most doctor’s appointments involve a co-payment, a fixed fee you will be required to pay each time you visit a doctor. Before your plan starts paying for your treatment, an out-of-pocket payment limit may be set. For example, you may be required to pay for $200 in Chinese medicine services before the healthcare policy will cover you for another $500 of treatment. The treatment may also have a lifetime maximum payout. For non-essential acupuncture, for example, you may have a lifetime limit of $1000.

When comparing insurance plans, you are seldom comparing apples-to-apples. The more you read the fine print, the more evident the differences in offerings will become. Take the time to carefully read through policies, and remember the onus is on the buyer to be informed and educated.  MoneySENSE was created as a resource to teach financial literacy and help you make more informed decisions when buying insurance and other financial products.

Health Insurance In Singapore Explained

This article first appeared on The New Savvy.

Author: By Anna V. Haotanto

July 22, 2017 |



My dad bought this prudential savings plan twenty years back and he was supposed to get 40k+ this year during March. However, they’ve only sent my dad a cheque for 20k+ (the initial investment is 30k+).

My family went up to the prudential office to lodge a complain and to enquire as to why the company isn’t giving the full sum as promised on the contract. The company dismissed my dad with a convenient bullshit excuse ” our company isn’t earning much so that’s the sum you’ll have “.

Is this ethically right? What’s the point for anyone to save with prudential if you’re going to make a loss in the end after 20 years? That money could’ve been many times more if my dad invested in other financial instruments and inflation.

Is there any case if we were to sue them? My parents are just Hawkers, I don’t understand why you’ve to make the old generation suffer so much
Update: it’s an endowment plan.

Update2 : there has been no withdrawal made and payment has been made regularly since 1994. The agent who sold this policy to my dad is no longer in prudential so it’s more troublesome too. I’ve also attached another pic regarding the loss of $ (which I’ve no idea what it is)

Update3: Hi there! Didn’t expect to receive so much help from everyone. I’ve already sent the documentations to my friends who’re from diff insurance agencies and they’re looking into it to see if they’re able to help. I’ve also translated the knowledge I’ve learnt from everyone to my dad but we’ll have to wait till Monday to see how the situation unfolds (I was told that someone from prudential will be contacting us, we don’t know how it’ll go but we’ll see).

For those who’re not providing any useful advice at all and is attacking my dad and I, please know that none of us expected this to happen. The term insurance is a very new concept to him in the 90s. Just because you’re literate now doesn’t mean that everyone is back then in the 90s. Your parents could’ve bought similiar policies for their retirement plan back then, and they could’ve ended up in a similar fate if they’ve an unethical agent whose mind is prob only on their KPI, serving them.

Once again, thanks everyone for your advice and concern regarding the situation and I really appreciate it. Have a great weekend ahead!

Facebook post by Tyler Jwy

Author: By Nobleman

June 2, 2017 |

Can We Trust Insurance Companies in Singapore?


Insurance. Your classmate is selling it, your ex is selling it, heck now even your auntie is also selling it. Almost EVERYONE is selling it now. When they’re not selling it they’re selling property. Can’t say we blame them, after all we’re all just trying to make a living in this weak economy. But if insurance companies are allowing just about anyone to be an insurance agent, how do we know who to trust?

We hear so many horror stories of how agents misrepresent insurance products, how they prey on the elderly, how they sour friendships. Yet, the thought of not being insured and staying in C class wards at the brink of death is just…saddening?

I mean come on, I’ve only been working so hard chasing after moons for so long. Don’t I deserve to at least have a nice stay on my sickbed? It is the last few moments of my human life and I don’t even know if I’m eligible for heaven. The truth is everyone needs insurance. Hence, I attempt to navigate the insurance world and hopefully, we’ll be less traumatized by insurance to actually get one. Here’s my homework:

Types of insurance agents in Singapore

You know we all have those few friends that work in banks (whoohoo! So atas right) and hold fancy titles like “relationship manager”, “financial advisor”, “personal banker” etc? When you ask them what exactly they do they’ll tell you things like “oh. I’m managing clients’ portfolios” only to find out later that the bulk of their income comes from pushing insurance products?

Apparently there are many types of agents out there, the difference is in where they work! There are the ones in insurance companies (insurance agents or financial planners), the ones in the banks (personal bankers) and the independent financial advisors.

Types of planning (full/ partial)

What all these ‘species’ of agents have in common is that they do two types of planning: partial and full. Well, at least they pick one of the two anyway. The old way of partial planning was just to focus on a specific area such as protection. But these usually result in the agent pushing just a few products that may not take into account other aspects of the client’s life.

These days, there’s more emphasis on a customer’s every financial need. Most insurance agents, the good ones at least, use full planning to give clients a more all-rounded picture. The general idea to cover all basic areas of your life and to determine the most appropriate products you should take after factoring in your targets and concerns.

How do agents earn their commission?

I used to think all agents earn an equal amount of commission whichever plans they sell. Sell a plan, they get a small percentage of the premium we pay, that percentage is paid out within the first few years. The truth is the system doesn’t work that way. Certain “star” products the banks/ insurance companies are promoting give agents a higher payout due to the higher profit margin.

If you’ve read our detailed article on how insurance agents earn their commission, it’ll make sense that longer term insurances are more profitable since you’re paying your premium for a longer period of time. Hence, if an agent is pushing you products that you feel you do not need despite you already stating your needs repeatedly, it’s probably a sign to get out NOW.

To put it in a different perspective, it’s also not so nice of us to squander someone’s time if we’re not interested in anything they’re selling. Staying longer is sort of asking for it cause it makes sense if someone wants something for spending time with you they could’ve better spent someplace else. There’s no free lunch in this world you know.

Qualifications of agents

M5, M8, M9, HI, PGI, BCP, ComGI…Sounds like superspy terms from the James Bond movies hor? Well, they aren’t actually. These are in fact examination modules that most insurance agents have to go through (depending on the type of insurance they’re aiming to sell) before they can even “catch up” with you.

Module Name

What it stands for?

Who must take it?


Rules and Regulations for Financial Advisory Services

All agents


Collective Investment Schemes

Agents or bankers selling unit trusts

M9 and/or M9A

Life Insurance and Investment-Linked Policies (I/II)

All agents


Health Insurance (HI)

All agents


Personal General Insurance

Agents selling general insurance


Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles

Agents selling general insurance


Commercial General Insurance

Agents selling general insurance

That said, most listings I’ve searched through on job search sites tend to put only “21 years old and above” and “diploma and above required” as firm entry requirements. I’ll let you be the judge of how stringent these requirements are.

What is in place to protect us as customers?

The Policy Owner’s Protection Scheme (PPF), guarantees a 100% payout of your guaranteed benefits, with some caps to policy holders if the insurer stops operation. Hence, there should not be any worry about insurance companies closing down since you will still get your benefits.

In cases of dispute, you can also file a claim with the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC) for free. A Case Manager will attempt to facilitate a resolution, and if the results are not satisfactory, you may still choose to pay an administrative fee of $50 to have your case decided by an appointed adjudicator or panel of adjudicators. It’s safe to say we’re pretty covered here.

So… should I buy that insurance policy or not?

To be honest, no one can actually make that decision for you. But here we would advise you to go to your next consultation with this word in mind: discernment. In my time researching this article, I’ve realised that not one agent I met could be representative of the entire population of agents here. There are bad apples in the bunch of course, but it’s hardly fair to use these to pass judgement on other agents as there are others out there who genuinely care.

To better observe if yours is acting on your best interests, try asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your insurance agent sincerely listening to your needs?
  • Is he/she too insistent on you buying a particular product?
  • Is he/she aggressively trying to make small talk/ contact you?
  • Are you feeling obliged to buy so he/she can make a living?
  • Do you really need the product he/she is selling?

Of course in the first place, being able to be discerning needs to come from a place of knowledge and information. Follow us on Facebook as we help you navigate the tricky world of insurance with more articles.

What do you think of the insurance industry in Singapore? Let us know in the comments.

Author: By Lynnette Goh

May 15, 2017 |
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