NTUC Income is a household name in Singapore, with many just defaulting to them when it comes to anything insurance-related. They also have Integrated Shield plans in the form of NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield. Let’s see how these health insurance plans measure up.
What are Integrated Shield plans?
Integrated shield plans are a type of health insurance policy unique to Singapore. They are meant to supplement the basic health insurance protection offered by MediShield Life, which all Singaporeans and PRs are signed up to.
MediShield Life’s basic health insurance protection is very bare-bones. Payouts will only cover stays in Class B2 or Class C wards in public/restructured hospitals, and a lot of things are not covered, such as pre- and post-hospitalisation costs, which is problematic as these can sometimes be just as high as your hospitalisation costs themselves.
Integrated shield plans work to supplement your existing MediShield Life protection without duplicating it. With something like NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield, Singaporeans would be better covered at generally affordable prices.
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield Integrated Shield premiums
|NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield||Ward||Annual premium*|
|Basic||Class B1||$310 (MediShield Life) + $71 = $381|
|Advantage||Class A||$310 (MediShield Life) + $104 = $414|
|Preferred||Private hospital||$310 (MediShield Life) + $375 = $685|
*For Singapore citizens aged 35
There are three tiers of NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield policies. For all of them, you can pay a portion of your premiums using Medisave. The remainder will have to be paid out of pocket.
In terms of price, their Basic and Advantage plans are very competitively priced, while the Preferred Plan is relatively expensive. See our full comparison of Integrated Shield plans before deciding on which IP to get.
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield Integrated Shield plans
|NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield||Pre-hospitalisation cover||Post-hospitalisation cover||Annual coverage limit|
|Basic||100 days||100 days||$250,000|
|Advantage||100 days||100 days||$500,000|
|Preferred||100 days (180 days if you use a healthcare provider on their panel)||100 days (180 days if you use a healthcare provider on their panel)||$1.5 million|
Like most other health insurers, NTUC Income offers 3 tiers for their Integrated Shield plans:
- The Preferred plan covers you for stays in private hospitals
- Advantage gives you access to Class A wards in public/restructured hospitals
- Basic lets you stay at B1 wards in public/restructured hospitals
One of the weakest points is that their pre- and post-hospitalisation cover of 100 days is just not that generous. There are other insurers that cover you for as long as a year after hospital discharge!
The Preferred plan fares a little better as you have the chance to get 180 days of pre- and post-hospitalisation cover if you use a hospital on their panel. But even then, there are other insurers offering the same thing at a lower price.
If you’re willing to overlook the pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage length, NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield isn’t a bad choice. The total annual claim limits are decent, except for Advantage, which falls a bit short of other Class A plans.
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield riders: Classic Care & Deluxe Care
Even with an Integrated Shield plan covering most of your bill, getting hospitalised can still be expensive. You’ll need to pay a deductible (up to $3,500) the first time you make a claim per policy year, PLUS co-payment of 10% of your hospital bill.
To reduce the out-of-pocket costs when you get hospitalised, you can add what’s called a “rider” to your NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield plan.
The cheaper Classic Care Rider limits your co-payment to 10%, capped at $3,000 a year when you use a hospital on their panel. For a 35-year-old, it costs $78 to $205 depending on which Integrated Shield tier you opt for.
The more comprehensive Deluxe Care Rider limits your co-payment to 5%, capped at $3,000 per year for hospitals on their panel. You don’t need to pay any additional non-panel payment with the rider when you use a hospital that’s not on their list. It’s more expensive and costs $134 to $632 for the same age range.
Rider costs are not MediSave-eligible, so you’ll need to pay for them in cash. Still, these riders could save you thousands of dollars if you get hospitalised.
How does NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield supplement MediShield Life coverage?
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield fills the gaps of MediShield Life. It also enables you to stay at better wards or in private hospitals, depending on which plan you choose.
Being able to make claims for pre- and post hospitalisation expenses is also a key benefit, as these costs can be considerable and aren’t covered by MediShield Life. Other perks include being able to make claims for emergency hospitalisation while overseas.
NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield policyholders can also take part in NTUC Orange Health, a rewards programme that lets you earn points (redeemable for vouchers) when you take part in fitness activities, and offers a very cheap $20 basic health screening.
Should you get NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield?
Overall, we would recommend NTUC Enhanced IncomeShield for those on a budget who don’t mind public hospital coverage. It is pretty affordable for the public hospital tiers, and coverage is decent (although not impressive). The Orange Health perks are a nice touch.
On the other end of the scale, if you’re looking for a private hospital plan with good perks, you might want to consider other plans that are either cheaper or offer much higher coverage. See our complete Integrated Shield plan comparison for the best plans at that range.
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