How to decide if you should upgrade to an Integrated Shield Plan (IP)

28 Jul 2017 

​All Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are automatically covered under MediShield Life, with an option to upgrade to an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) for enhanced coverage.


If you are unsure whether an upgrade is for you, learning from Praveen's example might help!


Pre-existing conditions​

Praveen has a number of pre-existing conditions. If he decides to get an IP, he will need to declare these conditions to the insurer in the application process.


Depending on the insurer, these conditions may be excluded from the additional private insurance component of his IP or the insurer may not want to cover him. However, his conditions will be covered under MediShield Life.


Preference of ward type

In the event of hospitalisation, Praveen wants to stay in an A/B1 ward in a public hospital, or in a private hospital. An IP may be more suitable for him in this case, since there are IPs targeted at coverage for these ward types/private hospitals.


On the other hand, if Praveen is comfortable with a B2/C ward in a public hospital, MediShield Life coverage will be sufficient. While he would still be able to stay in other ward types/private hospitals, a smaller proportion of the bill would be covered under MediShield Life, and he would have to pay the rest with cash or Medisave.


Cost of premiums


Praveen will always be able to pay for his annual MediShield Life premiums fully using his Medisave. If he decides to upgrade to an IP, the annual premium for the additional private insurance component is payable by Medisave, but only up to the prevailing Additional Withdrawal Limits (AWLs), which vary according to age:


Age at next birthdayAWLs
40 and below$300
41 to 70$600
71 and above$900



Praveen's age

MediShield Life premiums

(Fully payable by Medisave)

Additional private insurance component of a Private Hospital IP ​ ​
PremiumsAWL applicableCash outlay


Based on the example above, at age 42, Praveen does not need to pay out-of-pocket for the additional private insurance coverage, since the premium is within the AWL. However, when he reaches the age of 65, he would need to pay $645* in cash for his additional private insurance premium as it exceeds the AWL. Fast forward to his 85th birthday and he would need to fork out more than $4,000* in cash a year.


As IP premiums will continue to increase with age, Praveen will have to pay more cash over time. Praveen will have to consider if he can afford the premiums in the long term, and whether MediShield Life coverage may be sufficient for his needs.


If you'd like to find out more, visit medishieldlife.sg.


*Based on today's AWLs, and current IP premiums


Information accurate as at July 2017.

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