Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) are hospitalisation insurance plans offered by private insurance companies to cover hospital stays in public and private hospitals. They are integrated with the basic Medishield Life plan run by CPF. There are typically 3 types of IPs, namely those covering Class B1 wards, Class A wards and private hospitals. For ease of reference, they are named as Class B1, A and P plans respectively. Annual premiums increase with age and are most expensive for Class P plans. For this post, I will use the IPs offered by my insurer as the basis for discussion, since I signed up with them and have records dating back to 2006 when as-charged plans were first introduced. I believe the trends discussed below are applicable to all other insurance companies offering IPs.
Private hospitals offer the best care compared to public hospitals. However, Class P plans are the most expensive …