MyPaper, 30 Dec 2013
by SALMA KHALIK
So, for a fairer comparison, I decided to look at the IPs pegged at public-hospital rates; in particular, the B1 class, where Singaporeans enjoy a 20 per cent government subsidy, and, hence, the variation in costs among different public hospitals is not that wide.
The five insurers provide a total of seven IPs in this category.
Whether they pay the high or low premium, coverage is pegged at B1 class in a public hospital. Both the priciest and the cheapest plans for an 80-year-old have the same $150,000 cap on annual claims, but no lifetime claim limit.
Although there are regulations all insurers need to abide by when they offer IPs, there is no regulation on how much the insurers can charge or what they need to offer.
It is essentially a free market. But medical insurance, like the practice of medicine itself, is an unequal marketplace, with the buyer rarely informed sufficiently to make sensible choices.