Press Releases

Press Releases

NTUC Income to Offer Free Upgrade to Higher Incomeshield Plan for Children of NTUC Members

6 May 2009

Move complements earlier announced free upgrade to its hospitalisation and surgical plan Standard Incomeshield for children

Singapore, 11 May 2009 – To show its solidarity with the Labour Movement in the current downtown, NTUC Income will be offering a free upgrade to its hospitalisation and surgical plan, Enhanced Incomeshield Basic plan, for the children of all NTUC members.

This move follows its announcement last week that it would offer all children in Singapore a one-year free upgrade from MediShield to its integrated Shield plan, Standard Incomeshield Plan B.

Similar to last week's offer to the general public, the offer to NTUC members is valid for one year and available to their children who are Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 16 and below, and who do not hold an integrated Shield plan by NTUC Income or other insurers.

NTUC Income's Enhanced Incomeshield Basic Plan is an "as-charged" plan with an annual claim limit of $150,000 which is three times that of MediShield. It also offers other benefits not found in MediShield, such as congenital abnormality benefit, unlimited lifetime coverage and unlimited lifetime claim limit.

Incomeshield plans provide cover against a gamut of ailments and defray the hospitalisation expenses incurred on medical treatments.  Amidst the increased vigilance on the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak globally, a health insurance plan such as Incomeshield would be more crucial than a Critical Illness plan as Influenza A (H1N1) is not classified as a critical illness and thus is not covered under Critical Illness plans. In addition, Incomeshield will cover costs resulting from quarantine in hospitals or government designated centres, even in pandemic situations.

NTUC members who upgrade their children's Medishield to this plan will continue paying only the $33 yearly premium for Medishield. As the Enhanced Incomeshield Basic Plan costs $70 a year, this works out to a discount of $37. This $37 discount may be applied to other higher Enhanced Incomeshield Plans as well, with the offer similarly limited to a one-year term.

The free Incomeshield upgrade also comes as a follow-on initiative to help needy Singaporeans cope with the downturn, on the back of the Incomeshield Assistance Scheme, a year-long $6 million scheme which was launched last December to help low-income and elderly Singaporeans with their Incomeshield premiums.

NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said that the free Incomeshield upgrade for the public and NTUC members would cost NTUC Income about $2.8 million.

"As a social enterprise, NTUC Income remains committed to its social purpose to make essential insurance affordable, accessible and sustainable for all Singaporeans. As a member of the NTUC family, NTUC Income acknowledges the Labour Union's key role in helping workers tide over this economic downturn. Through this offer to NTUC members, we hope to play our part in helping them cope with cost of living, particularly in relation to large hospital bills for their children," he said.

Parents who wish to upgrade their children's MediShield plan may do so between 11 May and 30 September at any of NTUC Income's nine branches island-wide, or contact any insurance adviser representing NTUC Income.

Since 1 December 2007, all newborn Singaporeans have been offered MediShield coverage on an opt-out basis, with the coverage extended to children of Permanent Residents born in Singapore. Currently, children aged between one and six who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents are provided with MediShield coverage when they enter primary school. Those aged between 7 and 20 who are studying in national schools would have been offered MediShield coverage between October 2008 and April 2009.

To encourage parents to sign up their children for the free Incomeshield upgrade, NTUC Income will be launching an awareness campaign through the mass media and by working with schools and childcare centres. One of these is NTUC First Campus, which has about 2,000 children of NTUC members enrolled in its pre-schools. Based on the $37 subsidy each child is eligible for, this group would enjoy collective cost savings of $74,000.

NTUC First Campus CEO Chan Tee Seng welcomed the free Incomeshield Upgrade, saying: "This initiative comes at an opportune time when many parents are struggling to make ends meet in a downturn. NTUC Income's free Incomeshield upgrade offer will be well-received by the NTUC members."

FACT SHEET

NTUC Income to Offer Free Upgrade to Higher Incomeshield Plan for Children of NTUC Members

What: A free one-year upgrade from Medishield to NTUC Income's hospitalisation and surgical plan, Enhanced Incomeshield Basic plan.

NTUC Income's Enhanced Incomeshield Basic Plan is an “as-charged" plan with an annual claim limit of $150,000 which is three times that of MediShield.

It also offers other benefits not found in MediShield, such as congenital abnormality benefit, unlimited lifetime coverage and unlimited lifetime claim limit.

Who: This is available to children of all NTUC members who are Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 16 and below, and who do not hold an integrated Shield plan by NTUC Income or other insurers. Members of the public who meet these criteria are eligible for a free upgrade to Standard Incomeshield Plan B.

Why: To help low-income families, and for NTUC Income to show its solidarity with the Labour Movement during the economic downturn. The free one-year Incomeshield upgrade for the public and NTUC members would cost NTUC Income about $2.8 million.

When: Parents who wish to upgrade their children's MediShield plan may do so between 11 May and 30 September 2009.

Where/How: Free upgrade may be done at any of NTUC Income's nine branches island-wide, or through any insurance adviser representing NTUC Income.

Quote by NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh: “As a social enterprise, NTUC Income remains committed to its social purpose to make essential insurance affordable, accessible and sustainable for all Singaporeans. As a member of the NTUC family, NTUC Income acknowledges the Labour Union's key role in helping workers tide over this economic downturn. Through this offer to NTUC members, we hope to play our part in helping them cope with cost of living, particularly in relation to large hospital bills for their children."