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Singapore: 1H health premium down 34% y-o-y to US$66 mln ahead of public health plan

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Sep 2015

There was a 34% y-o-y dip in new health insurance premiums for the first six months of 2015. A slow-down in the sales of Integrated Shield Plans (IP) has been observed as consumers adopt a wait-and-see approach in view that MediShield Life - mandatory basic health insurance, administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board - will be implemented on 1 November this year, according to Life Insurance Association (LIA) of Singapore.
   New health insurance premium recorded was S$91 million (US$66.75 million), of which 87% went to IPs and IP riders which cover deductibles and/or co-insurance.
   Dr Khoo Kah Siang, President of LIA Singapore, said: “We believe that as more people gain clarity on the benefits provided by MediShield Life, there will be those who will seek to satisfy their needs for higher levels of coverage and additional benefits through Integrated Plans and other health insurance plans available in the market.”
   LIA Singapore will continue to take a pro-active role in working closely with policymakers and relevant stakeholders to provide IPs to complement MediShield Life.
   As for Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) products implemented on 7 April, 193 policies – of which 97% were regular premium term life policies – were sold with $200,000 in weighted new premiums. DPI products are basic life insurance plans sold without financial advice and are purchased directly from customer service centres or websites of life insurance companies in Singapore.
   Overall, the life insurance industry maintained steady performance for the first half of the year, as weighted new business premium grew 3% y-o-y to S$1.35 billion.
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