INSURANCE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Insurers expanding doctor panels for IP plans: LIA Singapore

All panel fees are also within the health ministry's benchmark.

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA) has assured that insurers have been expanding their preferred panels of doctors for their Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), in a response to the position statement of the Singapore Medical Association (SMA).

“It is in the interest of insurers to ensure that panels are comprehensive, to avoid policyholders having to consult non-panel doctors which incur higher costs,” LIA said.

The current panel size of 250 to 400 private specialists “is comparable to the typical size of an employee benefits private specialist panel” but should grow over time, it added.

All panel fees are also within the benchmark Ministry of Health (MOH) ranges, with fees needed to be set judiciously due to potential escalation in claims costs and higher premiums.

LIA has also released guides to insurers that they should publish the general criteria for selection of panel doctors as a best practice. Insurers would typically review the prospective panel doctor’s past claims to see if the historical charges have been reasonable, whether there are any red flags in terms of volume of suspicious claims, and available markers of quality.

The process includes looking into doctors’ overall reputation, doctors’ training records and credentials, as well as checks on whether there are any disciplinary issues with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC).

Insurers will work with stakeholders to better communicate their criteria to doctors.

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