Saturday, November 29, 2008

Incomeshield - Letter of Guarantee

Letter of Guarantee is one of the unique feature of Incomeshield compared to the rest of the Medisave Approved Integrated Shield Plans in Singapore. Incomeshield is a catastrophic medical insurance plan from NTUC Income which offers additional benefits on top of that provided by MediShield.

I am not trying to sell an Incomeshield Plan based on LOG here but I can certainly vouch that the issuance of Letter of Guarantee (LOG) did helped a few of my clients who are cash-strapped and not able to pay a deposit to the hospital.

What is a Letter of Guarantee?
A Letter of Guarantee or LOG is a document issued by NTUC Income for policyholders of Incomeshield plans. A LOG will help to waive partial or full deposits required by the restructured hospitals at the point of the Policyholder’s hospitalization.

How do we get this LOG?
It is not as easy getting this LOG as what your adviser might have explained to you. A lot of information is needed and adequate time are required to get them. Ask your adviser or call the hotline to seek the necessary information needed for this LOG. The generally required information are as below:
Name of Patient:NRIC / Policy Number:
Date of Admission:Length of Stay (days):
Hospital:Ward Class:
Estimated Hospital Bill:
Estimated Medisave Amount:
Deposit Required by Hospital:
Name of Attending Doctor:
Medical Condition:
Surgery Required (Include Surgery Table #)
If day surgery: Subsidised or Private Patient?
Hospital Telephone #:
Hospital Fax #:
Next of Kin:Next of Kin Contact #:

How much will NTUC Income guarantee the hospital in the LOG?
It depends on how much they estimated that you are able to claim from the Incomeshield Plan
based on specific interim admission information.
Example, if the claimable amount after applying deductible and Co-insurance in the Incomeshield is $1,000 but the hospital demands $2,000 deposit, they will most likely only issue an LOG based on Max $1,000.

Do we still have to pay hospital when LOG is issued?
Possible. 3 scenerios I can think of
1) LOG amount is less than deposit requested
2) Deposit is over the $10,000 limits set by NTUC Income
3) Hospital do not accept this Letter of Guarantee due to their Internal Practice. (Important Point)

How long do they need to take to issue a LOG?
From their website, they say 24hrs for restructured hospitals and 1 working day for Private Hospitals. My experience with them is 2-3 working days under normal circumstances. Do note that you need time to get the necessary information for LOG. Don't request from your adviser at the very last minute for LOG.

Can NTUC Income decline to issue an LOG?
Yes. I can say that NTUC Income is not obliged to issue an LOG. There are nothing in the terms and condition to say that they must issue the LOG. Its more like a extra added service by them. We must also meet the eligibility criteria in order to get the LOG.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?
Some of the eligibility criteria for a LOG I can highlight are:
1. The policy and acoompanying riders must be in force for at least 1 year
2. The estimated LOG amount is below $10,000
3. The Medical condition is not excluded under the Incomeshield plan
4. The estimated LOG amount is above the policy deductible
5. The treatments are not at private clinics, outpatient treatments and community hospitals

I am not a staff of NTUC Income and is not an expert with LOG. I write this merely based on my knowledge and experience about it. I'll advise that you check with NTUC Income or your adviser when necessary.

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