Panel Doctors in Singapore What do they do

Panel Doctors in Singapore: What do they do?

Once you’ve availed health insurance in Singapore, your insurer will certainly introduce you to a list of panel doctors. For those who are new to this, you may wonder what panel doctors actually are in the first place.

To help you get some answers, we provided the most essential things you need to know about panel doctors in Singapore. Curious to find out? Read on!

What are panel doctors?

Panel doctors are your usual cardiologists, nephrologists, dermatologists, and more. The only difference they have with other doctors is that they’re listed in an insurance company’s pool of approved specialists. 

This means that you can avail the services of these medical specialists from various healthcare institutions at a discounted rate, given that you have an Integrated Shield Plan (IP). 

Not sure what that is? An IP is a private health insurance that helps cover both hospitalisation and surgical bills on top of your Medishield coverage.

While this health plan is optional, it’s highly advisable to get one due to its wide coverage and benefits. According to the Straits Times, approximately 2.85 million people in Singapore have an IP.

Why should you choose a panel doctor?

The major advantage when it comes to choosing a panel doctor is the assurance that there will be no overservicing, overcharging, and even over-consumption of healthcare services. 

Panel doctors signed a contract where they agreed to charge within the fee range or benchmark set by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Thus, this ensures that all of the claims are covered, capped, and charged at a reasonable cost.

To weigh things out, the table below shows some of the pros and cons when you choose a panel doctor:

ProsCons
Fees and charges are reasonable (as doctors on the list needs to pass stringent criteria)Might not be your preferred doctor
Co-payment for bills capped at $3,000 per policy yearA smaller pool of doctors to choose from
Assurance that the doctor has at least 5 years of specialist experience and a clean professional track record
Receive pre-approval for medical expenses even before hospital admission or medical procedure
Provides higher Letter of Guarantee (LOG), the insurer guaranteeing to pay on your behalf to waive upfront payment required by hospitals

Keep in mind that when choosing from several panel doctors, there’s a good chance that your go-to doctor might not be part of the list provided by your insurer. 

Insurers with Panel of Specialists for Integrated Shield Plans 

You must also take into consideration that your selected insurer will greatly affect the number of panel doctors that you can choose from.

Here are the seven major health insurance companies in Singapore with panel doctors:

InsurerPanel of Specialists Details
AIAMore than 400 AIA Quality Healthcare Partners (AQHP) specialists across all areas of expertise
AXAMore than 300 medical specialists across various disciplines
AvivaMore than 300 medical specialists across various disciplines
Great EasternMore than 4,000 specialists of over 25 medical specialists represented More than 300 private specialists
PrudentialMore than 700 specialists with particularly 50 medical specialists represented
Raffles Health InsuranceMore than 150 specialists across 30 disciplines
NTUC IncomeMore than 400 specialists across various specialities and sub-specialties

On top of your IP, you may choose to avail a rider, which is an optional provision that can add benefits or amend the basic terms of your insurance policy. It’s also used to lessen your out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills.

As of April 2021, IPs now require a 5% co-payment. This means that you’ll need to pay a certain amount from your own pocket to cover the bills.  

More Resources about Medical Professions in Singapore