MediShield Life kicked in on Sun (Nov 1). The national health insurance scheme aims to help Singapore residents pay for large hospital bills and costly outpatient treatments by providing higher claim limits.
MediShield Life is universal, meaning all Singaporeans and permanent residents will be covered. That includes 23,000 people who have serious pre-existing conditions and are currently uninsured. However, this group has to pay an extra 30% in premiums for 10 yrs after MediShield Life begins in November.
The new scheme has no lifetime claim limit. It was capped at S$300,000 for the old scheme. The maximum claim limit per policy year is now S$100,000, up from S$70,000.
MediShield Life Premiums and Subsidies
As an insurance scheme, MediShield Life premiums are risk-pooled to support the payouts and benefits under MediShield Life. Those with serious pre-existing conditions may have to pay Additional Premiums for 10 years.
The Government will also provide significant support to keep premiums affordable, including those who need to pay Additional Premiums:
- Premium Subsidies for the lower- to middle-income;
- Pioneer Generation Subsidies for Pioneers;
- Transitional Subsidies to ease the shift to MediShield Life for Singapore Citizens; and
- Additional Premium Support for those who are unable to afford their premiums even after premium subsidies.
A Complex Shield For Life
While the principle of health insurance is simple — in that you pay now to avoid getting a big bill in the event you do incur medical expenses — it is a complex and often confusing system with layers of conditions.
The introduction of MediShield Life, which kicked in on November 1, as a compulsory national health policy for all Singapore citizens and permanent residents, has been met with curiosity and apathy.
For those who were previously on MediShield, and paying for it out of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Medisave account, the new system now provides lifetime coverage (previously it was up to age 92), and also includes pre-existing illnesses. The latter is useful as many private health policies would require a higher premium or not provide cover at all.
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