Jun 17, 2015

MediShield Life Premiums - Stunned Like Vegetable!

Recently, I have quite a number of people asking me about MediShield Life and what it is about. Many of them received letters informing them how much premium they are expected to pay. Some of them are probably spooked by the premium amount that they were stunned like vegetable.

With their money at stake,I have quite a number of friends asking me about what is the new MediShield Life about and  most importantly, why is the premium so much more expensive as compared to the old MediShield. So, I decided to compile a FAQ on some of the questions discussed among my friends.

What are the main differences between the old MediShield and the new MediShield Life?

- The new MediShield Life covers for life vs the old MediShield covers till age 92.
- The new MediShield Life has a lower co-insurance (3%-10%) vs the old MediShield (10%-20%)
- The new MediShield Life covers every Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents while the old Medishield does not.

So why is the new premium so much higher than the old MediShield?

One of the most important feature of MediShield Life is that it offers universal coverage for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. The old MediShield scheme was an opt-out program introduced in 1990. So there is a whole bunch of folks for some reason, do not contribute to CPF prior to 1990, will not be covered. These are the people left out of the Medishield coverage:

- Baby Boomers and pre-war generation in between age 60-100 whom did not work, did not contribute to CPF, above the maximum entry age or had a medical condition resulting them unable to enroll in the MediShield Program.

A good example is my grandmother, who is currently 91 years old and managed to bring up my Dad and Uncle doing odd jobs.

- Children born between 1990 - 2010 with a medical condition and rejected by the MediShield board before they start earning an income to pay for their MediShield.

I have a friend who is 35 years old now and does not have a MediShield coverage as he suffers from a severe chronic illness at a young age and the parents did not have the foresight to purchase a Shield plan for him when he was young.

- Housewives. No job, no salary, no MediSave, no MediShield

- Workers paid by full cash by passing the CPF system.

- Misinformed and misguided Singaporeans who opt out of the MediShield program, fell sick and could not get back in again. 

One of the primary reasons why the premiums went up by so much is due to the MediShield Coverage extended to the very old, very sick and very poor and these groups of people are very expensive to cover. So everybody else pays a bit more to help out the vulnerable groups of people in Singapore

I already have a Private Shield Plan. Will it affect me?

The impact will probably be minimal and the premiums might rise a bit. Otherwise you will not see much enhancement on the current Private Plans

I am very fit and I will probably not die. Can I opt out of this ridiculous scheme?

Sorry, you cannot opt out as long as you are a Singapore Citizen or PR. Even if you have divine power and cannot die....

Emigration is the only solution to opt out of this scheme...

Why should I help these people pay for premiums? I already donating to charity!

Treat the higher premium as a form of charity than. You will be helping many less fortunate people in Singapore to pay for their hospital bills.

Why don't the government help me pay for the additional premium than? It is their idea and not my idea!

The government will help to subsidize the premium for the vulnerable citizens in Singapore. If you are one of those fortunate people that does not get any subsidies and still feel unhappy about it, you can feedback to the government at Gov.sg: Feedback. 

Or you can make a youtube video to rant about it...

OK, I don't want to make a YouTube Video. I don't want to be slapped in public. Where can I find out more about MediShield Life?

You can check out our friendly Ministry of Health Website or you can just check out the infogram below, kindly conceptualized by the government to help Singaporeans who grew up reading too much Marvel/DC comics and Japanese Manga.

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