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1 in 8 drops out of MediShield plans if top-up is needed

Reasons include reluctance to use cash, late payment and life changes

Published on Feb 13, 2014 8:34 AM
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT TOP-UP: All this while, my premiums have been paid by Medisave, so I was not aware that I needed to pay cash to top up. I was also shocked at the amount, so I wanted to find out more. - Madam Lucy Bek (above), with her husband Lewis Lew, 66. She has since been reinstated under the original plan -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

One in eight people dropped out of their MediShield integrated plans (IP) last year, after being required to top up cash when premiums exceeded the amount covered by Medisave.

Some were reluctant to pay the premium increase, while others, like Madam Lucy Bek, realised the need to top up too late and found themselves no longer insured.

When the 66-year-old received the first letter telling her to top up her IP premium, she tossed it into the bin, thinking it was junk mail. It was only when she got the final third reminder from her insurer NTUC Income that she realised that her annual premium had crossed the $1,000 mark - the maximum for which her Medisave account could pay.

The Medisave cap is $800 for those aged 65 and younger, and increases up to $1,400 for those who are 80 and older.

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