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MediShield Life to focus on three areas in second phase of review

Published on Jan 28, 2014 5:05 PM
Bobby Chin (left), presidential adviser and leader of a high-powered team tasked to design the new MediShield Life as part of the move to enlarge Singapore’s national medical insurance. The MediShield Life committee will focus on three areas in its second phase of review. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO

After consulting about 500 people from all walks of life in 14 focus group discussions, the MediShield Life Review Committee set up in November has identified three areas to focus on:

- The benefits, premiums and limits to be set for the new universal medical insurance, so that people will feel reassured that they can afford the healthcare that they need, and also be able to afford the higher premiums they will need to pay annually.

- How to bring everyone into the scheme. These are people who are currently uninsured, the elderly beyond insurable age, and those with pre-existing diseases that exclude them for coverage, and new citizens. Some in this group could be making claims from the start, and will certainly increase the payouts by MediShield. The question is who should pay for it - the people themselves, the government, or the rest of society. And how much needs to be paid so the scheme can work yet be fair to all.

- Integrated Plans. Two in three people have this added coverage, with plans pegged at public hospital B1 and A class wards, and private hospitals. The focus here is whether there should be greater regulation by the government and some standardisation of benefits and premiums.

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