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MediShield Life a 'major policy undertaking' that provides far better protection: Lawrence Wong

Published on Jun 14, 2014 1:45 PM
 
Patients waiting for their medicine at the Tampines Polyclinic pharmacy. The proposed MediShield Life scheme will provide "far better protection" against large bills, and also cover those with pre-existing health conditions while keeping premiums affordable, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- The proposed MediShield Life scheme will provide "far better protection" against large bills, and also cover those with pre-existing health conditions while keeping premiums affordable, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

The new scheme is a major policy undertaking which reflects a continuation of the work that has been going on for more than a decade,Mr Wong wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

He recounted how as a civil servant back in 2004, he had helped to implement the first MediShield Reform. "Back then, MediShield was losing its effectiveness - for patients with large hospital bills, MediShield only covered about 40 per cent of the bill, leaving the patients with a high effective co-payment," he wrote. In updating the scheme, they had to balance the desire for better payouts with a "contrasting desire" for affordable premiums.

He shared a personal episode in which he experienced the benefits of this update. His father suffered a sudden heart attack last year and had to undergo quadruple bypass surgery. Due to complications, he had to be hospitalised for some time, and the bill exceeded $20,000. But more than 70 per cent of the bill was covered by insurance, and the rest was paid out through Medisave and cash.

 
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