Ask Salma

Q & A

From Nov 1, every Singaporean and permanent resident will be covered by MediShield Life.

The scheme will insure everyone, including the old and the sick, and provide lower co-payment of bills and unlimited lifetime claims.

Some people may still be unclear about how MediShield Life might affect them.

Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik answers questions posed by readers.

Q Why is the coverage from the time you are born? Does that mean my kids will be covered now though they have not paid any premiums?

A Yes, your children will be covered from Nov 1.

All Singaporeans born from Aug 26, 2012, are given a $3,000 grant by the Government which is put into their Medisave accounts. This money can be used to pay their MediShield Life premiums.

If your children were born before that date and have no Medisave, you, as their parent, are responsible for paying their premiums till they are 21 years old.

Q Can I pay my MediShield Life premiums with cash to conserve the money in my Medisave?

A As long as you have enough money in your Medisave account, it will be used to pay your MediShield Life premiums. You can, however, top up your Medisave Accounts via voluntary contribution with cash, subject to the relevant limit - which is $48,500 now, but will be $49,800 on Jan 1 next year. This amount will increase every year.

Q I paid my private Integrated Plan (IP) premium in July. If I drop my IP in November, will I get a proportional refund for the IP premium I have paid? Or do I need to wait till my next renewal date to make the change?

A No, you do not need to wait till your IP is due for renewal to switch to the basic MediShield Life. You can switch once the scheme starts on Nov 1.

And, yes, you should get a proportional refund for the unused portion of your IP premium.

• If you have more questions about MediShield please e-mail with the header "Ask Salma".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2015, with the headline 'Ask Salma'. Print Edition | Subscribe