MediShield report delayed but implementation of scheme remains end 2015

The recommendations for the new MediShield Life will be delayed but implementation of the scheme remains at the end of next year. -- ST FILE PHOTO
The recommendations for the new MediShield Life will be delayed but implementation of the scheme remains at the end of next year. -- ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - The recommendations for the new MediShield Life will be delayed but implementation of the scheme remains at the end of next year.

The Review Committee set up last year was to have sent the Ministry of Health (MOH) its report on a new health insurance that will cover everyone for life by the end of this month - but is unlikely to meet that deadline.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told Parliament on Tuesday that the committee headed by Mr Bobby Chin is finalising its recommendations and will share more details next month. The Straits Times understands that the much-awaited premiums for the new scheme will be announced then.

The committee has already announced that it plans to remove the current $300,000 lifetime limit, increase claimable limits and halve patients' co-payment. The MOH is agreeable to all that.

While this means better coverage, people have voiced worries on the high premiums that might be needed to provide such coverage.

Mr Gan said the committee has told him that most people hope the entire premium can be paid for with Medisave money and not require cash top-ups. This is especially so in large families where premiums have to be paid for children and the elderly as well.

Mr Gan said the Government understands their concerns and again promised that the premiums will be "affordable" with the subsidies it will be giving to the elderly and the lower income.

But he did not commit on whether the premiums would be entirely covered by Medisave, or if cash top-ups will be needed by larger families, or those who will not qualify for subsidies.

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