Parliament: MediShield Life in a nutshell

SINGAPORE - The MediShield Life Scheme Bill tabled in Parliament on Monday gives wide-ranging powers to the administrator to access people's income and health status without explicit consent from them.

The Bill also gives the national insurance administrator the same powers as that of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to recover unpaid premiums, such as through employers or banks.

Such powers are needed because defaults on premiums by people who can afford to pay them will mean a heavier load on other policy holders. 

Here's a quick look at MediShield Life, which will replace the current MediShield when it starts at the end of this year:

What is MediShield Life?

A compulsory basic insurance scheme, targeted at helping people to foot large hospital bills. It will replace the existing MediShield.

Who will be covered under MediShield Life?

All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will be covered, including those with pre-existing conditions that are not covered under MediShield

What are the key differences between MediShield and MediShield Life?

MediShield Life has higher claim limits for hospital bills and outpatient cancer treatment.

There is no more lifetime claim limit under MediShield Life

How much will MediShield Life premiums cost?

The Health Ministry has an online calculator where you can get an estimate of your premiums after subsidies. It is available at www.medishieldlife.sg/calculator.

Those with serious pre-existing conditions will have to pay 30 per cent higher premiums for 10 years.

What kind of premium subsidies does the Government provide?

- Transitional subsidies for all citizens for the first four years.

- Permanent subsidies for lower and middle income households. Exactly how much these households get depends on their monthly per capita income and the annual value of their residence.

- Pioneer Generation subsidies and annual Medisave top-ups, which will be applicable regardless of income level.

linettel@sph.com.sg