MediShield Life: Does it give enough coverage?

Does MediShield Life provide sufficient coverage? Or should you go for an Integrated Shield Plan? The Straits Times senior health correspondent Salma Khalik explains.
In this episode of askST, Ms Khalik looks at MediShield Life and private integrated plans.
In this episode of askST, Ms Khalik looks at MediShield Life and private integrated plans.PHOTO: ST VIDEO

Singaporeans or permanent residents will not have to face big hospital bills on their own again because of MediShield Life.

Launched in November 2015, the national scheme ensures that everyone enjoys health coverage, regardless of age, infirmity or ability to pay.

However, does MediShield Life provide sufficient coverage? Or should you sign up for a private integrated plan?

In this episode of askST, senior health correspondent Salma Khalik compares the two types of insurance.

MediShield Life covers subsidised hospital bills and a few major outpatient treatments such as those for cancer, or when the person has kidney failure and requires dialysis.

If you are happy to go to a C class or B2 class ward, MediShield Life should be enough for you.

But it does not foot the entire bill; you need to pay an initial amount called a "deductible" as well as co-pay the rest of the bill.

In terms of lifetime coverage, there is no cap, so you can claim as much and as often as you need to.

So why would someone who is happy with subsidised care opt for a private integrated plan?

One of the reasons is if the person is a diabetic or has kidney failure.

In the video, Ms Khalik explains how you can decide if MediShield Life is sufficient for you.

The 13-part askST video series is produced in conjunction with ST's reader engagement programme, where ST journalists answer readers' questions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'MediShield Life: Does it give enough coverage?'. Print Edition | Subscribe