MediShield Life

Compound interest deters overseas S'poreans from returning

It is fair that overseas Singaporeans have been given the right to opt out of the MediShield Life scheme ("Singaporeans living abroad can apply to suspend MediShield Life"; Oct 1). But a Singaporean who opts out and later decides to return faces compound interest on top of paying the full backlog of premiums.

Many Singaporeans who have worked abroad for decades would be deterred from returning to Singapore because they have to pay compound interest on top of decades' worth of premiums.

They should not be charged more than if they had not opted out, particularly since they derived no benefit from the health insurance policy in the years when they were abroad.

The Ministry of Health should reconsider its position on charging interest, as this would act like a penalty and deter Singaporeans from returning.

Alicia Yin Yee Meng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'Compound interest deters overseas S'poreans from returning'. Print Edition | Subscribe