Higher MediShield Life claim limits: Baby's surgery less of a financial burden for parents

Madam How Pei Fen with her son Bryler, who will be undergoing cleft palate repair surgery in January. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MDM HOW PEI FEN

SINGAPORE - One of the first patients to benefit from revisions to MediShield Life may not even remember undergoing his procedure.

One-year-old Bryler Tan is scheduled to undergo cleft palate repair surgery in January next year, the same month that claim limits for the insurance plan will be raised and separated into more tiers.

The revisions to MediShield Life, which the Ministry of Health announced on Friday (Dec 27), are expected to benefit some 90,000 patients a year with higher payouts, starting from Jan 1.

For Bryler's mother, 27-year-old senior patient service associate How Pei Fen, this is a huge relief.

The baby's surgery is currently listed under tier 5C in the Ministry of Health's Table of Surgical Procedures, which means his family would have been able to claim up to $1,400 for it from MediShield Life.

Madam How, who is married to a helper at a food store, said on Friday: "We were worried about the huge cost of the surgery and scared we couldn't pay for it. We also knew Bryler would need to go for a lot of follow ups and treatments, and we'd need to spend a lot.

"We have financial issues and were worried that we'd have insufficient Medisave to make the payment."

Following the revision, however, they can now claim up to $2,180 for the procedure.

"This will help us to reduce our out-of-pocket payment, and even with the little we can pay out of Medisave, we will still be able to afford high surgery cost," said Madam How.

She felt that the revisions would be beneficial to Singaporeans, as it would help reduce the amount they have to pay from their own pockets.

"This will be less worrisome for them when they need to go for costly treatments. They will also not be so reluctant to seek treatment in hospitals due to financial issues," she said.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.