SINGAPORE - An estimated 25,000 Singaporeans - less than one per cent of citizens - will need to pay additional premiums when MediShield Life is implemented on Nov 1.
The new scheme will cover all Singapore citizens and permanent residents, including those with pre-existing conditions not currently covered under Medishield, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Monday (Sept 21).
Those with exclusions will have them lifted and benefit from full coverage under MediShield Life, MOH added.
Of the 25,000 who have been identified with serious pre-existing conditions, 23,000 are uninsured. The remaining 2,000 are insured under MediShield or Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) but with exclusions.
Those who are required to pay additional premiums will be notified by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) board via mail from now till late October.
They will pay an additional 30 per cent premium for 10 years, following which they will pay the same standard premiums as the rest in their age group, regardless of their health condition in future.
Most of these costs will be borne by the Government.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the Government had taken a "fair and compassionate approach" when it came to Singaporeans who will be subject to the additional premiums.
"Most of them would not be able to purchase insurance and would have been bearing high medical costs without any insurance protection over the past years," he said.
"With MediShield Life, they can now be covered for life and receive help with their large medical bills."