SINGAPORE - Overseas Singaporeans should remain covered under MediShield Life, the MediShield Life Council (MLC) has recommended.
However, a small and distinct group of overseas Singaporeans who live abroad permanently can ask for MediShield premium collection to be suspended, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The Council's recommendations were accepted by the Ministry of Health.
In its review, the MLC sought inputs from both OS and locally-based Singaporeans. The final recommendations reflect the MLC's assessment after "extensive deliberations and careful consideration of the many good ideas and suggestions received".
Council chairman Mrs Fang Ai Lian said, "This was a complex issue and the Council took into consideration the varying circumstances of different groups of Singaporeans. Ultimately, our aim is to ensure that MediShield Life continues to meet the healthcare needs of all Singaporeans."
The Council said that everyone should contribute to the scheme "as part of collective responsibility".
Overseas Singaporeans, who remain covered under MediShield Life, can benefit from the coverage whenever they seek medical treatment in Singapore.
However, it recognised that there is a small and distinct group of OS who have chosen to live abroad permanently and feel that they will not benefit from it.
For them, the Council recommended they apply for suspension of the premium collection.
These Singaporeans are eligible if they live abroad permanently with no intention to reside in Singapore, based on the following supporting indicators:
- Possess a valid permanent residency permit in their country of residence;
- Resided outside Singapore for at least five years immediately preceding their application for suspension of premium collection, except for short visits; and
- Able to afford healthcare treatment in their country of residence, and declare that they do not need to rely on MediShield Life in Singapore.
Should they choose to relocate back to Singapore or no longer meet the eligibility criteria for suspension of premium collection, they will have to pay the accumulated sum of premiums not paid previously, with compound interest.
They would not need to pay additional premiums for health conditions that they had developed during the suspension of premium collection.
Should they seek medical treatment in Singapore during suspension of premium collection (for instance while visiting), they can still choose to claim and benefit from the payouts.
Once he does so, his suspension of MSHL premium collection will cease and he will have to pay the full sum of the premiums not paid previously, with compound interest.
Those who meet the eligibility criteria may apply to the CPF Board for suspension of MediShield Life premium collection from Oct 7.