Roadshow helps educate public on MediShield Life

Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor greets the crowd at Ang Mo Kio Central on Nov 27, 2016.
Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor greets the crowd at Ang Mo Kio Central on Nov 27, 2016. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Close to 6,800 people showed up yesterday at Ang Mo Kio Central for the first of two MediShield Life roadshows.

The roadshow is part of ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Health to educate the public on the compulsory national health insurance scheme since it was introduced last November. Compared to the old MediShield scheme, MediShield Life offers higher claim limits for hospital bills and some outpatient treatments like chemotherapy. It also covers pre-existing medical conditions, like HIV, previously not covered by MediShield.

The improved coverage comes with higher premiums, but the Government has rolled out a host of subsidies to make sure premiums are affordable.

Yesterday's roadshow included an exhibition, a skit, a cross-talk segment with celebrities Irene Ang and Suhaimi Yusof, as well as games centred on the scheme. There was also a dialogue where the participants, mostly elderly folk, could ask Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor about MediShield Life and private Integrated Shield Plans.

One attendee voiced concerns over rising medical costs. Dr Khor said medical costs are rising for several reasons, including the advancement of medical technology, new drugs and an ageing population that leads to higher healthcare costs.

"This is why we are getting people to lead active lifestyles to reduce these individual medical costs," she said.

Dr Khor told reporters that some Singaporeans still have misperceptions and questions about MediShield Life, such as the co-payment or deductible portions.

"We are hoping that through (roadshows) like what we are doing today, it will help to present MediShield Life information... in bite- size content, and in a very light- hearted, entertaining manner... and help Singaporeans better understand the benefits of MediShield Life and how it will help them."

Ang Mo Kio resident Doreen Tay, 70, said she was just passing by the roadshow and decided to find out more. While the retired salesperson had heard of MediShield Life, she was not sure about the details.

"Now I'm more aware of things like surgery costs and Integrated Shield coverage," said Madam Tay.

The next roadshow will be held in February in Toa Payoh.

Yeo Sam Jo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2016, with the headline 'Roadshow helps educate public on MediShield Life'. Print Edition | Subscribe