Special Covid-19 subsidies for first 2 years to offset MediShield Life premium hike

The Covid-19 subsidy kicks in after the premium subsidy. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government will continue to subsidise up to 50 per cent of MediShield Life premiums for about half the population, in addition to the subsidies the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations get.

These are permanent premium subsidies that provide help to at least half the population.

On top of that, the Government will give two years of Covid-19 subsidies to Singaporeans to reduce the burden of premium hikes.

Together with existing subsidies, this amounts to a net subsidy of 70 per cent of the increase in the first year and 30 per cent in the second year.

The benefits offered by MediShield Life are set to be widened from next year, to cover more and larger hospital bills, with proposed yearly claim limits raised from $100,000 to $150,000. To pay for these additional benefits and rising healthcare costs, premiums are expected to go up next year by as much as 35 per cent.

To illustrate, someone in the 51-60 age bracket on his next birthday now pays $630 a year in premiums for MediShield Life. With the change, his premium will go up to $800 a year.

If he is Singaporean with a monthly per capita household income of $1,200 or less, he gets a 30 per cent premium subsidy. He pays $441 annually now.

The amount of subsidy a person gets depends on per capita household income, age and the annual value of the homes they live in.

The Covid-19 subsidy kicks in after the premium subsidy.

So in real terms, the premium he needs to pay next year will be $477, or $36 more - although the premium for that age group goes up by $170.

The Covid-19 subsidy is only for Singaporeans and does not apply to the more than half million permanent residents.

However, PRs who qualify are entitled to the permanent premium subsidies, but at half the rate that Singaporeans get.

MediShield Life premiums can be paid entirely with Medisave. Those who do not have enough in their Medisave account may also tap the Medisave accounts of their immediate family members, such as a spouse or parents.

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If, in spite of that, they still cannot afford the premiums, they can apply to the Additional Premium Support scheme for help.

The Government has promised that every Singaporean and PR will be covered by MediShield Life from birth to death, with no one left out.

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