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MediShield Life premiums expected to rise as government plans to broaden scheme’s coverage

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung preempts impending MediShield Life premium hikes amid review to enhance coverage and address large medical bills, focusing on expanded claims and groundbreaking treatments.



In his address during the Committee of Supply debate on 6 March, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced that premiums for Singaporeans’ basic health insurance plan, MediShield Life, are expected to increase as part of a comprehensive scheme review aimed at providing greater assurance against large medical bills and covering new groundbreaking treatments.

MediShield Life, which was launched in November 2015, is a compulsory health insurance plan designed to protect all Singaporeans against significant healthcare costs, irrespective of pre-existing conditions, for life.

The anticipated adjustments follow recommendations by an expert panel reviewing the scheme, with conclusions expected by the second half of 2024.

Specifically, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has tasked the 11-member MediShield Life Council, chaired by former Ernst & Young chairman Mrs Fang Ai Lian, to undertake a comprehensive review of the scheme.

This initiative comes in the wake of a previous review in 2020, which saw an average premium increase of 25 percent, and aligns with MOH’s commitment in 2019 to revisit claim limits every three years or so.

The council’s review will focus on several key enhancements. Firstly, it aims to increase claim limits for both surgeries and hospital stays, providing greater financial assurance to Singaporeans.

“We envisage a fairly significant increase in the claim limits…This will reduce out-of-pocket costs significantly,” Ong explained, highlighting potential adjustments for treatments such as angioplasty and accompanying ICU stays.

Additionally, the council will examine ways to enhance outpatient coverage, including raising claim limits for treatments like kidney dialysis and extending coverage to more types of outpatient care.

“MOH is facing an especially difficult challenge for cancer,” Mr Ong noted, underscoring the necessity for strategic adjustments in the scheme’s coverage to address these escalating costs, particularly in the face of the growing challenge of cancer treatment costs, which have been rising uncontrollably.

The review will also consider the inclusion of cell, tissue, and gene therapy products (CTGTPs) under MediShield Life, acknowledging the revolutionary potential of these treatments in addressing previously incurable diseases.

However, Mr Ong emphasized the need for safeguards to ensure the sustainability of financing CTGTPs, stating that coverage would be extended only to treatments deemed safe, clinically effective, and cost-effective.

While the proposed changes aim to enhance protection against major health episodes, they will necessitate an increase in MediShield Life premiums.

Mr Ong assured that measures would be taken to ensure that premiums could be fully covered by MediSave, including enhancing premium subsidies and MediSave top-ups for specific groups.

“No one will lose MediShield Life coverage due to a genuine inability to afford the premiums,” Mr Ong stressed, reinforcing the government’s commitment to keeping healthcare accessible and affordable for all Singaporeans.

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There must always be an excuse to justify the premium increase however unwilling you don’t want to give. With Pappy analogy that who don’t want more money, this is both good news for hospital and Pappy Gov. With the increase claim limits, hospital hands are free to increase pricing and Gov will be more happy with the corresponding increase in GST collected. At next premium review, Gov can give the same excuse that claim are high and hence to be sustainable, premium has to rise. In the meantime during this period, they will brainwash you by claiming how much subsidy… Read more »

Given that the TFR is now 0.97 and plummeting … the “future unborn generation” is a SHRINKING population, so the govt should be able to afford to spend more of the reserves on the CURRENT generation.

Can the COMPULSORY MedishieldLife premium be considered as a TAX?

The ruling government should not burden Singaporeans with Medisave / Medishield scams. Forget about online scams, the ruling government has been scamming Singaporeans for decades.

Return that money to Singaporeans and let them decide what insurance policy they would like, Medisave / Medisheld scams or private companies.

Told you people before.
When this ong-lai never-ending rewards all medical staff, surely medical and medical insurance costs will rise. He won’t fork out the extra money from his own pocket to pay the staff the rewards…

The. Loong will step in and pretend to create temporary “peace” and retain his position since supposedly Nov to step down and then repeat the whole shenanigans again …. Wave 2

No they just wanna start WAR 2024 Taiwan China war in SG. With the Coal and Iron factions. No?!?

Mafia call it the 保护费!No?!?

And the scam medical insurance step in … Told you insurance is a scam. Take more than the insurance overlords give …

Same here. I think health is my own responsibility and work towards it. Only time saw a doctor was for vaccination during COVID. It is unfair for us to keep paying and not getting a payback every five years for looking after our own health.

It would be good if the opposition MPs will question the collection of premiums collected versus claims disbursed in Medishield Life. Remember in 2018 when Eldershield was in force; the premiums collected far, far outpaced the claims disbursed as shown in the quote from TODAY newspaper of 11 Jul 2018: “The MPs, including Nominated MP Ms Chia Yong Yong, Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency) and Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC), sought clarification on why only S$133 million was paid out as claims under ElderShield even though S$3.3 billion in premiums were collected at the end of… Read more »

Malaysia and Canada does not have all this bullshit and able to deliver free healthcare care to their citizens. We pay taxes, GST etc but still have to pay for each service again? Isn’t it a duplicate of collection of dollars?

GST rise, now Medishield life premiums rise, everything rise. So many things price rise, want people to die or what?