25,000 Singapore Residents to pay extra 30% MediShield Life premium

Nation-wide hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion plan, MediShield Life, will be imple­men­ted on 1 Novem­ber 2015. Min­istry of Health has already iden­ti­fied 25,000 Singa­pore Cit­izens and Per­man­ent Res­id­ents with ser­i­ous pre-existing ill­nesses who will have to pay extra 30% extra premium for the next 10 years to cover the pre-existing ill­nesses. After which, they would pay the same premi­ums as their peers. If you belong to this group, you will receive a let­ter with details about your new MediShield Life cov­er­age, premi­ums and sub­sidies, includ­ing the Addi­tional Premi­ums. The vari­ous sub­sidies for MediShield Life premi­ums will also apply to Addi­tional Premiums.

If you cur­rently not insured with Medishield, you will also receive the let­ter soon to inform you on the premi­ums and sub­sidies. For oth­ers, you will only receive the let­ter one month before your plan is due for annual renewal from either the CPF Board (cover under MediShield) or your private insurer (cover under Integ­rated Shield Plan) with details about your premi­ums and sub­sidies for the MediShield Life com­pon­ent of your Integ­rated Shield Plan.

The broad cat­egor­ies of ser­i­ous pre-existing ill­nesses are:

Broad cat­egor­ies Indic­at­ive examples (not exhaustive)
Can­cer Lung can­cer, colorectal can­cer, breast can­cer, stom­ach cancer
Blood dis­orders Parkinson’s dis­ease, Mus­cu­lar dys­trophy, Amyotrophic lat­eral scler­osis (ALS)
Heart or other cir­cu­lat­ory sys­tem diseases Heart attack, Coron­ary artery dis­ease, Chronic ischaemic heart disease
Cerebrovas­cu­lar diseases Stroke
Res­pir­at­ory diseases Chronic obstruct­ive pul­mon­ary disease
Liver dis­eases Alco­holic liver dis­ease , Chronic hep­at­itis, Fibrosis or cir­rhosis of liver
Autoimmune/ Immune Sys­tem diseases Sys­temic lupus eryth­em­atosus, Human Immun­ode­fi­ciency Virus/ Acquired Immune Defi­ciency Syn­drome (HIVAIDS)
Renal dis­eases Con­gen­ital heart dis­ease, Con­gen­ital renal dis­ease, Bil­i­ary atresia
Psy­chi­at­ric conditions Schizo­phrenia
Chronic con­di­tion with ser­i­ous complications Hyper­tens­ive heart dis­ease, Hyper­tens­ive kid­ney dis­ease, Dia­betes with kid­ney com­plic­a­tions, Dia­betes with eye complications

Those whose pre-existing con­di­tions are less ser­i­ous or are well-controlled, such as well-controlled dia­betes, or hyper­ten­sion with no com­plic­a­tions, osteoarth­ritis, pre-cancers, fibroids or cysts or those who were hos­pit­al­ized due to a one-off event, such as an acci­dent or dengue are not sub­jec­ted to the 30% addi­tional premium.

MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan

The MediShield Life Review Com­mit­tee has just released the recom­mend­a­tions on the enhanced bene­fits to the cur­rent MediShield. The changes are as follows:-

a) Remove the life­time claim limit of $300,000;

b) Remove the cov­er­age age limit of 90 years old;

c) Uni­ver­sal cov­er­age for all, includ­ing pre-existing conditions;

d) Increase the policy year claim limit from $70,000 to $100,000;

e) Increase the daily claim lim­its for nor­mal wards from $450 to $700 and ICU wards from $900 to $1,200;

f) Increase the claim lim­its for sur­gical pro­ced­ures from $150-$1100 to $200-$2000;

g) Increase the daily claim lim­its for com­munity hos­pit­als from$250 to $350;

h) Sub­stan­tially increase the claim lim­its for out­pa­tient can­cer chemo­ther­apy and radio­ther­apy treat­ments, to bet­ter cover the cost of sub­sid­ised can­cer treatment;

i) Lower co-insurance rates from the cur­rent range of 10–20% to 3–10%;

Co-insurance Cur­rent MediShield MediShield Life
Claim­able Amount
$0 — $3,000

20%

10%

$3,001 — $5,000

15%

10%

$5,000 — $10,000

10%

5%

>$10,000

10%

3%

Out­pa­tient Treatments

20%

10%

j) Start premium rebates earlier from age 66, instead of age 71

The addi­tional costs arising from the expec­ted higher claims from those with pre-existing con­di­tions will be shared across those with pre-existing con­di­tions, the exist­ing insured poli­cy­hold­ers, and the Gov­ern­ment. Those with pre-existing con­di­tions will pay higher premi­ums at an addi­tional 30% for a period of 10 years, in view of higher risks. The premium increase for the remain­ing poli­cy­hold­ers as a res­ult of uni­ver­sal cov­er­age should be no more than 3% from cur­rent premiums.

The private Integ­rated Shield Plan (IP) con­sists of two parts – the basic MediShield plan and a top-up por­tion. As an Integ­rated Shield Plan poli­cy­holder, you enjoy the com­bined bene­fits of MediShield, which is run by CPF Board, and the enhanced bene­fits of the top-up por­tion, which is run by your private insurer. When imple­men­ted, MediShield Life will replace the cur­rent MediShield por­tion of your IP.

Because MediShield Life will provide cov­er­age for all pre-existing con­di­tions, you will also enjoy the MediShield Life cov­er­age, for life, includ­ing for any pre-existing con­di­tions that you may have. This will apply even if the con­di­tion is excluded fromthe top-up cov­er­age by your Integ­rated Shield insurer.

As the admin­is­trator of MediShield Life, the CPF Board will assess all claims from the IP poli­cy­hold­ers and make pay­outs accord­ing to the MediShield Life bene­fits. The CPF Board will for­ward MediShield Life pay­outs to the private insurer, who will com­pute its share of cov­er­age and then provide the com­bined pay­out to the hos­pit­als directly.

All Integ­rated Shield Plan poli­cy­hold­ers will also receive cov­er­age for life under MediShield Life. Because Integ­rated Shield Plans premi­ums include a MediShield com­pon­ent which will become MediShield Life in future, eli­gible IP poli­cy­hold­ers will also receive sub­sidies from the Gov­ern­ment to help pay for part of their MediShield Life premium.

When MediShield shifts to MediShield Life, the premium for the MediShield por­tion will increase due to the MediShield Life changes. Hence, the over­all premium for Integ­rated Shield Plans may also increase.

The Life Insur­ance Asso­ci­ation has assured the MediShield Life Review Com­mit­tee that the bene­fit recom­mend­a­tions made by the Com­mit­tee will have min­imal impact on the IP (i.e. top-up) com­pon­ent of premi­ums of Integ­rated Shield Plans. Insurers will assess the impact of the MediShield Life changes on the over­all IP premium and will advise their poli­cy­hold­ers when the changes are confirmed.

All Singa­pore cit­izens will be eli­gible for the fol­low­ing sub­sidies on their MediShield Life premi­ums: trans­itional sub­sidies to cush­ion the increase in their pay­able MediShield premium, as well as Pion­eer Gen­er­a­tion MediShield sub­sidies if they are Pion­eers and MediShield Life premium sub­sidies if they meet the income cri­teria. All Integ­rated Shield Plan poli­cy­hold­ers will enjoy the same sub­sidies for the MediShield Life com­pon­ent of their IP premiums.

The Gov­ern­ment will release more inform­a­tion on how you will be assessed for the premium sub­sidies when ready.