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 (HIV/ AIDS)
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.