In a major review of MediShield Life which was launched in 2015, MediShield Life benefits will be enhanced, and premiums will be correspondingly adjusted.
To help Singapore Residents with their MediShield Life premiums, particularly in view of the impact of COVID-19, the Government has committed about $2.2 billion for premium subsidies and support over the next three years.
One-off COVID-19 Subsidy for all Singapore citizens
The Government will provide a one-off COVID-19 subsidy for all Singapore Citizens.
The Government will subsidise 70% of the net increase in premiums (after taking into account existing premium subsidies) in the first year, followed by 30% in the second year.
The one-off COVID-19 subsidy will cost about $360 million over the next two years.
Taken together with the existing premium support measures, the net premium increases for all Singapore Citizens will be kept to up to about 10% in the first year.
Premium subsidies for lower-to middle-income Singapore Residents, MG and PG seniors and Additional Premium Support
The current premium subsidies for lower-to middle-income Singapore Residents, MG and PG seniors and Additional Premium Support will continue to help keep premiums affordable for Singaporeans. This will amount to about $1.8 billion over the next three years.
“Singaporeans who still face difficulties with their premiums can apply for Additional Premium Support. No one will lose MediShield Life coverage due to financial difficulties,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.
Better coverage to protect Singaporeans against large medical bills
- Introduce treatment-specific claim limits for community hospital care and outpatient radiotherapy to improve coverage for patients receiving sub-acute care or costlier outpatient radiotherapy.
- Raise the policy year claim limit from $100,000 to $150,000, to better protect Singaporeans against exceptionally large bills arising from long or multiple periods of hospitalisation during the year.
- Introduce higher claim limits for daily ward and treatment charges for the first two days of acute hospital stay, as higher charges tend to be incurred during the first two days due to diagnostic tests and investigations. This is to better support patients who can be discharged home earlier.
- Lower the deductible for day surgeries for older patients, so that they are not discouraged from choosing a day surgery over an inpatient stay.
- Lower the pro-ration factor for private hospitals to 25%, to better reflect the actual charges and ensure greater parity in payouts between subsidised and private patients.
- Remove the standard exclusions for treatments arising from attempted suicide, intentional self-injury, drug addiction and alcoholism, as treatment plays an increasingly important part in the support and recovery of these patients.
Illustrations of how the preliminary recommendations can improve coverage for patients
Example 1 (exceptionally large bill):
An 8-year-old Singaporean was hospitalised for 147 days due to epilepsy. The patient stayed in a C ward, and spent over 80 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Throughout the hospitalisation, the patient underwent five surgical procedures.
With the raising of the policy year claim limit to $150,000, MediShield Life will provide a higher payout for this bill.
Example 2 (costlier types of care) :
A 60-year-old Singaporean was hospitalised in a community hospital due to a bone infection. The patient stayed in a subsidised ward and spent 25 days in sub-acute care.
The patient transferred to the community hospital for sub-acute care after completing treatment in an acute hospital, when the intensity of care provided at acute hospitals was no longer required. Hence, the patient had already met the annual MediShield Life deductible from the acute hospital bill. The deductible only needs to be met once per policy year.
Example 3 (Short acute hospital stay):
A 37-year-old Singaporean was hospitalised for 2 days in an acute hospital due to a bacterial infection, likely from eating raw/under-cooked meat. The patient stayed in a C ward, and about 80% of the bill was for diagnostic tests and investigations.
The patient had already met the annual MediShield Life deductible from a prior hospitalisation. The deductible only needs to be met once per policy year.