As MediShield Life coverage kicks in for 3.9 million Singaporeans and permanent residents automatically on 1 November, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has reassured all that everyone will be able to afford their MediShield Life premiums.
Additional subsidies can be applied if the initial government subsidies are insufficient, he said. "If all the other schemes are still not enough, write to the Minister for Health," Mr Gan said. "We will look at it, case by case.
"It is our policy to make sure that everyone can afford MediShield Life, and that it will always cover every Singaporean. That is the basis on which we designed MediShield Life."
He was speaking together with Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat yesterday (31 Oct) at a dialogue with about 400 grassroots leaders to familiarise them with the compulsory insurance scheme.
Mr Chee said the new MediShield Life is part of a larger government effort to ensure that the cost of healthcare at all levels remains within reach for Singaporeans.
Although premiums will be higher under MediShield Life because of the expanded coverage, two out of three people will enjoy a permanent subsidy of between 15 per cent and 50 per cent on their premiums.
On top of that, anyone who has to pay premiums that are higher than their MediShield premiums will get 90 per cent of the difference covered by the transitional subsidy in the first year, meaning that they have to pay only 10 per cent more.
As for Singaporeans aged 65 or older last year, the Government will pay 40 per cent to 60 per cent of premiums.
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Source: “All will be able to afford MediShield Life premiums: Gan Kim Yong” (Straits Times, 1 November 2015)