Singapore’s health insurance scheme will be tweaked in March to cover more people and treatments, the health ministry announced on Friday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that from consultations with the public it had received strong support for proposals to make MediShield more inclusive.
The ministry will implement the enhancements from the start of March next year.
Specifically, MOH will, among others, increase the maximum coverage age to 90 from 85, extend the coverage to short-stay wards in emergency departments, increase the policy year and lifetime limits.
See the full list of changes here.
Members of the public had also suggested that MediShield be used to cover outpatient treatment, but the MOH noted that this suggestion requires further study as it is a “major shift in MediShield’s focus and could have significant impact on the premiums”.
As part of a growing initiative to support healthcare costs for children and encourage marriage and parenthood, the ministry is also considering extending coverage to congenital and neonatal conditions.
In addition, to alleviate concerns over premium affordability, the government will also provide a one-off Medisave top-up of up to $400 in March next year as announced in Budget 2012 to help offset part of or the full premium increases for up to two years.
Eligible low-income and/or elderly Singaporeans will also receive Medisave top-ups under the ongoing Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) and GST Voucher Scheme to help with healthcare expenses, including MediShield premiums, the ministry said.
With the one-off Medisave top-up, younger Singaporeans aged 65 and below will see no more than an increase of $5 per month in their premiums for the next two years. This also means that the elderly will see a decrease in premiums payable.
According to the Life Insurance Association (LIA) of Singapore, insurers are urged to review the benefits of their integrated plans such as increasing their benefits in tandem with the improved coverage offered by MediShield. LIA also advises its members to keep their healthcare costs affordable.
A clip of a man hitting an office worker – who appears to be an employee under his supervision - has gone viral in Singapore, sparking outrage and calls for the authorities to step in.