Is MediShield Life enough in Singapore?
N.B. This post on MediShield Life is based on my personal opinion. In any case, please do your own research or seek professional advice.
In Singapore, hospitalisation insurance comes in two parts,
1) MediShield Life, and 2) Integrated Shield Plan
According to Ministry of Health Singapore,
MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan that protects all Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents against large hospital bills for life, regardless of age or health condition.
What do I like about MediShield Life?
1. “covered for life, including those with pre-existing conditions.”
For someone with pre-existing conditions like myself, it is often difficult to get proper insurance coverage. (In fact, I can only attempt to get policies with no medical underwriting.) Therefore, this inclusive coverage gives us some peace of mind. Ultimately,
having some coverage is better than none.
2. “No one will lose MediShield Life coverage due to inability to afford premiums.”
Look at the trend in the above infographic…
Both the amount of claims (in Singapore dollars) and the number of claims (the chart at the bottom left) have been rising in the past few years. Accordingly, the cost of healthcare insurance have increased as well. In effect, we are forced to pay a higher premium in order to keep our insurance coverage.
Under such circumstances, I respect that the government is giving everyone this assurance. This is especially important for the elderly, where the premium gets really expensive!
3. “Your premiums are paid conveniently from your MediSave account.”
Majority of the Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents have money in their MediSave account. Hence, I appreciate one great way to use this money.
What are my concerns on MediShield Life?
4. “The individual claim limits.”
With a cap on most treatment procedures, it is difficult to crown MediShield Life as the only healthcare policy. In the event that I am unwell, I do not want to worry if the cost of treatment will exceed the claim limit. 😰
5. “MediShield Life is sized for subsidised treatment in public hospitals and pegged at B2/C-type wards.”
There is a possibility that the hospital ward does not have enough space. If your insurance policy does not cover the ward upgrade, what will you do?
6. “The deductible is the claimable amount that you need to pay first in each policy year before any payout.“
I need to fork out between $1,500 to $3,000 from my own pocket before MediShield Life covers my hospital bill.
7. “Co-insurance is the percentage of the claimable amount that you need to co-pay.”
Hang on, on top of Point 6, I need to pay an additional (up to) 10% on the remainder of the bill before MediShield Life covers my hospital bill. Summing up, that is
Deductible + Co-Insurance =
(Between $1,500 to $3,000) + (Up to 10% on remainder of the bill)
that I need to pay before MediShield Life actually covers my hospital bill.
My Final Thoughts
All in all, I like what Singapore government is doing for its citizens in terms of healthcare. While I understand that it is inevitable to impose certain limitations and restrictions, I hope that our future policy can be extended to include a wider scope of cover.
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