The Government had announced the increase for MediShield Life premium by up to 35 per cent yesterday (29 September), the Ministry of Health (MOH) released a press statement on its website, inviting Singaporeans to share their suggestions and thoughts through the public consultation.
The public consultation will be held from 29 September to 20 October 2020.
In the press statement, the MediShield Life Council claimed that the MediShield Life was designed to “provide better protection” to Singaporeans, as well as keeping premiums “affordable”.
The Council proceeded to list three preliminary enhancements that they had identified, such as refreshing and refining claim limits to provide better coverage, an enhancement to support larger healthcare transformation, as well as other proposed enhancements like lowering pro-ration factor for private hospitals by 25 per cent.
It was also claimed that the plan to provide better coverage would require adjusting premiums periodically. Other than providing better coverage, adjust premiums was also said to provide higher payouts, keep pace with healthcare cost inflation and “actual claims experience”.
Explaining that MediShield Life payouts have increased by almost 40 per cent over the last four years, and the number of claimants has increased by almost 30 per cent, the Council believed that adjusting premiums this time would ensure that the scheme “continues to be sustainable”.
Furthermore, the Council stated that MediShield Life premiums had been “kept constant” for the first five years since its launch in 2015 and that the premiums were not adjusted when several benefit enhancements were implemented from 2018 to 2020.
Thus, this round of premium adjustments will be taking these enhancements into account.
Regarding the preliminary recommendations on the MediShield Life premiums, the MOH invited Singaporeans to submit their views and feedback via this link, or mail it the Ministry.
Since the launch of MediShield Life, the increment of premiums had been questioned due to the fact that there had been surpluses of the reserve as the total premiums collected exceeded the total claims.
From a cash flow perspective, the Government had been suspected to have not spent any money on healthcare simply because of how the total annual contributions to Medisave and the annual interest on the total Medisave balances may exceed the Government’s healthcare expenditure.