Singapore

Premiums for MediShield Life must rise for it to remain sustainable

Two major forces are behind the move to raise the premiums for MediShield Life next year.

One is the increasing number of people making claims and the other is the growing annual amounts paid out by this national health insurance scheme for large hospital bills.

As a result, about two-thirds of the planned increase in premiums will go towards funding "this growth in utilisation and payout", said Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon in Parliament yesterday.

Most of the remaining one-third will pay for the move to raise claim limits for bills next year. The rest, around 9 per cent, will go towards enhanced benefits, like extending coverage to inpatient hospice care.

Premiums need to go up for the fund to remain "solvent and sustainable", he added.

Dr Koh was explaining why premiums had to be raised, following questions from seven MPs on both sides of the House.

He stressed the Government has support schemes to ensure Singaporeans will not lose their MediShield Life coverage or be denied access to care because of premiums.

Earlier this year, the Health Ministry said MediShield Life is to be revamped next year, with premiums set to rise by up to one-third. - THE STRAITS TIMES

MEDICAL & HEALTH