Friday 23 May 2014

With MediShield Life launch, removing claim cap beneficial, says Gan

By Kok Xing Hui, TODAY, 22 May 2014

Removing the cap on claims when MediShield Life is rolled out next year will be beneficial, particularly to those who are nearing the existing S$300,000 limit, such as some kidney dialysis patients, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

In reiterating that premiums for the national insurance scheme, which will be expanded to lifelong and universal coverage, would be affordable for all, Mr Gan said lower-income Singaporeans would be means-tested, so those who need more support would get it.

“Through government subsidies, Medisave top-ups, as well as the 1 per cent additional Medisave contribution, we will make sure not only the high-income, but also the low-income Singaporeans, will be able to afford the MediShield Life premium,” he said.

The Government would provide financial assistance through schemes such as MediFund for “those who are not working, those who have retired, who are facing financial difficulties”, he added. Mr Gan was speaking to reporters while on a visit to the NKF Dialysis Centre.

Among those who are approaching their lifetime claim limit under MediShield is Mr Hashim Abdul Rahim, 51, who has been going for dialysis three times a week since 1993. Having claimed more than S$200,000 under the scheme, he said a removal of the cap would be a reprieve.

While the committee recommended that patients with pre-existing conditions pay a reasonable amount for their entry to the scheme, “the society as a whole also has to take on some of the responsibility as part of our collective effort to support our fellow Singaporeans”, said Mr Gan.

“We want to encourage the whole society to come together to look after one another; emphasise the responsibility of the society and community to share this care of the more vulnerable among us,” he added.

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