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Penalise those who deliberately default on MediShield Life premiums: Committee

The MediShield Life Review Committee suggests that those who deliberately default on their premiums for the universal health insurance scheme be penalised.

SINGAPORE: The review committee has suggested that those who deliberately default on their premiums for MediShield Life should be penalised. The committee was asked at a news conference on Friday (June 27) how the self-employed or those who have not worked before should be dealt with if they do not pay their premiums.

The new insurance scheme MediShield Life will be compulsory for all Singaporeans when it kicks in next year.

"If you don't pay, the government will look into certain enforcement. It has got to be fair to all Singaporeans and not because of a few Singaporeans who deliberately do not want to pay when they can afford to pay. Now what are the enforcement actions that can be taken? I think this is something the Government, and (the Ministry of Health) has to work out," said Mr Bobby Chin, the Chairman of the MediShield Life Review Committee.

The committee added in its report that fines or withholding of insurance benefits are some examples of penalties countries with universal insurance schemes have adopted.

The committee said according to the Central Provident Fund Board, most Singaporeans have savings in their Medisave accounts, even if they are self-employed.

Singaporeans will pay their MediShield Life premiums using their Medisave accounts.

But some groups, such as young children or those who have not worked before, may not have funds in their Medisave accounts.


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