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Singaporeans still unclear about MediShield Life: DPM Teo

Singaporeans know they will benefit from the improved health coverage provided by MediShield Life, but many people still have questions about the details, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans know they will benefit from the improved health coverage provided by MediShield Life, but many people are still not sure about the details.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean made that observation after a dialogue with around 250 grassroots leaders at the Punggol 21 Community Club on Sunday (July 13).

Sunday’s session was the second of 15 organised by the Health Ministry in collaboration with the People's Association.

Residents said they are aware of the benefits that MediShield Life will provide when the healthcare plan kicks in at the end of next year.

But they are not sure of the details and the impact the scheme has on them as well as their families.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo, who is also MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said: "Many of the questions were really questions of detail, of how these benefits apply to each of them. But all of them do understand that MediShield Life will bring benefits to all of them.

“Now we need to go out, my colleagues and I, together with our key grassroots leaders to bring this message to more of our residents in each of our division so that they understand how MediShield Life benefits them, in detail."

Other questions posed during the dialogue centred on how MediShield Life works, and how it will affect their existing Integrated Shield Plans (IP).

Some had asked if they should give up their IP policies.

But Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor, has assured IP policyholders that they will all stand to benefit from the implementation of MediShield Life next year.

Dr Khor, who is also MP for Hong Kah North, said: "Many of them don't know that Integrated Shield Plan actually comprises two components -- the MediShield portion and the top-up portion, which is by the private insurer.

“When MediShield Life comes into effect next year, it will automatically replace the MediShield portion of the IP plan.

“Of course, Integrated Shield Plan is a lot more expensive than MediShield simply because it provides enhanced coverage for higher ward classes. We want to assure the Integrated Shield Plan policyholders that they will not be disadvantaged with the implementation of MediShield Life.

"In fact, all Integrated Shield Plan policyholders are going to benefit from the implementation of MediShield Life because they will be covered for life ... and for all conditions, including the pre-existing (ones), even if they are excluded from the current IP plans."

Dr Khor said the government will work with the insurance providers to see how they can implement some of the recommendations that the review committee had put forth with regard to IP plans.  

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