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MediShield Life recommendations a "major breakthrough": SNEF

The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) said the Review Committee took into consideration employers' feedback, particularly the possible duplication of employer medical benefits.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) said on Friday (June 27) that it was "pleased" the MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC) took into consideration employers' feedback, especially on the potential duplication between employers' medical benefits and the recommendations for MediShield Life.

In a statement, SNEF said the recommendations are a "major breakthrough" in resolving impediments to both employers and employees from converting from a company-bound medical benefit scheme to a portable one.

Below is the full statement by SNEF:

The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) is pleased that the MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC) has taken into consideration employers’ feedback and especially to review the potential duplication of employer medical benefits and the proposed MediShield Life. In particular, we welcome the recommendations of the committee:

a. to develop key features for a standard Integrated Shield Plan and to regulate its benefits

b. that the Government allows Integrated Shield Plan insurers to offer risk‐loaded policies

c. that the Government strengthens incentives for employers to restructure their employer medical benefits into portable medical benefit schemes that ride on MediShield Life

These recommendations are a major breakthrough in resolving the three main impediments to both employers and employees from converting from a company‐bound medical benefit scheme to a portable one. For employers, their medical costs would be more predictable and for workers, they would be able to get better coverage when they happen to be in between jobs and after retirement.

Employers play an important role in reducing duplication of coverage between employer medical benefits and MediShield Life, as well as maximising the benefits that accrue to their employees from their spending on medical benefits. With the appropriate incentives, employers could then consider restructuring their company medical benefits so that their employees who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents can enjoy portable medical benefits that ride on MediShield Life or be provided with additional Medisave contributions to help pay for their MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plan premiums.

Said Mr Koh Juan Kiat, Executive Director of SNEF: “SNEF will study the report to see how employers could restructure their company‐bound medical benefit schemes into portable schemes to ride on MediShield Life. Government incentives will be crucial. SNEF looks forward to working with employers, the Government and unions as well as other stakeholders to help shape the portable medical benefits scheme to achieve wide adoption.”

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