Changes to MediShield Life in 2021: 7 Things to Expect

Under the recommendations by the MediShield Life Council, the benefits for MediShield Life are set to be increased. From higher claim limits to removing exclusions, the enhanced benefits will ensure the scheme is more inclusive and provide sufficient coverage.

However, these benefits come at a cost. MediShield Life premiums may increase by as much as 35%. 

These proposed changes by the council are currently undergoing public consultation till 20th October 2020. It is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of 2021

 

Changes to MediShield Life in 2021: 7 Things to Expect

Under the recommendations by the MediShield Life Council, the benefits for MediShield Life are set to be increased. From higher claim limits to removing exclusions, the enhanced benefits will ensure the scheme is more inclusive and provide sufficient coverage.

However, these benefits come at a cost. MediShield Life premiums may increase by as much as 35%. 

These proposed changes by the council are currently undergoing public consultation till 20th October 2020. It is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of 2021

 

Summary of changes to MediShield Life coverage in 2021

MediShield Life is a compulsory health insurance scheme for all Singaporean and permanent residents. It provides lifetime coverage from birth, regardless of age or pre-existing health conditions. 

Here is a summary of the proposed changes to MediShield Life coverage and premiums:

 

Change #1: Increase in annual claim limit

From 2021, the annual claim limit for MediShield Life will be raised to $150,000 from the current $100,000. 

With about 100 people hitting the claim limit last year, the increase in claim limit will ensure MediShield Life would be able to help more individuals cover 90% of their subsidized bills (beyond the initial deductible).

 

Change #2: Increase in claim limit for inpatient treatment

The council proposed an increase in the claim limit for inpatient treatment. The recommendation is to increase the claim limit to $800 and $1,200 per day for the normal and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward respectively. 

An additional $200 per day claim for daily ward charges is also proposed for the first two days of hospitalisation.

 

Change #3: Higher coverage for outpatient treatment & community hospital

Currently, both rehabilitative care and sub-acute care in community hospitals are subjected to a $350 per day claim limit.  While the coverage for rehabilitative care is deemed to be adequate, sub-acute care generally incurs higher costs. Thus, the council recommended the limit for sub-acute care in community hospitals to be raised to $430. 

Claim limits for certain outpatient treatments and radiotherapy will also be increased.

 

Change #4: Lower deductible for elderly

For individuals age 80 and above, the deductible for day surgeries will be lowered from $3,000 to $2,000. This will bring it in line with the deductible amount in a C class ward.

Currently, this group of patients only qualify for MediShield Life Coverage when the bills exceed $3,000. The lowering of the deductible to $2,000 will help ensure patients do not need to be warded just to qualify for MediShield Life coverage.

 

Change #5: Cap for private hospital claims

While MediShield Life will continue to provide coverage for private hospitals, the claim limit will be reduced to 25% of the total bill. 

The 35% limit for private care in a public hospital will remain unchanged.

 

Change #6: Removal of exclusions

Under the proposed changes, MediShield Life will remove the standard exclusion and cover treatment for attempted suicide, intentional self-injury, drug addiction, and alcoholism. 

This is to help support individuals in overcoming their addictions and create a more inclusive society.

 

Change #7: Increase in MediShield Life premiums

However, in line with the increase in coverage, there will be a rise in premiums as well. The increase is as much as 35% for the older age groups. 

This will be the first increase in the MediShield Life premium since its launch. The hike will help fund the enhanced coverage and rising healthcare costs.

Below is a table of the revised premium for each age group:

The government has committed $2.2 billion in subsidies to soften the blow of the increase in premiums. 

There will be a 70% net subsidy of the increase in the first year, which will be lowered to 30% in the second year. This is on top of the existing subsidies given.

 

Does the revised MediShield Life provide enough coverage?

While the proposed changes will widen the coverage, Medishield Life is still essentially a basic health insurance plan.  Whether the coverage is sufficient will depend on your needs. 

If you are simply looking for a plan to cover the basic cost of Class C or B2 wards at a public hospital, MediShield Life should suffice. 

However, if you want the flexibility to choose your wards, hospital, or even doctors, it is recommended you upgrade to an integrated shield plan. Serving as an add-on to the MediShield scheme, you would be able to enjoy a more comprehensive coverage while not making double payments for separate health insurance. 

 

Need further advice? Get in touch with PolicyPal

We hope this article has put some of your concerns to rest. At PolicyPal, we’ll continue to monitor the situation and update it accordingly.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions or require a free portfolio review, do get in touch with us!

How can we help?

 

Read more:
Best Health Insurance Plans in Singapore
7 Best Critical Illness Insurance Plans in Singapore
CareShield Life: The Ultimate Guide for Singaporeans & PRs

 

PolicyPal

PolicyPal

PolicyPal is here to help you make informed and savvy financial decisions through the good times and the bad.

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