ARE MEDISHIELD PREMIUMS AFFORDABLE FOR THE AVERAGE S’POREAN?

Dear Editors,

I refer to the article “Haven’t got MediShield Life letter? Don’t worry” (Straits Times, Nov 10).

It states that “About two-thirds of the population will be given permanent subsidies that range from 15 to 50 per cent of the new premiums. Anyone with a household per capita income of $2,600 or less – such as families of four with a total income of $10,400 or less – living in property with annual values of $21,000 or less, will enjoy these permanent subsidies.

People living in properties with annual values of more than $21,000 do not get permanent subsidies, even if their household per capita income is very low.

Permanent residents get half the subsidies that Singaporeans get.

However, anyone who needs to pay higher premiums, will enjoy transitional subsidies for the first four years. This subsidy is only for Singaporeans. It pays 90 per cent of the increased amount – or the difference between the new and the old premium – in the first year.

It drops to 70, 40, 20 and then to zero per cent in subsequent years.

MediShield Life premiums can be entirely paid for with Medisave.

According to the table above – the “previous MediShield premium” for 35-year-old Singaporeans living in homes with annual values of $13,000 or less is $105.

Premiums for the 1st year

Although the “full MediShield Life premium” is $310 – the “premium for the 1st year” is only $118, $119, $121 and $126 for the “lower income (per capita income (pci) of $1,100 or less)”, “lower middle income (pci $1,101 – $1,800)”, “upper middle income (pci $1,801 – $2,600)” and “high income (pci $2,601 and higher)”, respectively.
This is an increase of only 12, 13, 15 and 20 per cent, respectively.

Premiums from Nov 1, 2019

From Nov 1, 2019 – the premiums will be $233, $248, $264 and $310 respectively.

This is an increase of 122, 136, 151 and 195 per cent, respectively.

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Writer

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