Five things you need to know about MediShield Life

From 1 November 2015, MediShield Life offers lifetime protection for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Apart from bigger benefits, here are the top five things you need to know about MediShield Life:

1. Everyone is covered – for life

Unlike MediShield which only covered individuals up to the age of 92, MediShield Life, as its name suggests, covers all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents for life; even those who could not get health insurance, such as the very old or those with pre-existing illnesses.

For the six in ten Singaporeans who already have an Integrated Shield plan, MediShield Life automatically replaces the MediShield component in the plan.

How about those with serious pre-existing health conditions? They will still get to enjoy coverage from MediShield Life. The Government will bear most of the costs, but they will need to pay an additional 30 percent in premiums for 10 years to mitigate their higher risk. Thereafter, they will pay the same premiums as others in the same age group. Members who need to pay this additional amount have already been notified by the CPF Board.

2. Get coverage at all levels

MediShield Life will cover hospitalisation in Class B2 or C wards and subsidised treatment in public hospitals. If you choose to stay in a higher ward class, you can still claim pro-rated benefits from MediShield Life, based on the expenses you would have incurred if you had chosen a Class B2 or C ward.

For additional coverage for treatment in Class A and B1 wards, or private hospitals where you can choose your own doctor, there are Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) offered by private insurers. Such plans offer the protection provided by MediShield Life plus added coverage for the extra expenses incurred in private hospitals, or Class A or B1 wards in public hospitals. The premiums for Integrated Shield Plans are higher, especially as you get older, so weigh your preferred ward class and long-term premium affordability carefully.

3. Do more with your Medisave

All of your MediShield Life premiums can be paid for using your Medisave savings. Your Medisave savings can also be used to pay for the premiums of your immediate family members.

If you are covered by a Medisave-approved IP, your Medisave savings can be used to pay the premiums for the private insurance component. The amount of Medisave savings you can use for this component is subject to a cap, which is known as the Additional Withdrawal Limit (AWL).

As you grow older, you are likely to incur higher premiums. Thus, the AWLs will increase as you age, allowing you to use more Medisave savings for the private health insurance component of your IP coverage.

4. MediShield Life doesn’t cover 100% of hospitalisation costs

MediShield Life is designed with higher claim limits and lower co-insurance rates, so that it pays more of your large hospital bill, while you pay less. Keeping premiums affordable for all while subsidising large hospital bills means MediShield Life cannot pay for everything.

MediShield Life kicks in when your hospital bill exceeds a minimum level called the deductible (which ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on age and ward class). MediShield Life will then pay 90 to 97 per cent of the amount above the deductible, depending on the bill size.

Find out about your benefits under MediShield Life here.

5. Everyone gets a little help with MediShield Life premiums

There are a number of subsidies to help Singaporeans reduce their premiums. The good news is that all Singapore Citizens will benefit in one way or another. That’s right, ALL.

No one will lose their MediShield Life coverage due to the inability to afford premiums. This is important as it guarantees coverage and benefits for all Singaporeans.

MediShield Life is a step forward in protecting Singaporeans against large hospital bills and costly outpatient treatments. By paying a small premium each, we can all be protected for life from large hospitalisation bills.