SINGAPORE - In considering changes to MediShield Life, the MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC) had "carefully considered the balance between the impact of the benefit enhancements and the resulting indicative premium levels", it said in a release on Thursday.
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Here are the recommendations from the review committee:
The MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC) today outlined its recommendations on the benefit features of MediShield Life, to enable all Singaporeans to benefit from better protection against large medical bills, for life. The Committee has carefully considered the balance between the impact of the benefit enhancements and the resulting indicative premium levels.
MediShield Life Benefit Recommendations
The Committee's recommendations on MediShield Life benefit features are as follows:
a. Remove the lifetime claim limit of $300,000;
b. Increase the policy year claim limit by 40% from $70,000 to $100,000;
c. Increase the daily claim limits for normal wards and ICU wards by up to 55%;
d. Increase the claim limits for surgical procedures by between 25% and 93%;
e. Increase the daily claim limits for community hospitals by 40% from $250 to $350;
f. Substantially increase the claim limits for outpatient cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, to better cover the cost of subsidised cancer treatment;
g. Lower co-insurance rates from the current range of 10-20% to 3-10%; and
h. Start premium rebates earlier from age 66, instead of age 71.
Collectively, these enhancements will lead to higher payouts from MediShield Life, and hence patients will pay less.
Universal and Life-long Coverage
With MediShield Life, the current age limit of 90 will be lifted, so that all Singaporeans can enjoy life-long coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions will also be covered.
At its earlier update on 1 Mar 2014, the Committee recommended that the additional costs arising from the expected higher claims from those with pre-existing conditions be shared across those with pre-existing conditions, the existing insured policyholders, and the Government. As requested by the Committee, the Government has agreed to bear most of the costs of universal coverage.
The Committee recommends that those with pre-existing conditions pay higher premiums reflective of their higher risks, at an additional 30% for a period of 10 years. The premium increase for the remaining policyholders as a result of universal coverage should be no more than 3% from current premiums. This reflects the public support for inclusiveness that the Committee has gleaned from its feedback sessions with Singaporeans.