Check data to ensure right MediShield Life subsidies

Check data to ensure right MediShield Life subsidies

WHEN housewife Dora Tan logged onto the MediShield Life website to check her household data last week, she was shocked to find an unfamiliar name.

"Perhaps that was the name of an old tenant who did not update his address when he moved out," said Madam Tan.

She is one of the few Singaporeans or permanent residents (PRs) who have found anomalies in their household information, which will be used to calculate premium subsidies for the new mandatory health insurance policy, MediShield Life.

Since May, the Government has sent letters to 1.2 million households urging most of them to update their household information at so they get appropriate subsidies.

MediShield Life will be rolled out at the end of this year.

Some other households got letters simply stating what subsidies they will receive. These include households consisting solely of pioneers, who will get Pioneer Generation subsidies, or those who updated their means-testing data recently when they used a government health scheme.

One in three people who received a letter asking him or her to check the data has already done so. Most did not have to change anything but simply confirmed their data, said the Health Ministry.

But cases like Madam Tan's are why the ministry is reminding people to check their household data.

"MediShield Life subsidies will be calculated based on the latest and most updated household information people have provided in their government records," Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

"So, we urge the public to update their household information so that we can calculate these subsidies accurately," she said.

Meanwhile, grassroots leaders such as Dr Djoni Huang have been visiting flats to explain MediShield Life. He takes his iPad with him so he can help the less Internet-savvy confirm their household data online.

Hundreds of older residents have also been going to SingPost centres to get help in updating their data. Thirty-seven selected community centres also offer help. Deadlines for the checks range from June 9 to June 19.

While people can call the MediShield Life hotline on 1800-222- 3399 and update their household data any time, even after the deadline, Dr Khor is seeking the public's co-operation in this "massive administrative exercise" to facilitate a "smooth roll-out".

Who to include and exclude

Do I include my domestic helper or tenant in my household?

Only family members related by blood, marriage and/or legal adoption, including uncles, aunts, cousins and in-laws, and who live at the same residence, are considered members of your household.

Domestic helpers, unrelated tenants and friends living at the same address are not considered members of your household.

I live in property A and have registered my NRIC address there. But I own property B. Which address will be used to compute MediShield Life subsidies?

The address on your NRIC will be used. Singaporeans and PRs who own two or more properties will not be eligible for MediShield Life premium subsidies.

What happens if I move house and have a child who is too young to be eligible for an identification card?

A child's household information would usually be tagged to that of his parents. But parents can call the MediShield Life hotline to ensure this is done.

I do not want my personal information to be accessed. Can I opt out of the eligibility checks?

Yes, there is an option on the MediShield Life website to do so. But if you choose not to allow access to your financial information, you and your entire household will not receive any MediShield Life premium subsidies. But your household will still be covered by MediShield Life.

How much premium will I have to pay for MediShield Life?

You can calculate your estimated premium with a premium calculator on the MediShield Life website.

This article was first published on June 6, 2015.
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