Look out for your MediShield Life letter in the mail

Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor

From tomorrow, Singapore citizens and permanent residents will receive letters from the Government telling them about the new national insurance scheme MediShield Life, and how to update their household information.

The letters are being sent out to ensure that people do not lose out on subsidies meant to help them cope with higher premiums under the compulsory life insurance scheme.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor explained: "Updating your particulars is important as we want to compute premium subsidies based on accurate and up-to-date information in the government database."

It is the first time that the Government is using a system of "household eligibility checks" to compute subsidies instead of having citizens apply for them.

Dr Khor asked for the public's "patience and co-operation" in this "massive administrative exercise".

To ensure that MediShield Life premiums are kept affordable, the Government will set aside nearly $4 billion in subsidies over the next five years.

Up to two in three Singapore households will get premium subsidies, aside from transitional subsidies that apply to all Singapore citizens.

The premium subsidies are computed based on the annual value of the person's residence, household monthly income and whether he owns multiple properties.

The Government has records of a person's income, address and property ownership from databases such as those of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

Some people may need to update their government records, for example, those who did not update their identity card addresses when they moved out or those who have new tenants but did not update their records with the Housing Board.

Each of the Republic's 1.2 million households with Singapore citizens or permanent residents will receive their letters between tomorrow and May 11.

Six out of 10 households will receive "call-to-action" letters, urging them to log on to www.medishieldlife.sg to check their particulars.

They should do so by the deadline stated in the letter, usually five weeks later, and can log in using their SingPass or a reference number on the top right hand corner of the letter.

They should check their address and review their household composition.

The other households will get letters simply stating what subsidies they will receive.

Households that cannot change their details online can do so at 37 selected community centres islandwide, all SingPost post offices and the service centre at Iras.

The Health Ministry is working with grassroots leaders and voluntary welfare organisations to spread the word on updating household particulars.