You will not need additional cash to pay your MediShield Life premiums because it can be fully covered by Medisave.
And your Medisave account will be boosted by an extra 1 per cent that your employer must contribute to the account.
This means the increase in the premiums, or what you have to pay as MediShield gives way to MediShield Life by the year's end, should be covered by this for most people.
If you have no money in your Medisave, you can apply for support from the Government to pay the bill.
The scheme, which aims to provide medical insurance coverage to all Singaporeans and permanent residents, was tabled in Parliament yesterday.
First introduced at the National Day Rally in 2013, MediShield Life, which will replace the current MediShield, will be implemented by the end of this year.
As it is a national scheme that is mandatory and premiums will support universal benefits, timely premium payments are necessary.
Those who deliberately default on payment of premiums will be penalised.
For instance, there will be a penalty of up to 17 per cent of outstanding premiums, and interest on late premiums.
The Bill also allows authorised access to your financial and medical information in government and administrative databases.
This will facilitate the extension of premium subsidies and transitional subsidies of four years to eligible Singaporeans, as well as checks on those with serious pre-existing conditions.
You can choose not to allow access, but then you have to manually apply for the premium subsidies. If you do not, you will end up paying more.
If you make any false declaration, you can be fined up to $5,000, jailed 12 months, or both.
A MediShield Life Council will be formed to look into the scheme and its administration.
For one thing, they will review and make recommendations to ensure that the policy and scheme parameters will provide effective coverage for all Singaporeans.
More details of the scheme and its parameters will be released at a later date.
All Singaporeans and permanent residents, including those with pre-existing conditions.
It will provide basic protection for Class B2/C bills. Our Pioneer Generation and the needy will also get additional subsidies.
To deal with concerns of high health-care costs, Medishield Life will provide better protection against large hospital bills and expensive chronic treatment in the form of universal, lifelong coverage.
You will pay the premium (which varies with age and income) with your Medisave.
But two-thirds of citizens and permanent residents will be subsidised by the Government, which will provide close to $4 billion over the next five years in premium subsidies and other forms of support.
Those who have pre-existing conditions will need to pay 30 per cent additional premiums for 10 years.
For more information, you can go to the Ministry of Health website at www.moh.gov.sg
This article was first published on January 20, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.