National Day: MediShield premiums increase by up to 511%?

I refer to the National Day Message.

Affordable healthcare?

It states that “Our healthcare system provides every Singaporean with good quality and affordable care”.

In this connection, I would like to refer to the increase in MediShield coverage and premiums.

Premiums increase by up to 511%?

MediShield premiums will increase by 450, 511 and 309 per cent
compared to 2005, for age 30, 50 and 70 respectively. (“It’s worth paying more for quality health care”, Straits Times, Jul 21)

This is an annualised increase of 24, 25 and 19 per cent per annum,
over the eight years.

Top-up to Medishield premiums directly

Instead of a one-off top-up to Medisave, I would like to suggest that
the top-up be used to pay for the MediShield premiums directly.

Medisave top-ups may be consumed by medical fees, which may leave some
insureds with insufficient funds in their Medisave when the MediShield
premiums fall due.

This may result in the lapsation of their MediShield insurance.


Since there is MediFund to help Singaporeans who are unable to pay for
medical expenses, topping up directly to pay for MediShield premiums
instead of vide Medisave, would ensure that the top-ups are not wiped
out by medical expenses, before MediFund kicks in, because typically
the MediSave must be depleted before MediFund is applicable.

Deductibles increase by up to 200%

The deductibles have also increased by as much as 200 per cent since 2005.

The increase in the deductibles may be a financial burden to the lower-income.

Since MediShield is a pooling of risk insurance scheme which does not
cost the Government any money, why not consider giving some funding to
maintain the current deductible amounts?

Lowest public healthcare GDP spending in the world?

After all, public spending on healthcare at 1.6 per cent of GDP, is
one of the lowest in the world.

MediFund has surpluses?

Moreover, $86 million of MediFund surpluses have been transferred to
the protected reserves, which could arguably be transferred to
MediShield, and accumulated MediShield reserves grew from $205 to $530
million, from 2008 to 2010, an increase of 158 per cent.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.