SINGAPORE: Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced in Parliament Monday that MediShield deductibles for Class B2 and C will be raised to keep premiums affordable and to help MediShield focus on larger bills.
Class B2 and C patients will have to pay MediShield deductibles of S$1,500 and S$2,000 respectively from 1 March 2013.
In the meantime, smaller bills can be covered by Medisave or cash, the minister said.
Gan announced this when Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam asked if the
government could consider providing additional assistance to Class B2
and C patients beyond the S$50 to S$400 one-off Medisave top-ups.
is a catastrophic insurance scheme designed to cover larger
hospitalisation bills. It complements Medisave, which can be used to pay
the annual deductible and co-insurance components under MediShield, and
any remaining portion of the bill.
"The Medisave top-ups are
part of the government's targeted efforts to enhance Singaporeans'
Medisave adequacy and help the more vulnerable with their healthcare
expenses. Those who still face difficulty managing their healthcare
bills can apply for financial assistance from the public healthcare
institutions via the Medifund. We have topped up Medifund by S$600
million as announced in this year's budget and this will provide more
help for needy patients," Mr Gan said.
MediShield is also set to
be enhanced next March and will include an increase of the MediShield
policy year claim limit and lifetime claim limit to S$70,000 and
Mr Gan noted the concerns of the elderly
and low-income earners about the higher deductibles but said that
besides the one-off Medisave top-up of up to S$400, eligible elderly
will also receive annual Medisave top-ups of up to S$450 under the GST
He added that low-wage workers who qualify for
the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme would receive part of their
WIS payouts in their Medisave account.
On top of these, Mr Gan
said the government provides ad-hoc Medisave top-ups when the budget
situation permits, which have totalled S$2.2 billion since 2005.
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