Thursday, October 11, 2012

MediShield to be tweaked from March next year

SINGAPORE: The national medical insurance scheme, MediShield, will be tweaked from March next year to provide better coverage for the elderly.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday that it is raising the limit on the amount that can be withdrawn from Medisave, a national medical savings scheme, to fully cover the premiums for basic MediShield schemes.

Those who are between 76 and 80 years old can withdraw a higher amount of S$1,000, compared with the current S$800; while those who are above 80 years old can withdraw up to S$1,200, compared with S$1,150 currently.

The age limit for MediShield will also be changed.

The government will scrap the maximum entry age of 75 so that more elderly people who are healthy but not insured can get insurance coverage.

At the same time, it will raise the maximum coverage age to 90 years, from the current 85.

Coverage will be extended to inpatient psychiatric treatment at S$100 per day, up to 35 days per year.

The coverage limit per policy year will be raised from S$50,000 to S$70,000, and the lifetime limit will be higher at S$300,000, compared with the current S$200,000.

In addition, coverage will be extended to short-stay wards in Emergency Departments.

Other adjustments include increasing the deductibles for Class C bills from S$1,000 to S$1500, and S$1,500 to S$2,000 for Class B2 bills.

The deductible is the amount of a hospital bill that patients have to pay before claiming insurance.

MOH decided on these changes after it consulted the public in July and August on ways to make MediShield more inclusive.

It is still looking into another suggestion on using MediShield to cover outpatient treatment, saying this involves a major shift in MediShield's focus and could have significant impact on the premiums.

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