Medicating Medishield for life

Excerpt :

I happen to think the Medishield Life review committee seems to have considered many, many aspects of how to cover everyone, including those with pre-existing illnesses. But I wonder how it will enforce “universal coverage’’ since there would those with little Medisave because they don’t have a stable stream of income or are self-employed. Compulsion must mean penalties for non-compliance. Also, it isn’t clear what will happen to Medifund – the last resort for the down-and-out.

But what the review committee can’t do is predict the future, such as whether G largesse can continue, whether the Medishield Life fund will go bankrupt and whether people will pay escalating premiums because everyone wants to have the best of medical technology and healthcare. For all you know, a G craving popularity will forever keep premiums low – and quietly cut benefits.

We can expect to hear plenty of exhortations from the G to be careful about our health and making demands on the medical system just because we think there will be insurance to pay for everything. Looks like everyone has to bear some responsibility to keep the insurance scheme going. It’s not possible (or is it?) for the G to keep pumping in $4billion every four or five years.

There are so many “what ifs’’ especially as we look at how health insurance and retirement schemes run by governments elsewhere have gotten into a mess. Hopefully, health economists will look at the review committee’s suggestions and suggest ways to strengthen the system so it will survive into the future.

Anyway, here’s a toast to our health, the health of our finances – and to review committee chairman Mr Bobby Chin and his team.

Bertha Harian

Okay, so the dance of the seven veils has been staged. And more veils have been lifted on Medishield Life, especially the one shrouding the new premiums. They are big increases, but the G is covering it with a $4billion kitty that will last five years. The question is what happens after that?

Anyway, if you’re mightily confused by all the numbers, here’s a run-down on UNUSUAL key points.

Those premiums: Yup, the new ones are high and even higher for the younger people. That’s because people want to be able to pay more when they are working and less when they get older, quite an inversion from normal insurance schemes.

Should this matter? Well, not now because the G is throwing in a load of subsidies, graduated according to age-groups and income.

How? Everyone will get transitional subsidies for four years, while the lower two-thirds will also get…

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