Updated: 06/28/2014 01:40

Govt to pump in $4 billion to support MediShield Life over five years



Govt to pump in $4 billion to support MediShield Life over five years

The government will pump in around four billion dollars over five years to support MediShield Life, the new national health insurance scheme which will kick in next year. 

This is to ensure premium increases remain affordable. 

Our news desk looks at how much more premiums you would have to pay. 

For individuals in the lower-income bracket, those with a monthly per capita household income of $1,100 or less, will get subsidies of between 25 and 50 per cent depending on their age. 

Lower-middle income individuals with a monthly per capita household income of between $1,100 and $1,800, will get subsidies of between 20 and 45 per cent. 

And those in the upper-middle income bracket who have a monthly capita household income of between $1,800 and $2,600, will get 15 to 40 per cent off their premiums, tiered by age. 

Besides subsidies for the lower- and middle income individuals, the government is also providing transitional subsidies for all Singaporeans over four years. 

This means in the first year, the lower- and middle-income individuals will see a premium increase of no more than $3 per month. 

The higher income earners will see a maximum increase of $6 in their monthly premium. 

After the transitional subsidies are phased out, the lower-income individuals will see an increase in premium of no more than $11 monthly, while the increase for the middle-income earners will not be higher than $14. 

For the higher-income individuals, the premium increase will be no more than $30 monthly. 

The MediShield Life Review Committee's Chairman, Bobby Chin, says premiums are unlikely to change for at least the next five years. 

"We wanted to make sure the premium set sustainable between 3 and 5 years. We wanted to ensure to be that. If you look at the history of MediShield Life setting, it's always about 5 years when the government will review. To say that premiums will remain forever when you go to 70 years old it's not realistic." 

The one per cent increase in the employer Medisave contribution next year is also expected to keep premiums within Medisave contributions, with no additional cash outlay needed. 

-By Lim Jia Qi

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