What is MediShield Life? What does it cover?
It is a basic health (hospitalization) insurance scheme that provides Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with universal and lifelong protection against large healthcare bills, regardless of age or health condition(s).
MediShield Life works by pooling financial resources from individuals in similar age cohorts, so we can each pay a smaller premium and not have to worry about a large healthcare bill. (This is also the basic principle of Insurance – risk pooling and transference)
To claim against your policy, you must stay in a hospital for at least eight hours to make claims for the hospital bill, OR be admitted for day surgery.
Read more about it from the MOH website here:
Who has MediShield Life?
MediShield Life is compulsory for all Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents. This emphasizes the need for Hospitalization insurance (unlike some countries like the US of A, where it can be a ghastly nightmare to pay for hospital bills)
What are the premiums like?
Premiums are payable yearly via Medisave, and here is a table of the most recent premiums without any subsidies:
The importance of having hospitalization cover is not taken lightly by our men in white, which is evident in the various subsidies that is given to those who fall within the lower income bracket groups.
Even as a last resort, If you do not have family support and are unable to pay your premiums, you can apply for Additional Premium Support (APS).
Here is a complete table of premiums and subsidies available:
What benefits does MediShield Life bring?
Contrary to popular belief, MediShield Life provides coverage for all ward classes, including private hospitals.
Before you get too excited, there is a big caveat:
Its benefits are designed based on Class B2/C bills, so as to keep premiums affordable.
If you choose to use Class A/B1 or private hospitals where bills are much higher, MediShield Life will cover a smaller portion of your bill.
What are the limitations of MediShield Life?
MediShield Life is a basic scheme designed to cover Class B2/C bills. As the bills for Class B1/A wards and private hospitals are much higher, MediShield Life will cover a smaller portion of the bill.
This is known as pro-rationing, and Medishield Life only covers about 25% of private hospital bills. You, unfortunately, are still on the hook for the remainder.
And sometimes, when we do need medical care, we may not have the choice of getting into the hospital or ward that we want.
Here’s an unfortunate tale about a security guard that had to be warded at Gleneagles Hospital
On the plus side for Class A, it can be a truly once in a life time experience.
Read about my very own experience of an A ward stay here:
What can I do to enhance the cover of MediShield Life?
As with many government initiated plans, MediShield Life aims to provide the bare essentials and nothing more.
To get better coverage, many insurers offer Integrated Shield Plans and Riders, which are designed to supplement the cover of MediShield Life.
In essence, here are the benefits:
Integrated Shield Plans: Covers bulk of the Hospitalization costs (not including deductible and co-insurance)
Rider: Covers Coinsurance and / or deductible
You can choose Integrated Shield Plans that covers you up to Private Hospital Wards, A Wards or B1 Wards of Restructured (Government Hospitals)
Need assistance in choosing an Integrated Shield Plan that suits your needs and budget?
Just drop us a note at email@example.com and we our FA partners can help
If you haven’t done so already, upgrading to an Integrated Shield Plan should be one of your top priorities this year, as there can be some truly eye popping hospitalization bills when the stars are aligned (or not)
That about sums it up for MediShield Life.
In part 3 of this series, we will be covering the last government initiated plan: CareShield Life
If you have missed Part 1, you can read aboutThe Dependents Protection Scheme here