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MediShield should not have age bar

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

ST Forum. Sep 18, 2009.

I REFER to the reply by the Ministry of Health, 'Multiple tiers of protection for all' (Sept 2).

My MediShield-protected parents are both 83 years old. In two years, they will be out of MediShield coverage and will not be able to avail themselves of its hospital and surgery plans.

They have been paying MediShield premiums for years and have not made a single claim. I believe they will live beyond 85.

I am happy that the ministry's reply stated that the age limit for coverage has been been raised progressively. But as the life expectancy of Singaporeans exceeds MediShield's latest age limit increase to 85 three years ago, it would be even more gratifying if the ministry took steps immediately to raise it to 90 and beyond.

Many plans by private insurers already cover until death, and it would be great if MediShield could consider doing likewise.

I had planned to switch my parents from MediShield to a private insurer because of the 85-year age bar, but that is not possible because the last entry age for private insurance is 75.

So, if the Government does not act, Singaporeans like my parents will not have any hospital and surgery plan covering them at an age when coverage is crucial.

The ministry's reply suggested that Singaporeans are protected in a multi-tiered system, but that is complicated, inconvenient and inferior to having specific coverage for oneself.

Daniel Choy


Comments:


Is healthshield plans with no age limits available? The answer is yes, most if not all the private insurer plans have no age limit. Instead of relying on the government to review the medishield coverage, one should take responsibility of their own protection needs to take up the private healthshield plans if they wish for better life time coverage.

The medishield plan is meant for the most basic coverage targeted to be affordable for the general population. By increasing the age limit, it might increase premiums to less affordable levels. On the contrary, the current system is in fact superior, as it addresses the needs of the average population. While those who want to have better coverage can opt for the private plans.

On a different aspect, I do propose to review to have a "No Claim Discount" to encourage people not to claim unnecessarily and reward those who stay healthy.

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