Ordinary Singaporean Adrian Tan, 52, has these questions for Leong Sze Hian on the proposed changes to health-care financing. (link)
1. What are the proposed changes in Medisave?
Allow more liberal use of Medisave, especially for the elderly, such as for health screening.
2. What do these mean for me and my family? I have a wife and two children, 24 and 26.
Just in case you can’t afford to pay for the Medishield premiums, your coverage may not lapse as future Medisave top-ups from the government may go directly into paying your premiums.
3. I read in the papers about restrictions on people using their Medisave money for their families. This worries me. Doesn’t government want to encourage filial piety?
This is to restrict the unlimited use of one’s Medisave to pay for family members, so that one’s Medisave will not be depleted, especially when we get older.
4. In the Medishield segment, there is a mention of getting people to pay more in premiums when they are young? Will these have an affect on a person like me?
You may pay less and your children will have to pay higher premiums.
5. There is a proposal that tells government to guarantee Medishield coverage for those who cannot afford premiums. Is this for real?
Yes, the Government may pay for the premiums of the needy who cannot afford to pay.
6. I have stopped paying premiums. Anything for me here?
You can try to re-apply for Medishield, but acceptance may be subject to your health condition and history.
7. You told me earlier about the element of luck? What is that all about?
The recommendation on higher Medishield coverage, and coverage of more non-standard drugs will mean that Singaporeans may have less concerns about very high medical costs.
However, I think it would still be akin to be dependent on “luck”- because it may still cost you a bomb if you or your dependents get afflicted by a non-standard illness’ treatment or drugs.
8. If the government accepts these changes, what does it tell?
That we are paying more attention to addressing the concerns on the affordability of healthcare, particularly for the lower-income.