The Minister of State for Health, Mr Chee Hong Tat said in Parliament that the total amount outstanding is $12.8 million, or less than 1% of total premiums due.
This was in response to MP Png Eng Huat for Hougang who asked the Minister for Health what is the number of citizens and permanent residents who could not pay for their MediShield Life premiums since its implementation, what are the main reasons, and what is the total amount of premiums owed.
Mr Chee replying on behalf of the Minister of Health, that as at September 2016, around 51,000 residents have outstanding premiums due, or about 1% of total members. This includes Singaporeans living overseas and those who cannot be contacted.
He said that the government is reaching out to remind Singaporeans and help them with their MediShield Life premiums. The Government has provided subsidies to help Singaporeans pay for their MediShield Life premiums, which include transition subsidies, means-tested subsidies for lower and middle-income households, as well as additional subsidies for the Pioneer Generation. Low-income Singaporeans who require financial assistance can apply for Additional Premium Support.
When asked whether the trend of non-payment of MediShield Life premiums is actually going up or down, Mr Chee said this is the first year that the Government administers MediShield Life. Therefore, it is still keeping track of the numbers.
Mr Chee said that the efforts to reach out to remind and help Singaporeans pay for their premiums will be a continuous one that we will work together with CPF Board and other Government agencies on, and to help low-income Singaporeans who required financial assistance to also benefit from MediShield Life through Additional Premium Support. In this way, members of the public have a good universal medical insurance scheme that is for all and for life.