The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced on Friday (27 Dec) that it will enhance MediShield Life by increasing and introducing more granular claim limits for surgical procedures to improve coverage for more complex surgical procedures and better protect Singaporeans against large medical bills.
Around 90,000 patients per year is said to benefit from higher MediShield Life payouts with the implementation of the new claim limits, which will take effect for patients admitted for surgeries from 1 January 2020.
The enhancement was recommended by the MediShield Life Council (MLC), as part of the ongoing review of MediShield Life benefits and premiums which commenced in 2018, to ensure that the coverage of MediShield Life remain broad-based and sustainable. The MLC will gather views and feedback through stakeholder and public engagements in the coming months.
The review is expected to be completed by end 2020.
There will be no premium adjustments at this point, in line with the government’s commitment to keep premiums constant for five years when the scheme was launched in November 2015.
As part of its overall review of the scheme, the MLC will also assess adjustments to premiums accordingly, after factoring in enhancements to the scheme and actual claims experience.
Claim Limits for Surgical Procedures
Patients undergoing surgical procedures listed in the Table of Surgical Procedures (TOSP) can claim from MediShield Life and tap on their MediSave to pay for their surgical bills, subject to the MediShield Life claim limits and MediSave withdrawal limits respectively. Currently there are seven different MediShield Life tiers of claim limits to cater to surgical procedures of different complexities under the TOSP.
From 1 January 2020, the number of tiers will triple to 21. The introduction of more granular and higher tiers will provide better coverage for more complex surgical procedures, which tend to be costlier. In addition, the claim limits have also been adjusted to keep pace with increased healthcare cost since the last revision in 2015.
With the new claim limits, patients are said to be able to claim more from MediShield Life, and pay less through MediSave or cash.
Mr Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, said, “The new claim limits will improve MediShield Life coverage for more complex surgical procedures and better protect Singaporeans against large hospital bills. Even as the MediShield Life Council undertakes their review, which will be completed by end 2020, we will start off by implementing the new claim limits for surgical procedures so that patients can benefit earlier from this enhancement. We will continue our efforts to keep healthcare costs sustainable and affordable for all Singaporeans.”
No action is needed on the part of patients. The new claim limits will be automatically applied to MediShield Life claims for patients admitted for surgeries from 1 January 2020.