The MediShield Life Council has made preliminary recommendations for the MediShield Life benefits to be enhanced, and for premiums to be correspondingly adjusted. While the public consultation on the proposed benefit enhancements is ongoing, the Government has committed about $2.2 billion for premium subsidies and support over the next three years to help Singapore Residents with their MediShield Life premiums, particularly in view of the impact of COVID-19 on Singapore Residents and the economy. With these support measures, the net premium increases for all Singapore Citizens will be kept to up to about 10% in the first year.
Existing Premium Support Measures
2. Since 2015, the Government has provided the following to keep premiums affordable for Singaporeans:
a. Funding to cover the bulk of the cost of bringing those who were previously uninsured into MediShield Life, to ease the shift to universal coverage;
b. Premium subsidies of up to 50% for the lower- to middle-income;
c. Additional Merdeka Generation (MG) subsidies of 5% or 10%  (from 2019 onwards);
d. Special Pioneer Generation (PG) subsidies of 40% to 60% ;
e. Transitional Subsidies for all Singapore Citizens for the first four years; and
f. Additional Premium Support (APS) to help the needy pay for their premiums.
A total of $3.1 billion has been spent over the past four years to help Singapore Residents with their premiums.
3. Moving forward, the Government will continue to provide premium support through premium subsidies, MG/PG subsidies and APS, estimated at about $1.8 billion over the next three years, after taking into account the preliminary premium adjustments. Additionally, PG and MG seniors currently receive annual MediSave top-ups which can be used to pay for their MediShield Life premiums. MG seniors receive $200 annually from 2019 to 2023. PG seniors receive $200 to $800 annually, for life.
One-off COVID-19 Subsidy
4. To further cushion the impact of the proposed premium adjustments during this exceptional period, the Government will provide a one-off COVID-19 subsidy for all Singapore Citizens. The Government will subsidise 70% of the net increase in premiums (after taking into account existing premium subsidies) in the first year, followed by 30% in the second year.
5. The one-off COVID-19 subsidy will cost about $360 million over the next two years. Taken together with the existing premium support measures, the net premium increases for all Singapore Citizens will be kept to up to about 10% in the first year.
6. Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong said, “Since its launch, MediShield Life has improved protection against large hospitalisation bills, and provided greater assurance for Singaporeans. The current premium subsidies for lower-to middle-income Singapore Residents, MG and PG seniors and Additional Premium Support will continue to help keep premiums affordable for Singaporeans. This will amount to about $1.8 billion over the next three years. Given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the Government will provide an additional $360 million through the one-off COVID-19 subsidy to help Singaporeans with their premiums during this exceptional period. In total, we have budgeted about $2.2 billion for premium subsidies and support over the next three years. Singaporeans who still face difficulties with their premiums can apply for Additional Premium Support. No one will lose MediShield Life coverage due to financial difficulties.”
7. Please refer to Annex A for additional details on net indicative premiums after taking into account these additional Government support.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
29 SEPTEMBER 2020