13 May 2013, Straits Times Online
Allow more than one child to pay for parents' MediShield premiums
I REFER to the Ministry of Health's response ("Basic MediShield premiums fully covered"; last Friday).
Premiums are fully covered for only those who have worked before and contributed to their Central Provident Fund and Medisave accounts.
Housewives, such as my mother-in-law, who has never been in paid employment, are not covered. They have neither Medisave nor MediShield.
For such individuals, their children have no choice but to purchase the more costly private Shield plans to ensure they are covered in their old age.
As the withdrawal limit is $800 for those 75 and below, and only one child's Medisave account can be used to pay the premiums, the balance has to be paid in cash.
If MOH allows the premiums to be paid using the Medisave accounts of more than one child, it will help Singaporeans care for their elderly parents' medical needs.
Teo Chia Hsia (Ms)
Reply from MOH
16 May 2013, Straits Times Online
All S'poreans eligible for basic MediShield coverage
IN HER letter ("Allow more than one child to pay for parents' MediShield premiums"; Forum Online, Monday), Ms Teo Chia Hsia said children would need to purchase costly private Shield plans for their parents who have never been employed, as they would have neither Medisave nor MediShield coverage.
All Singaporeans, including those who have never been in paid employment, are eligible to apply for basic MediShield coverage, subject to their good health. Basic MediShield premiums are fully payable from their own or their family members' Medisave, under the prevailing Medisave withdrawal limits.
The Government provides regular Medisave top-ups to help seniors afford basic health-care protection under MediShield, including those who have never been in paid employment.
We understand that Ms Teo may have purchased a private Integrated Shield Plan for her mother-in-law. Private Shield plans are, in fact, integrated with basic MediShield, but with additional coverage for ward classes higher than Class B2/C. Hence, they are more expensive.
We encourage Singaporeans to choose plans that are appropriate for their needs.
Bey Mui Leng (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Health