Premiums for MediShield Life paid for by ordinary citizens are now used to subsidise the country’s medial welfare fund for welfare recipients, MediFund. Announced in Parliament yesterday (Nov 24), the head of Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, PAP MP Chia Shi Lu, said that the expenses for MediFund fell to S$155.2 million this year from S$159.3 million disbursed in 2015.
In 2013 and 2014, Medifund payouts increased 20% each year., but the trend reversed with a S$3.1 million reduction in 2016 despite a 9% increase in MediFund applications, the Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed.
The decrease in MediFund spending is resulted from the increased in payouts from the country’s national insurance scheme Medishield Life, and it will likely increase insurance premiums in the following year to further subsidize the welfare scheme in the future.
MOH confirmed that welfare recipients are now paying less due to MediShield Life:
“Changes allowing for more funds from Medisave, which is the portion of Central Provident Fund money reserved for medical needs, to be used for chronic conditions and scans have also resulted in less need to rely on Medifund. From $95 the previous year, Medifund applicants needed only an average of $77 top-up for outpatient bills, according to the latest Medifund annual report.”
PAP MP Chia Shi Lu expressed “happiness” to learn that the bill of welfare recipients are paid for by Singaporeans:
“I am happy with the shift in healthcare financing as help from Medifund may depend on the available coffers and the largesse of the government of the day.”