MediShield Life: Premiums up 2.5 times, claims up 2 times?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

More MediShield Life claims paid to S’poreans over 65

I refer to the article “Parliament: Nearly half of MediShield Life claims paid out went to Singaporeans over 65” (Straits Times, Nov 8).

It states that “In total, more than $600 million was paid out under the universal insurance scheme during this time period. This is up from the $307.5 million disbursed over the same time under the old scheme. Overall, for older Singaporeans, MediShield Life paid out an average of $1,639 per claim,” Mr Gan said. “(This is) a 15 per cent increase from $1,425 per claim under MediShield.””

Premiums increased 153% against claims increase of 100%?

As “between last November and September this year – a total of $614.3 million (claims) was paid out” and “over the same period in the previous year, $307.5 million was disbursed for 291,500 claims – premiums rose, mounting to $1,736 million in the 11 months from its launch – compared with $685.7 million in the same period the previous year – almost half was paid by the Government, largely as premium subsidies” (“MediShield Life helps more people a year on” (My Paper, Nov 1) – does it mean that premiums increased by 153 per cent ($1,736 divided by $685.7 million) against the increase in claims payout of 100 per cent ($614.3 divided by $307.5 million)?

Premiums increased 2.5 times against claims payout increase of 2 times?

So, premiums increased by 2.5 times against the claims payout increase of 2 times?

What happens when transitional premium subsidies end?

Although “almost half was paid by the Government, largely as premium subsidies” – when the decreasing transitional premium subsidies end after four years – will the the premiums to claims ratio still be higher than before – as the data is now showing?

44.8% claims to premiums ratio in the previous year?

Also, does it mean that the claims to premiums ratio over the same period in the previous year was 44.8 per cent ($307.5 million claims divided by $685.7 million premiums)?

35.4% claims to premiums ratio from its launch?

And the claims to premiums ratio in the 11 months from its launch was 35.4 per cent ($614.3 million claims divided by $1,736 million)?

Claims to premiums ratio dropped from 44.8 to 35.4%?

Why is it that the claims to premiums ratio has dropped from 44.8 to 35.4 per cent?

51,000 residents have outstanding premiums?

“In response, Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat said that as of September, around 51,000 residents have outstanding premiums due, which amount to around $12.8 million. This represents about 1 per cent of all members, and includes overseas Singaporeans as well as those who cannot be contacted.

“We are reaching out to remind Singaporeans and help them with their MediShield Life premiums,” Mr Chee said. “The Government has provided subsidies to help Singaporeans pay for their MediShield Life premiums.””