Friday, June 27, 2014

Medishield Life Bites Hard

At its core, universal health coverage (UHC) is about giving the individual and his family access to health care and preventing them from facing financial ruin that can come from unexpected illness and disability. At least that was what Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck, widely credited as the intellectual father of today's UHC programmes, had in mind when he introduced national compulsory coverage for workers. Profit was never the motive.

Last year, Medishield premiums were quietly increased without much fanfare. Han Fook Kwang himself woke up to discover that his MediShield premium had jumped to $1,589, double what was deducted ($800) from his Medisave account previously. Before you could even contemplate bailing out of the scam, they introduced the compulsory Medishield Life to skim you off for perpetuity.

For a while now, the spiel was about additional benefits, never about whether we need them or are prepared to pay for the extras. They can hide the numbers only for so long. Now the secret is out.

As expected, leopards never change their spots. Medisave, one component of the Central Provident Fund (CPF), is also supposed to be our money, but that never stopped the grubby greedy hands from  helping themselves to the loot. Discounting the placebo of the subsidies, valid only for a temporal grace period, the numbers are higher than present (already inflated) Medishield premiums. The only important table is the set of before and after numbers.

Other than per capita household income, the determining factor for entitlement to a "discount" is the Annual Value (AV) of one's home. The retiree living in his old house with no source of income will still have to pay full rate. Ditto the sickly and handicapped, those in dire need of affordable medicare, will just have to downgrade to the void deck to qualify for a miserly handout.

The key to the grand scheme of things is the MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC)'s suggestion  to work with private insurers to review the "landscape and features" of Integrated Shield Plans (IPs). You bet these private insurers, working in cahoots with the compliant Government appointees, will be laughing all the way to the bank. And you thought it was all about providing affordable health care. Bobby Chin, the Chairman of the MediShield Life Review Committee has even suggested that those who default on their premiums for MediShield Life should be penalised: "If you don't pay, the government will look into certain enforcement."

Speaking from the safety of several thousand miles away, the prime minister said, "You will have to pay somewhat more premiums but the premiums are affordable." Probably as affordable as those 35 year mortgages for a leasehold public housing unit.

29 comments:

  1. "You will have to pay somewhat more premiums but the premiums are affordable."

    I think voting Opposition is more affordable.
    PAP government and policies are too expensive for me.
    Say NO to PIGS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Today Wanbao headline is translated to read "Additional premium increase for Medishield Life will not exceed S$6 for all citizens for the first year". What is to be charged after the first year of course canl be subject to future goalposts being shifted, this they will never tell you, maybe in another 'honest' conversation later.

    Is this not the same old trick our Govt majority owned mobile & cable TV operators used for charging certain packages advertised as FREE * (* for the first 3 months in small print).

    What is charged after the 3 months is often placed in the small print, so small that every pioneer citizen have need to use a magnifying glass to read.

    Our PAP Govt is now so pathetic that we are now almost immuned to their dirty tricks, anybody agree ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you look at the table in TODAY, the smallest increase is from $4 to $11 PER MONTH for the 1 to 20 year old category, with the 31 - 40 category paying 3 times more. Which makes me wonder, does a baby have a CPF account? Will they send him to Changi prison if he "defaults" on the Medishield Life premium?

      Delete
    2. You still don't know PAP? They will go after the parent, any relative or anybody holding the baby.

      Delete
  3. If I am jobless throughout my entire life with zero Medisave but happen to live in my grandfather's house, how to compute my premium & subsidy ?

    No need to pay is it ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give up your hope. This is a poll tax, where people are taxed just for being alive (inside and outside the country). I am sure they will send expensive lawyer letter to demand payment, add a fine and service charge plus GST. Just look at what happen to those who cannot afford their town council tax.

      Delete
    2. No running away fr them, tax here and there.
      And dunno where the tax money goes to.
      Imagine paying tax before one starts work. Kids and non working elderlies and the sickly included.
      How sick can a society becomes?

      Delete
  4. I do not understand this at all. How is it affordable if I am retired with negligible Medisave?

    ReplyDelete
  5. People, if the Emperor says that shit is edible, it's edible. Understand? Just shut up and swallow it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem for the 60% because they like to eat shit and everything offered by the emperor

      Delete
  6. I am sorry...this is not the Singapore gov't I want to support...

    THIS IS THE PAP GOVT....so you know...zzz

    ReplyDelete
  7. Noticed that when there were unpopular policies changes, most of the time, he is always out of town!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Accordingly to CNA report, this is what Mr Bobby Chin, the Chairman of the MediShield Life Review Committee said at a news conference on Friday:
    "If you don't pay, the government will look into certain enforcement. It has got to be fair to all Singaporeans and not because of a few Singaporeans who deliberately do not want to pay when they can afford to pay. Now what are the enforcement actions that can be taken? I think this is something the Government, and (the Ministry of Health) has to work out."

    If Medishield Life is so affordable, why are they already planning to punish defaulters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't they just make it a tax? I assume it is because the poor do not earn enough to pay for the tax. Now they have to plea for more handout to survive.

      Delete
    2. //Why don't they just make it a tax?//
      Because they want to boast that we are the lowest taxed in the world. Conveniently pretending the GST, COE, ERP, PARF, etc are not taxes.

      Delete
  9. Shall we sing this at NDP 2014?
    Better ideas for lyrics most welcome
    ==========================

    Count Money, Singapore
    ——————————————-

    We have a vision for tomorrow
    Just released, just released
    We have a poorer Singapore
    We can endure, We can endure

    You and me, we have to part
    With our CPF for a start
    We’re gonna show the world just how daft we are
    Vote Pee-A-Pee, Vote Pee-A-Pee

    There is nothing down the road that we can hope for
    We were told a Swiss that we could never dream of
    There’s an odour in the air
    That same bullshit we all share
    We’re gonna build a better CPF for you and me
    We won’t receive, we’ve been deceived ??

    Count money, Singapore
    Count money, Singapore
    Count on me to give my arse and more
    Count money, Singapore

    You and me
    We’ll do our part,
    Give our kidneys and our hearts
    We’re gonna show the world just how daft we are
    We can’t resist, Vote Pee-A-Pee

    Count money, Singapore
    Count money, Singapore
    Count on me to give my life and more
    Count money, Singapore

    Together Pay & Pay, Singapore X3

    ReplyDelete
  10. The CPF debacle has greatly damaged the PAP government's trustworthiness. The compulsory Medishield Life may be the last straw that breaks the camel's back. What kind of help scheme is this when we cannot opt out if we cannot afford it? When affordable is an euphemism for substantial, the ominous clouds just got darker at the horizon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If voters vote for PAP at the Next General Election, it only mean that they are willing and prepared to be the Sacrificial Lambs. Hence, they are willing to be slaughtered and thus they deserve the Butchers they have chosen.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete
  12. The numbers in the table is misleading.

    Under the age group 51 to 60 yrs old, it is stated that current Medishield annual premium is $345

    Dont know where in the world they got that number from!
    Each insurer has a different package with different premiums!

    ReplyDelete
  13. They are probably telling themselves :" We too can be Batam whores".

    ReplyDelete
  14. Why you all cowpeh cowbu for what. Just pay as you have no choice. You people elected us to decide for you for your own good. You think oppo can do better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just vote Opposition.
      The most effective feedback that PAP can understand.

      Delete
    2. @anon 5.21pm, 12.19pm
      It is time to make PAP the opposition so they can do better. Not just the most effective feedback, but 100 % guarantee the PAP can understand, even if they have the thickest skull.

      Delete
  15. The medical scheme is good, but it has been turned into a tool to get citizens tied-up with their own $ = victims of their own success.

    Common sense tells us that guaranteed return or insurance premium to remain unchanged for, say, 5 years is considered as 'political language' which citizens must not take the statement for granted as the statement is quite deceiving. We must not trust what the promise given by our leaders.

    To solve the root cause of all issues, let's vote in more co-pilots into our systems.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    You cry about poor transport and healthcare in GE 2011? Every "fix" you get you will pay more for it! Dare to cry anymore? If you want to cry, make sure you kick them out the whole gang. If only 1 or 2 GRCs, forget it, you will suffer more and more, the vindictive straits is what defines the MIW. That is what "fixing the opposition" mean in the lingo of pinkie.

    Every new garmen scheme will attempt to lock in your CPF money longer and longer, more and more :) You money is in the good hands of Madam. Pse feel very safe!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am against the healthy cross-subsidizing the unhealthy. The latter should pay a higher premium like smokers do.

    Furthermore, the young are paying disproportionately more so that the MOH can lower premiums for the older folks. This is a feature that means passing on the buck to the next generation. And we will keep needing more young people to prop up the system in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
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