Understanding MediShield Life

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MediShield Life has been all over in the news ever since it has been announced since last year. The Singapore government (Ministry of Health & CPF Board) have been fine-tuning the health insurance scheme for Singaporeans & PRs before implementing it at the end of 2015. Many of us know that it is important to have a Shield plan to cover hospitalisation bills, but have never really understood how it actually works. Allow me to explain MediShield Life in detail.


MediShield is a basic health insurance, administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer.

MediShield coverage is sized for subsidised treatment in Class B2/C wards of public hospitals. Those who choose to stay in a B1 or A class ward or in a private hospital are also covered by MediShield. But because the bills are higher as there is little to no government subsidy they would need to buy additional private insurance coverage, or pay more of their bill from Medisave and/or cash.

MediShield Life

In end 2015, MediShield will be replaced by MediShield Life, and will offer:

  • Better protection and higher payouts, so that patients pay less Medisave/cash for large hospital bills
  • Protection For All Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, including the very old and those who have pre-existing illnesses
  • Protection For Life

With better coverage, MediShield Life premiums will have to increase. You can use your Medisave to pay your premiums in full.

The Government will also provide significant support to keep premiums affordable: 

  • Premium Subsidies for the lower- to middle-income;
  • Pioneer Generation Subsidies for Pioneers;
  • Transitional Subsidies to ease the shift to MediShield Life for Singapore Citizens; and
  • Additional Premium Support for those who are unable to afford their premiums even after premium subsidies. 


Payout for MediShield Life

  • Reduced co-insurance, so that patients pay less Medisave/cash for large hospital bills
  • Higher claim limits, so the government foots a bigger portion of the hospitalisation bills.



Integrated Shield Plans 

All five life insurers offering Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) have committed not to increase premiums for the additional private insurance coverage portion for 12 months, following the implementation of MediShield Life at the end of 2015.

In a news release on Friday (Jun 26), the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) said that this reflects the life insurance industry’s efforts to facilitate a smooth transition for IP policyholders.

Claims for IPs have increased over time due to larger medical bills, greater healthcare consumption and the increased use of newer and costlier procedures which leverage medical technological advancements, according to LIA.

Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, reiterated this on Sunday (Jun 28), saying that the Health Ministry will work with insurers to ensure that the premiums do not sky rocket in the long term: “MOH will be in constant discussion with LIA as well as the five IP insurers. We will also like to control the healthcare costs by actually making our healthcare bills more transparent.” 

IPs comprise two parts:

The first is a MediShield portion run by the CPF Board.

The second is an additional private insurance coverage portion run by private insurers, typically to cover Class A/B1 wards in public hospitals or private hospitals.

This means that if you have an IP, you are already covered by MediShield. The premiums you pay to your private insurer already includes the premiums for the MediShield portion. As MediShield is part of your IP, there is no duplicate coverage.

Integrated Shield Plans


If you already have an Integrated Shield Plan with one of the 5 insurance companies, you will also enjoy the benefits of MediShield Life, as shown in the infographic below:

8 Things You Need to Know About Integrated Shield Plans


Now that you have a better understanding about MediShield Life, all that we have to do now is to wait for the government to announce the finalised details of the premiums & subsidies, and when exactly it will be implemented. If you still have questions about MediShield Life, email me at azam@incomeprotection.sg and I’ll help to clear your doubts! 

Information in this article is taken from Ministry of Health, CPF Board and MediShield Life. Information is correct as at 1st July 2015.


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