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TO further ease the transition to MediShield Life - Singapore's universal health coverage to be rolled out by the end of 2015 - higher transitional subsidies will be given to Singapore citizens for the first two years of the scheme.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday announced this in Parliament, as he responded to the debate on the MediShield Life Scheme Bill.
In the first year, all citizens who face an increase in their net premiums (after taking into account various subsidies, including premium subsidies and Pioneer Generation subsidies) for MediShield Life will be subsidised 90 per cent of the net increase in premium, followed by 70 per cent in the second year.
This is higher than the earlier announced rate of 80 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, for the first two years, said Mr Gan.
The transitional subsidy rate for the third and fourth years of the scheme will stay at 40 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.
The move will mean that citizens will pay only 10 per cent of the net premium increase in the first year of MediShield Life.
The maximum premium increase for citizens who are fully insured under MediShield now will be less than S$3 per month across all ages and income groups.
The Health Ministry said that in the fifth year of MediShield Life, after transitional subsidies have been phased out, lower-to-middle income households (up to two-thirds of all households) will still continue to benefit from premium subsidies.