Sunday, July 29, 2012

Medishield = Medishit

Once upon a time the deductible for Class C was $500 and Class B was $1000. As with all other CPF link policies, Medishield is so ill conceived and patch work needs to be done ever so often. Most of us citizens lost track of the numerous revisions since its implementation in the 1990s. Looks like each time the deductible is revised, it goes up by $500. This strategy will allow all the government privatised hospital to have free rein to jack up their medical fee while keeping the numbers of eligible claimants to the minimum.

Once upon a time the premium ranges from $12 to $240 (upper age limit was 75 years old then). The premium is always on the rise as insurance contract with the CPF is very flexible and all goal posts are perpetually shifted to extract the most from the public.

Medishield was revised in 2008, just 4 years ago. They are revising it again in 2012.  The deductible will be up by $500 for both Class C and B patients. Thus, the lower income group have to cough out $1500 medical expenses, which is very heavy.

The elderly citizens are the worst off with each revision.  In 2008 revision, the premium range went from $30-705 to $33-1123. The premium increased was the highest for the senior age group - 59% vs 10% increase for the youngest age group.

In 2008, the deductible was not revised for those below 80 years old. But for those between 81 to 85, the deductible for both Class C and B saw an increase of 100% ! Class C deductible went from $1000 to $2000, while Class B went from $1500 to $3000. Those in this age group likely need more medical attention. For those in the lower income range, probably they have used up the bulk of their retirement savings. Yet they are penalised the most.

This time round reporting from main stream media (MSM) did not mention this category. Not sure if it is affected or not as MSM always try to avoid and downplay reporting on unpopular government policies.

What we find incomprehensible is that Medishield has accumulated a surplus of $100 million due to premiums exceeding payouts. Why are they still bleeding us dry when they are so bloated up with our blood already ?

Paying interest to ourself - CPF ridiculous policy

Most of us who bought our flat in before 1990s took up HDB loans. During the 1980's the loan interest rate was 6% and more. Now if we don't meet minimum sum, we have to 'refund' CPF not only the loan amount, but the CPF accrued interest which we would have ‘earned’ should we not used the CPF money for the flat. So our money goes from CPF to HDB. We pay HDB interest for the loan. Now we have to refund accrued interest to CPF. In summary, it is money into govt pocket all the time.

The idea of 'paying back ourselves' CPF interest rate accrued is so ridiculous! We don't have the right over our own CPF money. It is as if we are borrowing from both HDB and CPF for the flat loan.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Raw Deal from CPF Medishield

We are taken for a ride again by the raw deal from Medishield. Govt claimed that the revised policy is to 'enhance' our healthcare coverage. Is it ? Our experience and common sense tell us it is another spin story.

As it is the existing deductible ($1000 to $1500)  is already so high that unless one is a cancer patient, terminal case....sigh- in really bad shape, we are bearing the full impact of the health care cost. Don't ever think of making a insurance claim even though we have been paying the Medishit ...I mean Medishield premium for decades.

Now they not only raised the yearly premium by 27% to 51% (depending on age group), they are also increasing the deductible by $500 for both Class C and Class B patients, which translate to 50% and 33% respectively. In other words, the lower income in ends up paying more. Does this make sense ?

But the disturbing issue is they can do all these without public consultation. We are the insured clients. No private insurance companies will do such thing to their clients, as it is illegal. If they offer enhance healthcare coverage, the clients have the option to opt in and pay the higher premium.

CPF Medishield run by the govt can shift every single 'goal posts' in our policy contract without battering an eye.  All this bull dozing, is this not abuse of power ?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MRT right to the door step of the casino entrance

One of the exits of Bayfront MRT station leads directly to the entrance of Marina Bay Casino. No wonder problem gambling (which govt term as 'gaming') is getting worst amongst local residents. After all MRT penetrated most,  if not all the HDB heartlands of Singapore. Our govt has made is so convenient to visit the casino which they call 'integrated resort'.

So who is to blame by making such visit seems so harmless and so convenient ?

Not long after the 'integrated resorts' started operation, they provided free transport at a few more populated HDB heartlands so the public can visit the 'resorts'. There was some feedback against such convenient provision which could encourage residents to visit the casinos ...- I meant resorts. So the govt acted and said it is against the law set up to govern the casinos and that the operators should not promote gambling via free transport.

Isn't even more convenient now with the operation of Bayfront station that the exit leads right to the entrance of the casino ? What an irony !

$3256 for 1 square feet

An apartment at Reflections at Keppel Bay was sold for $11 million which translate to $3256 psf.  I looked down at my room floor tile which each measured 1 by 1 feet. It is something an ordinary folk like me find 'amazing' - paying much for condo with only a 99 year lease.

Then there is this house that is sold at $20.8 million with a floor area around 22,000 sq ft. This one is freehold and going at $959 psf. Surely this is better value investment compare to the condo.

This house is 22  times larger than my HDB flat. Can't imagine needing so much space to live in, though a large garden is a welcoming thought.

STERILE Garden By The Bay

There has been a lot of publicity regarding the latest tourist attraction - Garden by the Bay. It is being promoted as a billion $ garden by S'pore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB), which itself attracted plenty of comments. Some think STPB and our government are so obsess with money that they use a money theme to promote the garden. Truly 'unique' way of garden advertising.

Do we need a billion $ artificial garden ? Well, obviously yes to our govt as they think it will bring in more money for them. The garden is just opposite the casino and is linked by an overhead bridge which span across the express way. Part of the garden is free. But the main attractions which consist of  2 conservatories and the sky bridge charge admission fee.  For a tourist visit all these 3 areas, it will set them back $33. So a family of 4 visiting S'pore it will cost them $132.

For locals, there is some discount. The govt has promised to 'care more' for the citizens after all the noises by locals that they feel like 2nd class citizens in recent years. So now they started this different rate of admission fee for tourist site. A local family of 4 will folk out less than $100 for the garden outing. Such outing to absorb in artificial nature certainly does not come cheap.

All the food eateries sited at the garden are costly. Likely half a day outing at the garden can easily set a family back $200. Better visit Botanic Garden instead. It is 100% more natural with birds, butterflies . ......aplenty.

Garden by the Bay is STERILE.  There are 2 giant metallic dragonflies at the 'lake' but no real dragonflies to be seen. There is some information board about frogs, but ..where are the frogs ? The 'lake' is devoid of life form - no fishes nor water birds, which one is used to seeing in Botanic Garden.

On rare occasion, there is some chipping sound of bird. But again no bird is sighted. Those common birds we have plenty here like the mynas and pigeons are also missing in action. Even the mosquitoes avoided the place. What a difference when one visit Botanic Garden - full of life.

Garden by the Bay - only humans are visible.