Sunday, August 23, 2015

Medishield Life is still CRAP

When the govt spend so much time, effort and money to brain wash us, you get a sense things are not rosy and we will be paying a heavy price for it. Remember the recent 'fun pack' with all the hype around it? It turned out to be crap, so much so the collection period has been extended (too many left overs) and some grassroot has taken to adding more items to the standard crappy pack to entice folks to collect them.

Medishield is crap and Medishield Life is no different. The many shortcomings of Medishield have not been resolved. The only good thing about Medishield Life is the universal coverage for all citizens regardless age and medical condition. BUT the idea is not from PAP. It originates from SDP.  As usual the govt under PAP has the 'creative' ability to turn every noble scheme into a money making venture at our expense.

Let turn our attention back to the short comings of Medishield Life inherited from Medishield :

1) Heavy out of pocket payment
The sky high deductible. For class C ward (which is the lowest already) it is $1.5K for those below 80 years old and $2K for those above 80. On top of this we still have foot 10% co-payment. As our medical cost has been inflating year after year, this could be a heavy burden for low income and retiree. Some common issues for the elderly are stroke, knee and hip problems. The 90th percentile of hospital bill size for these is around $10k. With the deductible and co-payment, it could be around $3k that the patient has to pay out of his/her own pocket.

2) Many Common Aging Diseases NOT Cover
Take for example cataract which affects many elderly. It is NOT cover under Medishield. Even with the so call 'subsidy' the bill comes up to over $2.2K for both eyes on average. This has not include the pre-op and post-op fee. What is the point of universal insurance when common diseases affecting the population are not cover?

3) The Old and Healthy Are Penalised
In private medical insurance scheme, the premium is fix at joining age. We are not penalized to pay heavier premium as we grow older. The horror of Medishield scheme is that the old and healthy are penalized with heavy premium. It matters not that one has been paying all the years without claiming a single cent and your medisave a/c depleted by Medishield payment - your premium is above $1.1K once you hit 80 years old and your deductible also increases by $500 !

4) Uncertainty of future premium and cost
Unlike private insurance where the contract is binding and cost is fix at the point of joining, CPF has the greedy habit of increasing the premium across the board time and again. They will also raise the deductible. The term 'contract' has no meaning for any schemes under CPF, which are getting numerous and more complicate over the years.  This bring us to ....

5) So Complicated
The previous Medishield scheme is already so complicated. This Medishield Life scheme is giving a new life to the word COMPLICATED.

Just to know how much is our premium, we have so many factors to consider : Age (16 bands), Income (4 categories), Annual value of property you are living in and Subsidy for the first 4 years.  This subsidy thingy is so complicated because the premium has been jacked up sky high across the board. They want to pacify us but at the same time cannot forego their glee to collect as much money as early as possible from us.

Subsidy for transitional period - have to consider again age, income, pioneer or non-pioneer and then which year of subsidy :-

2015- 1st yr 90% of net premium increase (note- it is only on the increase premium), 
2016- 2nd yr 70%,
2017- 3rd yr 40%,
2018 - 4th yr 20%.

The question is WHY make it so complicated ??
There are likely 2 reasons why govt loves to complicate things. First - is that if we find it so stressful and time consuming to understand the scheme, they hope we give up and just listen to what they choose to drum into us - Hear Only The Good Things. They can then do what they like to the scheme and our CPF with 'less noise' from us.  Second - it is the way to generate more revenue from the scheme.

We know the notorious 3M (medisave, medishield and medifund) has not prevent many from 'falling' between the cracks. But it has been a good source of $$ for the govt.  The Medishield payout has always been much less than the premium collected (extremely derisory when compare to other countries public healthcare payout). Medifund set aside to help the needy has been under utilized due to govt usual stinginess. 

The coming Medishield Life premium has rocketed and likely to be delightful source of revenue for govt. The premium increase is the most for these 3 age groups :
1-20 yrs old   - 160% increase
21-30 yrs old - 195% increase
31-40 yrs old - 195 % increase

For the rest of the age group- that the increase is less than 100%. The minimum increase is 11% for those age 81 to 85. However, in monetary terms, the increase is from $80 to $355. The group suffering the highest monetary increase is the elderly from age 71 onwards. The irony is just when you are nearing to say bye bye at age 90, they rip you off the last time with a hefty 28.57% increase in your premium ($340).

In summary, it has been the trend that when we are being rip off heavily, we will be given peanuts subsidy to pacify us for the 'transitional' period.  There will be plenty of propaganda communication to paint a heavenly picture of how wonderful the scheme is.  So the rosier it is, the worst off we will be. 

BEWARE of SUBSIDY. They are in fact taking 'gold ingots' from us and giving us' peanuts' in return.

note-  the current batch of pioneer's subsidy may not be extended to seniors 65 and above age group in the future.

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