There is some debate in this blog about how to insure the unhealthy people. Those who are healthy felt that they should not be subsiding the unhealthy people and they like the current system of insurance purchased from insurance companies operating on commercial grounds.
This self-centered approach is not helpful to people who are not in good health, especially those who were born with congenital conditions and did not take care of their health in the past (and now wish to make a change).
Some countries realize that they cannot just let these people be uninsured. America is now addressing this problem and is taking bold steps to make a reform.
I like the approach adopted in Australia. Every family can join a health insurance plan without the need for underwriting and to pay the community rate. The Government provides attractive tax incentives and make it attractive for people to join a plan, rather than be uninsured. The healthy people are willing to join, due to the tax subsidy.
I believe that a similar approach is being adopted in Japan, Germany, Switzerland and other European countries. The systems are not identical, but the general approach is probably as I have described (but I may be wrong).
I do not like the American or Singapore system, as there is a high layer of administrative cost and uncertainty about the coverage, due to the proliferation of different plans and exclusions of pre-existing and other conditions. The confusion is not helpful to consumers and the actual benefit to consumers is lower than the premiums that they have paid. I believe that a better and more streamlined system can be found.
Tan Kin Lian
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