The insurance exchange that was launched on 1 October under the Affordable Care Act in America encountered technical problems and was not able to cope with the heavy traffic of 8 million visitors. The cost of the system ballooned three times from $100 to $300 million in US dollars.
While the problem seemed to be quite irrelevant to us, we should not be complacent. We will be introducing two similar initiatives in Singapore over the next 12 months.
We will have to register large number of applicants under the proposed Medishield Life scheme and also provide a website for employers to post their job vacancies before they are allowed to apply for a work pass for foreigners.
These registrations are likely to face issues similar to those that bogged down the insurance exchange in America.
We also have to be careful about adopting the same approach, i.e. relying on vendors and consultants who face a conflict of interest and are likely to recommend costly solutions that have a tendency to overrun in budget.
Let us be aware now of the issues and not repeat the problems that are now experienced in America.