Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Medishield Life - risk of escalating cost

Many people are worried that Medishield Life will be very expensive. Their concerns are valid.

Let me use this example to demonstrate how bad things can become. An Englishman, who had lived in Singapore for more than ten years, recently went back to the UK to visit his uncle, who was terminally ill with cancer. The uncle was in the late 50s.

The doctors of the National Health Service of the UK had concluded that the cancer had reached a stage beyond cure and this was accepted by the patient and the family. They had trust that the NHS would have done whatever could be done.

Imagine a similar case in Singapore, and the patient was insured under Medishield Life and it was outsourced to a private, for-profit insurer.

If the insurer had concluded that the patient was beyond cure, the patient and the family might not accept this conclusion, and might suspect that the insurer was trying to cap their liability. The patient might have gone for expensive and futile treatment. The cost would be borne by the insurance scheme, and everybody would have to pay higher premium.

I am worried that the Medishield Life would not have the management structure and the co-operation of the patient in controlling the cost of treatment, and the cost would escalate rapidly. This was the experience in America. Our model appears to be following the American model.

I hope that the Review Committee is aware of this risk and will be able to find a solution to deal with it.

Tan Kin Lian

No comments:

Blog Archive