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Bertha HarianBertha Harian


Deducing the deductible

The CPF system is quite a wonderful thing. Money comes in and moves mysteriously among the different accounts. Want to buy a house? Check your CPF. In hospital? Check your CPF. Need to pay your kid’s university fees? Check your CPF. If only the interest rate was higher…

It’s always good NOT to take cash out of your wallet – that you have money somewhere to pay for some important thing. That’s why the announcement on Medishield changes should make everyone sit up and look carefully at the figures. Because it DOES mean you take more cash out of your wallet.  I’m talking about the deductible, that amount you have to pay on your own before the insurance kicks in for the rest. It’s gone up from $1,000 to $1,500 for C Class patients and from $1,500 to $2,000 for B2. Seems a lot of cash…But the examples that have been given in the media don’t  seem to fit. The fictitious Mr Chin paid just $40 cash in co-insurance (what is this?) and deductible for a hospital bill of $6,000 plus. That’s not much at all. The kidney dialysis patient has $1,800 medical bill a month of which $1,000 is paid by Medishield, NKF pays $500 and he pays $300. What’s the deductible here? $800?

I know insurance is a complicated business. I’ll wager that most times, we get the hospital bill and quickly look at what’s out of pocket that we would have to settle without doing the maths behind the bill. It’s good that the limits have increased etc, and  that there will be top-ups to help pay for premiums, but it’s worth enlightening people about that portion that they would have to pay when they are in hospital so that they can always try to keep some cash in hand.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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