I read a complain letter written by Mr. Tan Guan Seng to the Straits Times about a worker who was not entitled to government subsidy at C class ward just because it was a work-related injury. Due to some certain rules, NUH could not provide him with the usual government subsidy. The letter written can be found Worker served with $147,000 C-class bill
The breakdown of his medical bill as follows:
NUH medical bill for C class ward (without subsidy) = $147,000
Less $25,000 from Workman Compensation Act
Less $41,000 from Medishield insurance
Amount payable by patient = $81,000
In the letter it was indicated that he has paid $31,000 from his Medisave (own money). Thus leaving with him $50,000 to pay in cash.
NUH gave a response which can be found Patient turned down advice on subsidies (second half of posting). The impression I get from NUH’s letter was that it was the fault of the patient who did not go through financial assessment. I find this strange. Even if an individual is a high networth, they are still entitled to 65% and 55% subsidy for citizens and permanent residents respectively (source: HERE).
What can we learn from this lesson? Get a private-intergrated shield policy covering private hospital in which it makes no assumption for government subsidy. For age 54, it would cost $974 a year inclusive of the rider. Much of this premium could have been paid by Medisave. By the way, for Mr. Tan the $31,000 money paid from Medisave would have generated an interest of $1,240 annually assuming 4% interest rate.
The importance of a private-integrated shield cannot be underestimated.
Update: According to NUH page HERE, patients admitted due to industrial accidents are not entitled to government subsidy.
Update (30 March 2011): Follow correspondences HERE (link broken).
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