Covid-19 patients unvaccinated by choice to pay for own treatment from Dec. 8, 2021

The government said it is taking a "stronger stance" against those who choose not to be vaccinated.

Ashley Tan | November 08, 2021, 06:25 PM

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From Dec. 8, 2021, Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice will be charged the full cost of their Covid-19 medical bills.

This was previously raised to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung via suggestions from members of the public and Parliament.

Ong replied that the suggestion would be "considered carefully" by the government.

Government taking "stronger stance" against unvaccinated people

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce revealed on Nov. 8 during a press conference that they will move ahead with this proposal.

The new rule applies to all Covid-19 patients, who are unvaccinated by choice, admitted on or after Dec. 8 to hospitals and Covid-19 Treatment Facilities (CTFs).

Individuals who are partially vaccinated will not be charged until Dec. 31, 2021, in order to give them time to get fully vaccinated.

Therefore, from Jan. 1, 2022, only Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders who are Covid-19 patients who are fully vaccinated, and have not recently travelled, will have their Covid-19 medical bills fully paid for by the Government.

Unvaccinated persons make up large majority of those requiring intensive inpatient care

Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice can still tap on regular healthcare financing arrangements to pay for their bills where applicable.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents may access regular Government subsidies and MediShield Life/ Integrated Shield Plan where applicable to help foot the bill, while Long-Term Pass Holders can tap on their usual financing arrangements, such as private insurance.

The MTF explained that this new rule is due to unvaccinated persons making up the large majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and "disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources".

As such, the government is taking a "stronger stance" against those who choose not to be vaccinated through this new approach, as well as through the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures.

Medically ineligible individuals exempted

The MTF recognises that there are some individuals who are medically ineligible for vaccination.

Those individuals, which include children under 12, will not be charged for Covid-19-related medical bills.

This "special approach" will continue until the Covid-19 situation is more stable, according to the MTF.

Vaccination status

At the moment, daily case numbers have stabilised for around three weeks, and remained at over 3,000 a day on average.

85 per cent of Singapore's population has completed two doses of vaccines, and 18 per cent have received boosters.

Additionally, 94 per cent of seniors in the 60 to 69 age group and 90 per cent of seniors aged 70 years and above have completed two doses of vaccines, while 82 per cent of eligible seniors aged 60 years and above have received boosters.

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Top photo from TTSH / FB.