Govt will not pay medical bill for Covid-19 patients above 18 who don't get booster shot within 9 months of last dose

Existing healthcare financial assistance schemes can still help Singaporeans reduce the bill significantly.

Zhangxin Zheng | January 11, 2022, 12:29 PM

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The government will not pay the full cost of Covid-19 medical treatment for two groups of people in Singapore, should they contract the virus.

They are:

  1. Those above 12 who remain unvaccinated by choice
  2. Those above 18 who do not come forward for their booster shots within 270 days or nine months from their last dose

This was said in Parliament on Jan. 10 in response to an Adjournment Motion on Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures.

In her speech, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Health Rahayu Mahzam explained that there is sufficient evidence that vaccines help reduce the risk of serious illness and death.

Those aged 12 and above who choose not to be vaccinated made the decision despite knowing that this will place them at a higher risk of requiring costly inpatient care, she said, adding that their decision adds to the strain on our healthcare system.

The government has been covering the costs of Covid-19 medical treatment for Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs) and Long-Term Pass Holders who had not recently travelled, should they get infected.

This "special approach" was adopted when Covid-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease, and was intended to avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern at that time, Rahayu explained.

Singaporeans can tap on existing healthcare subsidies

While the two groups of people will not have their Covid-19 related medical costs fully covered by the government, they can still tap on the regular healthcare financing arrangement to help pay for their bills, where applicable.

The median bill size for Covid-19 patients' treatment in acute hospitals who require both ICU care and Covid-19 therapeutics is estimated to be about S$25,000, Rahayu shared in her speech.

Access to means-tested government subsidies and MediShield Life coverage can reduce the bill to about S$2,000 to S$4,000 for eligible Singaporeans in subsidised wards, she added.

For Singapore Citizens and PRs, the remaining amount can be funded by MediSave as well.

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