SPEECH BY ER DR LEE BEE WAH, MP FOR NEE SOON GRC, DURING THE DEBATE ON THE WHITE PAPER ON EDLERSHIELD REVIEW COMMITTEE REPORT IN PARLIAMENT ON 10 JULY 2018
Mr Speaker Sir
I fully support the Motion and I congratulate the committee for doing a very thorough job in its review. There are but a few points which I would like to raise one of which is why is it women have to pay a higher premium for CareShield Life? I know there is this “gender rating” which is somewhat similar to car insurance where teenagers are made to pay higher premium as they are seen as higher risks because of their age and lack of experience. However, in the case of CareShield Life I think the argument that women have child birth and they tend to live longer lives should not apply. I feel with the advancement in medicine, the risk during child birth is very minimal. According to the Registry of Birth & Deaths, maternal mortality or the death of a mother during child birth, is relatively rare in Singapore. The figure was 4.8 per 1,000 births in 2016, down from 7.1 in 2015.
It has even dropped to 2.3 per 1000 births before. One can argue that men go for more dangerous sports and they are a higher risk. I would want to believe that women are just as careful with their health, if not more careful than men.
Secondly, can the Minister clarify the amount of pay out a person is entitled to increases annually until age 67 years, or until a person makes a claim? Why there is no increase after the claim is made? Surely after the claim is made, inflation and the rising of medical costs still goes on?
Next, could Minister explain what are the actuarial considerations for the exclusion of any person with pre-existing conditions for conversion from ElderShield to CareShield Life? Presumably this is because the inclusion of people with pre-existing conditions will increase the number of claims and thus increase the premiums everyone else needs to pay.
But can’t this be addressed by excluding the claims related to their pre-existing conditions, while allowing them to claim for other conditions?
From statistical studies, can the Minister share with the House what percentage of elderly are likely to suffer from disability of one form or another? I believe this would need another exercise to warn the elderly to take precautions at an age where they are most vulnerable so that they can avoid disability where possible.
Speaker Sir, Chinese please. 政府推出终身护保，让很多人安心许多。我有几点想澄清。第一，一个人向终身护保索赔以后，可获得的赔偿就停止增加。但是，他面对的物价和医药费仍然在增加，为什么赔偿没有相应增加呢？