Nov 11, 2021
Singapore’s Unvaccinated May Face Covid Medical Bills Over $18,000
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s Covid patients who choose not to get vaccinated could face high medical bills.
In general, Covid-19 patients who need both care in intensive care units and therapeutics in hospitals may have to pay about S$25,000 ($18,460), according to a median estimate released by the health ministry on Thursday, in response to Bloomberg News queries.
The government has so far shielded residents and citizens in the city-state from such treatment costs throughout the pandemic by fully covering them. But officials in the city-state made the bold move to start charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice from Dec. 8.
“Our hospitals really much prefer not to have to bill these patients at all, but we have to send this important signal, to urge everyone to get vaccinated if you are eligible,” health minister Ong Ye Kung said in a media briefing on Monday announcing the move.
In a country where 85% of the population are already fully innoculated, the government said unvaccinated Covid-19 patients make up a sizeable majority of those who need intensive inpatient care, and “disproportionately” strain its health care resources.
The health ministry said that means-tested government subsidies and a national health insurance plan can lower the fees to S$2,000 to S$4,000 for eligible Singaporeans in subsidized wards. Patients may also choose to tap a national medical savings scheme to further reduce this figure.
For people who get treatment in a Covid-19 treatment facility, they can expect to pay S$4,500 for a 7-day stay, the ministry added. For citizens, the co-payment is around S$1,000 after subsidies and tapping into the medical savings scheme.
“Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition and the type of Covid-19 facility where care is rendered, the bill size would vary,” the ministry said.
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