WE COULD AVOID HAVING TO PAY A PREMIUM PRICE FOR HEALTHCARE IF ...
I refer to this week’s VoicesTODAY topic, “Healthcare: How to bring costs down?” Firstly, premiums of Integrated Shield plans are currently priced by age band, which do not differentiate between smokers and non-smokers.
It is time that people who insist on leading an unhealthy lifestyle be charged higher premiums, and those who keep healthy be given discounts as an incentive.
Secondly, some private healthcare specialists have been earning huge profit margins from prescribing expensive, branded medication. The conflict of interest is obvious.
There should be a central medication facility, which would be beneficial because the Health Ministry can buy in bulk, and this would lead to savings for the patients.
Thirdly, there is not much price competition among the insurers, who take their cue from the market leaders and raise their premiums together. There must be mechanisms to restrict insurers from doing that.
The insurers must be more transparent and accountable on their profits and losses from underwriting health insurance products. It does not make sense if the insurers are making record profits year after year, despite the rise in medical costs and claims.
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