Health-care costs biggest concern of PAP's new wing for seniors

The first dialogue held by new advocacy group PAP.SG. Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, the chairman, and Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing (both standing) led last night's session, which brought together more than 100 PAP activists.
Sunday, Feb 02, 2014
The Straits Times
By Goh Chin Lian

SINGAPORE - Members of the PAP's new wing for seniors met for their first dialogue earlier this week and came to a consensus that health-care costs are their biggest concern.

However, they differed on how best to set the qualifying criteria for the Government's planned Pioneer Generation Package to help seniors pay for the costs of health care.

The more than 100 PAP activists found that their views diverged over the cut-off age - 60, 65 or 70 - and whether income level should matter too.

As to what happens to someone who was, say, a day younger than the cut-off age, they also came up with varied ideas.

These include a tiered scheme of different packages for different generations, and an appeals committee made up of social sector representatives to decide on borderline cases.

The two-hour dialogue was the first on the package held by PAP.SG.

Details of the package are to be announced at the Budget in February. It is expected to help seniors who qualify offset higher premiums of the universal medical insurance scheme, MediShield Life, that protects against large hospital bills.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, who led the dialogue, warned that the issue of who should qualify for this package could become contentious, and that would then detract from the purpose of the package to honour the pioneer generation.

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