Free MediShield Life consultations will be rolled out islandwide from November, and they will be offered at all constituencies by the end of next year.
The one-to-one consultations aim to help residents understand how they benefit from the new national healthcare scheme, which came into effect on Sunday (Nov 1). About 1,000 Tanjong Pagar residents have attended the sessions since a pilot was launched in the constituency in July.
The initiative will be introduced from Monday at selected Community Clubs (CCs) and Residents’ Committee (RC) centres in six other Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). They are Ang Mo Kio GRC, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Chua Chu Kang GRC, Marine Parade GRC, Nee Soon GRC and Tampines GRC. Residents can make an appointment in advance at their respective CCs.
The consultation sessions are held every Monday between 7pm and 9.30pm. Under this initiative, the People's Association (PA) is partnering the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS). The 700 IFPAS volunteers recruited will not be allowed to sell policies during the sessions or promote any company’s Integrated Shield plans.
The consultations will complement existing outreach efforts such as house visits by grassroots leaders. PA is working with the Health Ministry to organise regular briefings and dialogues for grassroots leaders, who will share feedback from residents.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, deputy chairman of PA, explained: “When we do the dialogue sessions and the broad outreach, they cater to the general public. Because of the time limitation, it would be very difficult for residents to ask specific questions about their own cases, and some residents would also prefer a bit of privacy when asking their specific questions.
"So such one-to-one consultation is actually a great way to help the residents dispel any of the myths or the worries they might have.”
Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru Active Ageing Committee chairman Ling Bee Sian added that during the house visits, grassroots leaders found it difficult to explain MediShield Life at times, as they do not specialise in insurance.
"We understand that some companies are willing to help us and provide this free insurance explanation. Hence, we found that this will be even better, because they will have experts on the ground," she added.