Singapore to stop paying for COVID-19 treatments for the unvaccinated
Singapore just announced that starting January 1, 2021, they will no longer foot the bill for COVID-19 treatments if you are eligible to be vaccinated but still choose not to get the COVID-19 vax. Currently, the government pays for anyone’s COVID-19 treatments but as the unvaccinated are contributing to the majority of hospital cases and current surge of cases, the government has put their foot down.
In America, if you do not have health insurance, you can ask your medical provider to see if they will agree to bill the federal government for other COVID-19 related care, like testing and treatment. However, in Singapore, the government currently foots the bill for any Singaporean citizen who is sick with COVID-19 and needs any form of treatment. You don’t have to worry about the hospital visit, because it’s on them. However, starting January 1st, anyone who is not vaccinated by choice (meaning, eligible for the vaccine but still refusing to get the jab) will have to pay for their own treatment should they become sick with COVID-19.
According to The Washington Post, the Singaporean government came up with the idea because, uh it makes sense. The data shows that the unvaccinated are the overwhelming majority of COVID sick patients in hospitals.
“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our health care resources,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement Monday. “Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice may still tap on regular health care financing arrangements to pay for their bills where applicable.”
Singapore’s vaccination rates are high at 85% vaccinated.
When the Singaporean government talks about “unvaccinated by choice,” it’s not as significant as America’s unvaccinated population. 85% of people in Singapore eligible for coronavirus vaccines are fully vaccinated, compared to America where only 59% are vaccinated.
The Singaporean government said they originally footed the bill for anyone’s COVID-19 treatment because they didn’t want to add financial uncertainty on top of the pandemic.
The government will continue to treat vaccinated folk (as well as for those still not eligible: children 12 and under and people with certain medical conditions) if they do contract the virus. However, the “unvaccinated by choice” will be on their own after January 1, 2021.
A 2017 study in the leading medical journal the Lancet found that Singapore ranked first among 188 countries in terms of its health care system and apparently most people in Singapore have private insurance, so the burden to pay one’s COVID-19 bills shouldn’t be an issue.
“But we have to send this important signal to urge everyone to get vaccinated if you are eligible,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said (via Yahoo).