5th Oct 2020
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Lim Wee Kiak
MP for Sembawang
Question No. 93
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether more flexibility can be exercised over MediSave claims for age-related medical treatment such as macular degeneration; and (b) whether the Ministry will review the MediSave limits for the elderly who have a substantial balance in their MediSave accounts so that they need not top up so much cash when paying their bills.
1 Through government subsidies, MediShield Life, MediSave and MediFund, we ensure that healthcare services remain affordable to Singaporeans. MediSave withdrawal limits are sized to adequately cover the co-payment for the majority of patients in subsidised settings.
2 In recent years, we have enhanced the MediSave withdrawal limits to provide greater flexibility for our seniors in managing age-related medical treatment. We announced earlier this year that the annual limit for patients with complex chronic conditions in the outpatient setting will be raised from $500 to $700 from 1 Jan 2021. This will help them better meet their needs, as the prevalence and severity of chronic diseases typically increases with age. To better support seniors’ long-term care needs, we have just launched the MediSave Care scheme on 1 Oct 2020, which allows cash withdrawals of up to $200 per month for severely disabled patients aged 30 and above. We have lowered the age threshold for Flexi-MediSave from 65 to 60, allowing younger and more seniors to benefit from this scheme for their treatments and screenings at polyclinics, Specialist Outpatient Clinics, and GP clinics on the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). We will continue to review the MediSave withdrawal limits regularly, to strike a balance between helping Singaporeans pay for their healthcare services and retaining sufficient savings for their longer-term needs.
3 Elderly patients who still face difficulty in paying their healthcare bill after subsidies and MediShield Life can apply for further assistance from MediFund/MediFund Silver. For those who are unable to tap on these schemes, the Ministry of Health will consider appeals to use MediSave beyond the prevailing withdrawal limits on a case-by-case basis. No Singaporean will be denied necessary treatment due to an inability to pay.