Do Singaporeans Actually Know What You Can Use Medisave For?
About 440,000 members of Singapore’s “Pioneer Generation” will receive Medisave top-ups of between $200 to $800 in July this year. This is the second year that the Medisave top-ups have been given out. That means, if you know someone who is 66 and above, they’ll be receiving money in their Medisave Account each year. For life.
But the truth is, if you asked the common man on the street what they know about Medisave’s usability, you’d be met with a rather vague stare. A weak “Can pay for treatment lor” at best. Well folks, let’s make sure we all know what we can use it for so it doesn’t rot away while we complain that health costs are going up.
The good news? Your parents and grandparents are now getting more money. The “bad” news? Whether or not they’ll ever get to use it. After all, does anyone even know what you can use Medisave for?
1. Health screenings, vaccinations and treatments for chronic diseases
Up to $400 a year can be used to help you, your spouse, your parents and your children stay healthy.
You can use Medisave for Hepatitis B vaccinations, or flu and pneumococcal vaccines. Childhood vaccinations such as MMR and BCG are also eligible. You can also use it for mammograms, but only for women 50 years and above.
Medisave will also help you subsidise costs of outpatient treatment for 19 chronic diseases including diabetes, stroke, anxiety, asthma, epilepsy and osteoporosis.
2. Hospitalisation and Surgery
You can use Medisave to help pay your hospitalisation and surgery bills, up to $450 per hospitalisation day or $300 for stays during day surgeries.
For the surgery itself, between $250 and $7,550 can be used from Medisave, depending on the complexity of the surgery.
3. Cancer therapies, dialysis and more
When it comes to major illnesses that require costly, long-term ongoing treatment, Medisave may come in useful.
When it comes to dealing with cancer treatments, for example, Medisave can help pay $300 for a 7-day chemotherapy treatment cycle. This increases to $1,200 for for 21 or 28 day treatment cycles. Depending on the kind of radiotherapy involved, between $80 and $2,800 can be used from Medisave per treatment. For all other diagnostics, including scans like MRI and CT, you can use up to $600 per year from Medisave.
Medisave can also be used to pay for renal dialysis ($450 per month), drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, drugs and blood transfusion for thalassaemia, and hypobaric oxygen therapy.
4. Paying premiums for MediShield Life, Integrated Shield Plans and ElderShield
You can pay for your MediShield Life and ElderShield premiums fully from MediSave. You can also request CPF Board to use your Medisave to help pay for your family members’ premiums.
It can also help you to pay for private Integrated Shield Plans, though this is subject to withdrawal limits and you should check with your insurer.
5. Baby-related treatments – from conception and pregnancy to delivery
You can use your Medisave to reimburse you for a number of treatments to help you start your family. Between $4,000 to $6,000 can be claimed for assisted conception procedures if you need help conceiving.
When you’re ready to pop, Medisave can be used for up to $450 per day for hospital fees. These include daily ward charges and other treatment fees. Pre-delivery expenses, such as further consultations, ultrasounds, tests and medications can qualify for another $450. Delivery charges can also be reimbursed by Medisave, $750 for normal delivery and $1250 for caesareans.
After delivery, you can also use Medisave for newborn screening tests, like hearing tests, G6PD screening and thyroid function tests.
6. End-of-life care
Medisave will also help pay for inpatient hospices at $200 per day, or $2,500 per lifetime for home palliative care. However, if you have terminal cancer or end-stage organ failure, then there is no limit and you can use your entire Medisave balance.
Is that… it?
This list is not exhaustive, of course, but the fact is that while the various uses for Medisave are very high, almost all of them have caps to their usage. This is presumably to ensure that we don’t overuse our Medisave funds and end up not having enough for the future. However, there are still many key expenses that Medisave doesn’t cover at all such as dental services and medical equipment.
Did you know Medisave covered these treatments? What other treatments do you think Medisave should cover?