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Singaporean’s Ultimate Guide: What You Need To Know About Medisave?

16 May 2018 
SOURCE: Seedly

TL;DR: Medisave in 5 Seconds

  • Medisave is a national savings scheme to help Singaporeans save up for medical expenses in future.
  • Money in the Medisave Account enjoys 4% risk-free interest rate per annum (until 31 December 2018)
  • The Basic Healthcare Sum for Medisave is currently set at S$54,500
  • One can use his Medisave for his own treatment or that of his immediate family members.
  • Approved expenses include health screening, vaccinations, hospitalisation treatment, end-of-life care, outpatient treatment of approved chronic conditions etc.
 
All you need to know about Medisave

What is Medisave?
Here’s a quick recap of our CPF system, as mentioned in Seedly’s CPF Crash Course: 

Here’s how your CPF allocation looks like:
AccountsUsageInterest GuaranteedAllocation
Ordinary Account (OA)Housing, Investments, Education, Approved Insurance
2.5%
Age < 35: 23%
Age 34-45: 21%
Age 45-50: 19%
Age 50-55: 15%
Special Account (SA)Old Age/ Retirement-related financial products4%Age < 35: 6%
Age 34-45: 7%
Age 45-50: 8%
Age 50-55: 11.5%
Medisave Account (MA)Hospitalisation expenses, Approved medical insurance4%Age < 35: 8%
Age 34-45: 9%
Age 45-50: 10%
Age 50-55: 10.5%

  • Medisave is a national saving scheme to help Singaporeans save up for medical expenses in future.
  • The main objective is to set aside part of an individuals income, to help them deal with possible hospitalisation, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses bills in future.
  • It can also be used to help offset their immediate family’s medical expenses.
 
Allocation rate of CPF into Medisave
Age​
(Years) ​
Allocation Rates as of 1 January 2016
(for monthly wages S$750 and above)
Ordinary Account 
(% of wage)
Special Account 
(% of wage)
Medisave Account 
(% of wage)
35 and below2368
Above 35 to 452179
Above 45 to 5019810
Above 50 to 551511.510.5
Above 55 to 60123.510.5
Above 60 to 653.52.510.5
Above 651110.5
 
  • Singaporean’s CPF contribution is allocated to 3 different accounts, mainly the Ordinary Account (OA), Special Account (SA) and Medisave Account (MA).
  • The allocation of monthly wage into the Medisave Account can range from 8% of wage to 10.5%.

Net Trade Income

Self-employed person's age at 1 January
Below 35 years old35 to below 45 years old45 to below 50 years old50 years and above
>S$6,000 - S$12,0004.00%4.5%5.00%5.25%
>S$12,000- S$18,0004.00% - 8.00%4.5% - 9.00%5.00% - 10.00%5.25% - 10.5%
>S$18,0008.00%
(max S$5,760)
9.00%
(max S$6,480)
10.00%
(max S$7,200)
10.50%
(max S$7,560)

  • For self-employed, the percentage ranges from 4% to 10.5% depending on Net Trade Income and age.
 
Pros and cons of Medisave

Pros of Medisave
The pros of Medisave is very much like all the money that is allocated to one’s CPF Account.
  • Money in the Medisave Account earns an interest rate of 4% per annum (until 31 December 2018)
  • Despite the 4% interest rate per annum, Medisave is considered risk-free.
  • Medisave helps one save! This is especially important for Singaporeans who have difficulty saving up (very much like me and my Adidas Originals Sneakers addiction).
 
Cons of Medisave
Some Singaporeans may disagree with the Medisave system because it is illiquid and it locks up a sum of money for a long time for only a particular usage.

More financial savvy Singaporeans might also be able to beat the stated percentage with their investments.
 
Basic Healthcare Sum 2018
The Basic Healthcare Sum is the cap to one’s Medisave Account.

Once the Basic Healthcare Sum is reached, any extra contributions will be allocated to other CPF accounts automatically.
  • For Singaporeans below 65 years old as of 1 January 2018, their Basic Healthcare Sum is increased to S$54,500 from the previously S$52,000.
  • For Singaporeans who turn 65 years old in the year 2018, their Basic Healthcare Sum remains at S$54,500.
  • For those who are 66 years old and above in the year 2018, their Basic Healthcare Sum remains unchanged from their previously fixed amount.
 
Things you can do with your Medisave
Do take note that one can use his Medisave for his own treatment or that of his immediate family members.

Immediate family members include children, spouse, parents and grandparents. 

  • Immediate family members can be of any nationality, except grandparents.
  • It is a must that the grandparents be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Residents to enjoy the Medisave benefits.
 
Below is a whole range of what one can use his Medisave for:

Prevention
Here’s a list of approved outpatient scans and vaccinations and their Medisave withdrawal limits:
Prevention Treatments
Medisave Withdrawal Limits
Vaccinations (target populations only)
Pneumococcal vaccinations
(children under the age of 5)
S$400 per year per account

Cash co-payment of 15% applies​ to treatments for approved chronic conditions
Hepatitis B Vaccination
HPV Vaccinations
(females aged 9 to 26)
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Tuberculosis (BCG), Diptheria, Pertussis & Tetanus (DTaP/Tdap), Poliomyelitis, Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib)
Influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations
(persons in recommended risk of developing influenza-related complications and severe pneumococcal disease)
Varicella vaccinations
Health Screening
Screening mammograms
(woman aged 50 and above)
S$400 per year per account

Cash co-payment of 15% applies to treatments for approved chronic conditions
Screening tests for newborns in outpatient setting
- Hearing test
- G6P deficiency screening​​
- Metabolic screening
-Thyroid function test​​​​​
Outpatient scans
Outpatient scans and other diagnostics for cancer treatment​Up to S$600 per year per patient
Scans for diagnosis or treatment of a medical conditionUp to S$300 per year per patient
 

Acute and Rehabilitative Treatments

Here is a list of approved treatment and their Medisave withdrawal limits:
Treatments
Medisave Withdrawal Limits
Acute Care
Inpatient hospitalisation
S$450 per day + Surgical limits according to the Table of Surgical Procedures
Approved day surgeriesS$300 per day + Surgical limits according to the Table of Surgical Procedures
Inpatient hospitalisation
psychiatric treatment)
S$150 per day 
(up to S​$5,000 a year)
Rehabilitative Care
Approved community hospitals​S$250 per day 
(up to S$5,000 a year)
Day rehabilitation centresS$25 per day
(up to S$1,500 per year​)
Approved convalescent hospitals​S$50 per day
(up to S$3,000 a year)


End-of-life care

When one contacted an illness which is incurable, end-of-life care involves making one comfortable by managing pain and other symptoms. 

Many times it includes psychological, social and spiritual support for the family members and caregivers.

Here are the Medisave withdrawal limits for end-of-life care:
TreatmentsMedisave Withdrawal Limits
Stay in approved hospicesS$200 per day
Home palliative care/Day hospice careS$2,500 per patient per lifetime

S$2,500 Medisave lifetime withdrawal limit is shared between home palliative (adults and paediatrics) care and day hospice care.

For day hospice and adult home palliative patients diagnosed with terminal cancer or end stage organ failure, there will not be any withdrawal limit if the bill is paid using the patient’s own Medisave Account.
 

Outpatient Treatment

Medisave also covers outpatient treatments. Here’s a list of approved treatment and their withdrawal limits:
Outpatient TreatmentMedisave Withdrawal Limits
Approved Chronic Conditions
DiabetesS$400 per year per account

Cash co-payment of 15% applies to treatments for approved chronic conditions
Hypertension
(high blood pressure)
Lipids disorders 
(e.g. high cholesterol)
Stroke
Asthma
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Major depression
Schizophrenia
Dementia
Bipolar disorder
Osteoarthritis
(degenerative joint diseases)
Anxiety
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
(enlargement of the prostate gland)
Parkinson's disease
Nephrosis/nephritis
(chronic kidney disease)
Epilepsy
Osteoporosis
Psoriasis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
​Assisted conception procedures- 1st withdrawal - S$6,000 

- 2nd withdrawal - S$5,000 

- 3rd and subsequent withdrawals - S$4,000​

Subject to a lifetime limit of S$15,000 per patient

Only the patient’s own or patient’s spouse’s Medisave may be used.
​Renal dialysis treatmentS$450 per month per patient

Only the patient's own Medisave may be used. For patients aged 18 and below, the parents' Medisave may be used.

Some of these treatments include procedures such as radiotherapy:
Treatment
Medisave Withdrawal Limits
External RadiotherapyS$80 per treatment
Brachytherapy with external radiotherapyS$300 per treatment
Brachytherapy without external radiotherapyS$360 per treatment
Superficial X-rayS$30 per treatment
Stereotactic radiotherapyS$2,800 per treatment
Outpatient radiosurgery treatment
(Novalis radiosurgery treatment and Gamma Knife treatment for cancer patients)
S$7,500 per treatment and S$300 per day for daily hospital charge.
​Chemotherapy​
​(includes analgesic medication and suppressive treatments such as neuroendocrine and nuclear medicine treatments)
S$1,200 per month per patient
Anti-retroviral drugs for treatment of HIV/ AIDS
(includes drugs used to treat opportunistic infections)
S$550 per month per patient ​

Only the patient's own Medisave may be used. For patients aged 18 and below, the patient's parents' Medisave may be used.
​Desferrioxamine drug and blood transfusion for treatment of thalassaemia​S$350 per month per patient
​Hyperbaric oxygen therapy​S$100 per treatment
Outpatient intravenous antibiotic treatment​S$600 per weekly cycle
(up to S$2,400 a year)
Rental of devices for long-term oxygen therapy and infant continuous positive airway pressure therapy​S$75 per month per patient
​Immuno-suppressant drugs for organ transplantS$300 per month per patient
Outpatient Bone Marrow TransplantS$2,800 per year per patient


Get Coverage (Integrated Shield Plan)

One can also use his Medisave to get coverage. While Singapore Citizens and PRs are covered under MediShield Life, some may wish to purchase an Integrated Shield Plan to enjoy additional private insurance coverage.

Coverage for each IP may differ, hence it is up to consumers to do their due diligence.

Participating insurers for IPs are as follows:

  • AlA Singapore
  • Aviva
  • AXA Life
  • Great Eastern Life
  • NTUC Income
  • Prudential Assurance
 
The Additional Withdrawal Limits (applicable from 1 Nov 2015) are:
  • S$300 per year for those with age next birthday at 40 years and below
  • S$600 per year for age next birthday at 41 to 70 years
  • S$900 per year for age next birthday at 71 years and above.
  • This Additional Withdrawal Limits are applied on top of the amount of Medisave use for Medishield Life Premiums.

How can I claim my Medisave?

Assuming that one sought treatment at an approved medical institution in Singapore, he can submit a Medical Claims Authorisation Form (MSAF).

For a single institution, a MCAF(S) can be used. 

For greater convenience, one can also submit a MCAF(M) form which gives all the public healthcare institutions such as public hospitals and polyclinics the authority to claim the use of Medisave.

List of participating institutions for MCAF (M):
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Changi General Hospital
  • Institute of Mental Health
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
  • KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital
  • National Cancer Centre
  • National Dental Centre
  • National Healthcare Group Polyclinics
  • National Heart Centre
  • National Neuroscience Institute
  • National Skin Centre
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • Singapore National Eye Centre
  • SingHealth Polyclinics
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital
  • Yishun Community Hospital 


​The article was first published on
Seedly.sg.

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