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Posts tagged ‘Medisave’

Govt to disburse $210m in Medisave top-ups for Pioneers from July

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An elderly person in Singapore (File photo: Xabryna Kek/Channel NewsAsia)

SINGAPORE: Members of the Pioneer Generation will get their Medisave top-ups from July.

They would be receiving letters from the Government starting this week, informing them of the lifetime benefits that they will receive from the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) and their eligibility.

The Medisave top-ups are the first benefit under the PGP to be implemented.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said about $210 million in Medisave top-ups will be disbursed to Pioneers this year.

Besides the Medisave top-ups, pioneers will also enjoy special subsidies for outpatient care.

These would include an additional 50 percent off subsidised treatments at polyclinics and Specialist Outpatient Clinics.

Pioneers will also enjoy special subsidies at general practitioner clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

And those with moderate to severe functional disabilities under the Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme will get cash of $1,200 a year.

Pioneers will receive their Pioneer Generation cards by September.

They will be able to use their cards from 1 September 2014 to enjoy outpatient subsidies at CHAS clinics, polyclinics and Specialist Outpatient Clinics.

MOF said the MediShield Life premium subsidies will begin when MediShield Life is introduced in end-2015.

To be eligible for the PGP, living Singapore citizens need to meet two criteria: aged 16 years and above in 1965 and received their citizenship by 31 December 1986.

An Appeals Panel will look into appeals from those who marginally miss out on the criteria for the Pioneer Generation.

MOF said the panel will focus on those who marginally miss out on the citizenship attainment criterion, that is, to have obtained citizenship by 31 December 1986 but who have lived in Singapore since the early years and shown clear efforts to sink roots here.

via Govt to disburse $210m in Medisave top-ups for Pioneers from July – Channel NewsAsia.

Singaporeans welcome govt moves to tackle healthcare affordability


File photo of patients at a polyclinic in Singapore.

One analyst described the Budget measures as “generous, elderly-friendly and pro-poor”. But more needs to be done, said healthcare policy expert Dr Phua Kai Hong from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

SINGAPORE: Ensuring the supply of medical services in future will be cost-effective so that it will not bring about over-consumption – this was a key observation made by a healthcare policy expert.

Dr Phua Kai Hong explained that the government will have to strike a balance between supply and demand side as well as public and private spending, as the government brings in substantial financing on the demand side.

Increased subsidies for specialist outpatient clinics for lower- and middle-income Singaporeans and more Medisave top-ups were some of the measures announced in Budget 2014 to make healthcare costs more affordable for locals, especially the elderly.

The moves earned the nods of many.

“Of course, it’ll help me, because at the moment I’m getting the health subsidies,” said Mr Robert Tan, aged 72.

“My mom is already 81, so she’s the only one who will benefit,” said Mr Liau Thian Sing, aged 45.

“If they (parents) have insufficient cash or insufficient funds, we (being their children) will actually have to help them,” said Ms Fiona Kam, 48.

One analyst described the Budget measures as “generous, elderly-friendly and pro-poor”.

But more needs to be done, said healthcare policy expert Dr Phua Kai Hong from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

“What we are worried is the middle-class crunch, the generation that’s in between, who not only have to support their elderly parents but will also have to take care of their own healthcare needs in the future,” said Dr Phua.

“So, for this group, I think, as we go along we have to tweak the system to ensure that the Medisave top-ups will be enough.”

On the minds of many, having a more extensive list of conditions that can be covered by Medisave would be a bonus.

“Those people who are already ill, they hope so much that the list can go longer so that it will actually help them,” said Ms Fiona Kam.

The government has said that with higher Medisave contributions, it will allow elderly Singaporeans to use a portion of their Medisave more flexibly across a range of outpatient treatments.

– CNA/ir

via Singaporeans welcome govt moves to tackle healthcare affordability – Channel NewsAsia.

More surgical procedures covered under Medisave, MediShield from 2014

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A hospital in Singapore (TODAY file photo)

More surgical procedures will be covered under Medisave and MediShield from January 2014, following the release of an updated Table of Surgical Procedures TOSP.

SINGAPORE: More surgical procedures will be covered under Medisave and MediShield from January 2014, following the release of an updated Table of Surgical Procedures (TOSP).

TOSP is a classification of surgical procedures based on their complexity.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the changes will help patients reduce their out-of-pocket cash expenses.

About 1,600 surgical procedures listed on TOSP are currently claimable under Medisave and MediShield — and the number will increase to 2,350 in January.

They will include procedures that are relatively new and have become more common, such as a surgery for abnormal heart rhythm, called Maze surgery.

Other than adding new procedures, MOH has also re-classified existing procedures to better reflect their complexity.

This means patients will not have to pay as much for less complicated surgeries.

Surgeries are categorised into 21 tables, running from Tables 1A, 1B, 1C through to Tables 7A, 7B, 7C, in order of complexity.

For example, total knee replacement is now classified under TOSP as a single procedure on Table 6B, but with the changes, it will be divided into three categories, ranked according to complexity.

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH), which sees about 2,000 knee replacements a year, said the changes will benefit their patients.

Professor Tan Ser Kiat, emeritus consultant at SGH’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, said: “The majority of the patients will then pay less compared to what they are paying today, because 70 per cent of the patients fall into the primary simple total knee replacement, which is table 6A.

“Today, all total knee replacements are classified as table 6B, which is one table higher than what is being proposed. The patients probably will pay somewhere in the region of 10 to 15 per cent less than what they would do today.”

Professor Tan added that patients which fall under the knee replacement revision category, which is a more complex procedure, will have to pay more than previously.

But he said this is fair, as the surgery requires more time and skill.

The changes were made in consultation with clinicians from various surgical backgrounds in both the public and private sector.

TOSP will be reviewed regularly, in order to keep up with future medical advances.

– CNA/nd

via More surgical procedures covered under Medisave, MediShield from 2014 – Channel NewsAsia.

More flexible use of Medisave for assisted conception

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A newborn baby. The Ministry of Health is lifting the three-cycle cap for Medisave claims for assisted conception procedures. (AFP File)

 

From October 1, couples can have greater flexibility in using Medisave to pay for treatments for their assisted conception procedures (ACP). That is because the Health Ministry will be lifting the three-cycle cap for Medisave claims for such procedures.

SINGAPORE: From October 1, couples can have greater flexibility in using Medisave to pay for treatments for their assisted conception procedures (ACP). That is because the Health Ministry will be lifting the three-cycle cap for Medisave claims for such procedures.

Currently, the Medisave withdrawal limit for ACPs is S$6,000 for the first treatment cycle, S$5,000 for the second treatment cycle, and S$4,000 for the third cycle.

The ministry said that with couples now claiming less Medisave than before per cycle due to the enhanced government co-funding for assisted reproduction technologies, it will allow couples to use Medisave for more than three cycles — with the fourth and subsequent cycles subject to a S$4,000 limit each.

However, to ensure that couples do not deplete their Medisave prematurely, the cumulative Medisave use allowed for ACP will remain at S$15,000.

Currently, Medisave can be used for ACPs at any public or private assisted reproduction (AR) centres. The Health Ministry has enhanced this over the years to support couples in having children.

Besides the use of Medisave, the ministry has also provided Singaporean couples government co-funding for assisted reproduction technologies (ART) treatment at public hospitals, which was enhanced in January 2013 as part of the Marriage and Parenthood Package.

Since then, some Singaporeans have asked for more flexibility in the use of Medisave to complement the enhanced co-funding scheme. As such, the ministry has decided to lift the three-cycle cap for Medisave claims for ACPs to provide more flexibility.

– CNA/ac

via More flexible use of Medisave for assisted conception – Channel NewsAsia.

MOH extends use of Medisave to cover more chronic diseases

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File photo: Patients at Geylang Polyclinic (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

Singapore’s health ministry will extend the use of Medisave for outpatient treatment of five more chronic conditions: osteoarthritis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and nephritis/nephrosis.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s health ministry will extend the use of Medisave for outpatient treatment of five more chronic conditions.

The five chronic conditions are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint diseases), benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland), anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and nephritis/nephrosis (chronic kidney disease).

Treatment of these chronic conditions can also be subsidised up to S$480 per year under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

This will help patients with these chronic conditions reduce their cash payment.

Chronic conditions currently covered under Medisave include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, lipid disorders, stroke, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, major depression, schizophrenia, dementia and bipolar disorder.

CHAS cardholders will also enjoy subsidies for the recommended screening tests under the Integrated Screening Programme (ISP).

They will also be able to enjoy subsidies for consultation with a general practitioner (GP) for the screening, and to review the screening test results.

The recommended screening tests under the ISP are screening for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer.

As part of an ongoing review, the use of Medisave will also be extended for certain vaccinations and outpatient screenings, up to the prevailing withdrawal limit of S$400 per Medisave account per year.

The pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations are for high-risk groups such as the very young, elderly, persons with chronic medical conditions and those with poor immune function.

Also included are recommended neonatal screening tests for newborns.

All the changes will take effect from 1 January 2014.

Charges at specialist outpatient clinics in public hospitals will also be lowered as subsidies will be enhanced for the lower- and middle-income groups.

Details will be announced in the first quarter of 2014.

The qualifying age for CHAS at 40 years and above will be removed from 1 January 2014.

This means that all Singaporeans in lower- and middle-income households can access subsidised medical and dental care at over 800 private clinics.

The health and finance ministries will also consider how the elderly can be supported for their MediShield Life premiums through the Pioneer Generation package.

The health ministry will also review how premiums can be better spread over one’s lifetime to help moderate premium increases after retirement.

The health ministry will hold a public consultation in the fourth quarter of 2013 to seek feedback on the proposed major shifts for MediShield Life.

– CNA/xq

via MOH extends use of Medisave to cover more chronic diseases – Channel NewsAsia.

GPC submits suggestions for more affordable healthcare

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A surgeon performs an operation on an unseen patient. (AFP/File)

The Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health has submitted several recommendations to the government to make healthcare more affordable. It wants to review and rationalise existing medical health schemes and framework.

SINGAPORE: The Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health has submitted four recommendations to the government to make healthcare more affordable.

One is the right siting of care within the continuum of care.

The GPC said feedback from social workers indicates that they see regular cases of clients who choose to voluntarily admit themselves or extend their stay in hospital so that they can use their Medisave for treatment.

It said Medisave curbs that over-encourage the use of acute healthcare system should be reduced and minimised.

It also wants the current ElderShield payout to be revised.

The GPC said the current payout is not enough for Singaporeans to even cover nursing home fees.

The second recommendation is managing rising healthcare costs.

The GPC said the standard drug list should be expanded and regularly reviewed.

This will benefit the public as the cost of medication will be lowered and out-of-pocket cost minimised.

Enhancing the 3M framework is another recommendation.

The GPC said the scope of Medisave usage should be enhanced.

Medisave should be allowed to be used for health screening, essential dental procedures, physiotherapy and occupational therapy up to a certain cap to prevent excessive usage.

Medisave withdrawal limits should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the out-of-pocket expenditure for Singaporeans remains manageable.

It wants to make sure that Medisave is not depleted prematurely as people use it to support family members.

The GPC also wants the government to strengthen and expand the MediShield coverage to community and social care costs and remove the age ceiling on MediShield.

Finally the GPC said existing medical assistance schemes and frameworks should be reviewed and rationalised.

It wants the age criterion of Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) removed, the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP) expanded and the Medisave limits on usage under CDMP raised.

The GPC also wants existing financial support schemes and their application processes reviewed and simplified to ensure accessibility to those who need them.

GPC chairman Lam Pin Min has submitted the recommendations to the Ministry of Health for its consideration.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the GPC’s report is a thoughtful one, reflecting the concerns of many Singaporeans.

He agreed with the key thrusts such as care integration, managing healthcare costs, enhancing the healthcare financing framework and reviewing and rationalising existing medical assistance schemes.

Mr Gan said the ministry is studying the suggestions, adding that many of the current policy reviews are aligned to the recommendations.

– CNA/xq/ir

via GPC submits suggestions for more affordable healthcare – Channel NewsAsia.

CPF & Medisave minimum sums, Medisave contribution ceiling to be raised


(File photo)

SINGAPORE: From 1 July this year, the CPF minimum sum, Medisave minimum sum and Medisave contribution ceiling will be raised.

CPF members who turn 55 between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014 will need to set aside a minimum sum of S$148,000 in their Retirement Account.

The minimum sum for 2012 was S$139,000.

The minimum sum has been adjusted over the years to account for inflation, longer life expectancies and Singaporeans’ rising expectations of their quality of life.

The minimum sum is targeted to reach S$120,000 in 2015.

The Medisave minimum sum will also be raised from S$38,500, to S$40,500 from 1 July 2013.

The Medisave minimum sum is the amount that a person turning 55 needs to set aside in his old age for his own or his dependants’ healthcare expenses and basic MediShield and ElderShield premiums.

Members will be able to withdraw their Medisave savings in excess of the minimum sum at or after the age of 55.

The maximum balance a member may have in his Medisave Account, known as the Medisave contribution ceiling, is set at S$5,000 above the Medisave minimum sum, and this would be increased correspondingly from S$43,500 to S$45,500.

Any Medisave contribution in excess of the current Medisave contribution ceiling will be transferred to the member’s Special Account if he is below age 55 or to his Retirement Account if he is above age 55 and has a minimum sum shortfall.

The CPF Board said regular Medisave minimum sum adjustments are necessary to help Singaporeans meet their long-term healthcare needs.

– CNA/xq

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/cpf-medisave-minimum-sums-medisave-contr/666194.html

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