NUMBER OF SINGAPOREANS WHO HAVE EXHAUSTED THEIR ANNUAL MEDISAVE WITHDRAWAL LIMIT
To ask the Minister for Health in each of the past two years (a) how many Singaporeans of 65 years old and above have exhausted their annual MediSave withdrawal limit for (i) outpatient treatments (ii) outpatient MRI/CT scans and diagnostics and (iii) flexible MediSave use, respectively; (b) how many appeals have been received from this group of seniors to use their MediSave beyond the annual withdrawal limits; and (c) what was the rate of successful appeals and the basis for these approvals.
1. We recently increased the MediSave withdrawal limit under the Chronic Disease Management Programme from $400 to $500 and lowered the minimum age for Flexi-MediSave from 65 to 60 in June 2018. This has allowed more Singaporeans to tap on more of their MediSave for outpatient treatments. The statistics for 2018 are not yet available.
2. In 2016 and 2017, about 17% of Singaporeans aged 65 years old and above with chronic conditions and about 16% of those who used MediSave for outpatient diagnostic scans had fully utilised their respective MediSave limits. About 16% of Singaporeans of 65 years old and above had fully utilised their Flexi-MediSave limit.
3. Over the past two years, MOH received about 200 appeals each year from all age groups for outpatient MediSave use. All appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis and we take into consideration exceptional circumstances such as whether more complex treatment is required due to unforeseen complications, or if the family is facing difficulties due to special social or financial circumstances. About half of the appeals were approved.
4. MOH will continue to monitor the affordability of subsidised care, and regularly review the financing policies, including MediSave withdrawal limits. We will also continue to consider appeals for usage of Medisave above the withdrawal limits. Those who require further financial assistance could approach medical social workers at our public healthcare institutions.
Source: MINISTRY OF HEALTH (MOH)