In Parliament on Tuesday, February 12, Workers’ Party (WP) MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap asked about the number of Singaporeans over 65 who have spent their yearly MediSave withdrawal limits for the following categories: outpatient treatments, outpatient MRI/CT scans and diagnostics, and Flexible MediSave use.
Additionally, he asked for the number of senior citizens who have filed an application for using MediSave past the limit that can be withdrawn per year.
Since an aging citizenry is one of the chief concerns of many Singaporeans, this is a pertinent issue. By 2030, the nation’s population should reach 6.34 million, based on a 2017 study from the United Nations.
At that point, 1.8 million citizens are expected to be senior citizens or approximately 28 percent of the population. By 2050, this percentage is expected to rise to 47 percent, or very nearly half the population will be ages 65 and older.
Gan Kim Yong, the country’s Health Minister, answered that in the past two years, the Ministry received 200 appeals per year for outpatient MediSave use not just from older citizens, but from Singaporeans of all ages.
In each situation, extenuating circumstances such as financial constraints are considered when each appeal is reviewed.
Gan said that the approval rate for these appeals is around half of the total number.
Additionally, the Health Minister also said that among citizens 65 years old and up, 17 percent who are living with chronic medical conditions have already maxed out the limits on their MediSave.
For outpatient diagnostic scans, 16 percent of citizens have reached their MediSave limits.
And 16 percent of Singaporeans from 65 years old and beyond have also fully utilized the limit for Flexi-MediSave.
But recent changes have been made to the MediSave program that Singaporeans should find helpful, especially for those approaching their later years.
Here are the changes in the scheme. From $400, the withdrawal limit under the Chronic Disease Management Programme has now been increased to $500.
And as of June of last year, the minimum age for availing of Flexi-MediSave has been lowered from 65 to 60.
How affordable subsidized care for citizens will still be followed closely by the Ministry of Health (MOH), and people who find themselves needing more assistance should approach the medical social workers who are present at every public healthcare institution.