Reduce Medisave Minimum Sum for pioneers

The Medisave Minimum Sum, which cannot be utilised in the account holder's lifetime except for specified purposes, now stands at $43,500. This is a substantial sum for the average man, and is excessive for two groups of people.

The first are civil service retirees.

These retirees, who are on the medical Comprehensive Co-Payment Scheme (CCS), are covered by the Government for 85 per cent of their medical expenses, meaning that they co-pay only 15 per cent.

Those on the Co-Payment on Ward (CPW) scheme pay only 20 per cent of their ward charges.

Many of these retirees are also covered by the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP), thereby doubling their protection.

The second group are pioneers who are not civil service retirees.

These folk get the benefits of the PGP and will also enjoy MediShield Life coverage. All these benefits will substantially reduce their out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Hence, given the vast differences in the need for Medisave funds for different groups, could the authorities consider lowering the Medisave Minimum Sum for these people and returning the excess funds to them?

I suggest that the reduction be done as follows:

  • Civil service retirees on the CPW who are also pioneers can have their Medisave Minimum Sum reduced to, say, 10 per cent, as this group needs to pay very little out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Civil service retirees on CCS who are also pioneers: Reduce to 30 per cent of the Medisave Minimum Sum.
  • Civil service retirees on CCS who are not pioneers: Reduce to 50 per cent of the Medisave Minimum Sum.
  • Pioneers who are not civil service retirees: Reduce to 50 per cent of the Medisave Minimum Sum.

The return of excess funds would go a long way towards relieving the financial burden of these groups of people in their twilight years.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline 'Reduce Medisave Minimum Sum for pioneers'. Print Edition | Subscribe