Budget 2013: Civil service to revise medical and dental benefits, says DPM Teo

The civil service will raise the caps on dental and medical benefits for civil servants from next month to keep up with market practices in employee benefits, announced Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday.

Currently, civil servants can claim 85 per cent of their medical bills at private clinics, subject to a cap of $10 per visit. This cap will now be raised to $20 per visit, in line with the Government subsidy at polyclinics, said DPM Teo, who is the minister in charge of the civil service.

Now, civil servants can also claim up to $350 a year for outpatient expenses, with the unused amount going to their Medisave account. But recognising that some officers may need higher reimbursement, the Government is raising the claim limit to $500 a year. The increase of $150, however, will only be used for reimbursement, said DPM Teo, who was speaking at the Committee of Supply debate for the Prime Minister's Office.

For dental benefits, the Government will now subsidise 85 per cent of dental bills, up from the current 50 per cent. The annual cap will also rise from $70 to $120, which will be closer to market practices, said DPM Teo.

The changes will also apply to statutory board employees and reemployed civil servants, he said.

Government agencies have also been encouraging public servants to cover themselves with medical insurance, said DPM Teo. Some 97 per cent of public officers are now on basic Medishield or integrated Shield plans, he added.