Pioneers to get Medisave top-ups next month

An elderly man sitting at a table in Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre on April 21.
An elderly man sitting at a table in Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre on April 21. PHOTO: ST FILE

They will get $200 to $800, based on age; letters to seniors will go out this week

Pioneers will receive letters from the Government this week informing them of the Pioneer Generation Medisave top-ups that they will get next month.

The top-ups range from $200 to $800, and come up to about $190 million in total, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday. About 430,000 pioneers will be receiving these top-ups.

This is part of the Pioneer Generation Package, which Singapore citizens aged 67 years and above this year who received their citizenship before 1987 qualify for.

Pioneers will receive Medisave top-ups annually for the rest of their lives, with the amount based on their birth year.

Those who were born earlier will receive higher top-ups as they typically have accumulated less savings, the MOF said.

These are in addition to the Medisave top-ups for Singaporeans aged 65 and above under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Voucher scheme to be disbursed in August.

The amounts given depend on a person's age, the annual value of the place of his residence and the number of properties owned.

For example, someone who is 85 this year, lives in a Housing Board flat and does not own a second property will receive a total of $1,250 in Medisave top-ups this year ($800 from the Pioneer Generation Medisave top-up and $450 from the GST Voucher for Medisave).

Someone who is 67 this year and in similar circumstances will get a total of $450 in Medisave top-ups this year ($200 from the Pioneer Generation Medisave top-up and $250 from the GST Voucher for Medisave).

They may use these Medisave top-ups to pay for their Medishield Life premiums and other Medisave-approved insurance plans, as well as for hospitalisation, day surgery, and certain approved outpatient treatments.

Such treatments include chemotherapy, scans, vaccinations and treatments for certain chronic diseases.

Pioneers are also entitled to an additional 50 per cent off the cost of subsidised services and medications at polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics; special subsidies at general practitioner and dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas); and MediShield Life premium subsidies of between 40 and 60 per cent.

Those who have moderate to severe functional disabilities also receive cash of $1,200 a year under the Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme.

"The top-ups will help me to pay for my medical fees as I see the doctor regularly," said part-time cashier V. K. Sreedharan, 82, who has diabetes and heart ailments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2016, with the headline 'Pioneers to get Medisave top-ups next month'. Print Edition | Subscribe