Consider raising Flexi-Medisave limit

Some seniors in Singapore are asset-rich but cash-poor, and thus do not qualify for Medifund.
Some seniors in Singapore are asset-rich but cash-poor, and thus do not qualify for Medifund. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

The current Flexi-Medisave annual limit of $200 is grossly insufficient for seniors and retirees with multiple chronic sicknesses necessitating very frequent medical treatments at public healthcare institutions.

Consequently, the seniors have to pay cash over and above government subsidies for the many necessary visits to public healthcare institutions when they exceed the limit.

My wife, who is in her 80s, had to pay $27.50 after subsidies just for consultation at the Singapore National Eye Centre on April 25, as she has used up the limit for this year.

Meanwhile, her Medisave account has over $30,000.

Many seniors like her are asset-rich but cash-poor, thus disqualifying them from Medifund.

Many are without any steady income but have to contend with daily living expenses. Any cash outlay is a financial burden.

I urge the relevant authorities to consider raising the Flexi-Medisave annual limit in view of rising medical costs and to address the plight of the many seniors, especially those with a reasonable amount in their Medisave accounts and with access to their family members' Medisave accounts.

Robin Yiu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'Consider raising Flexi-Medisave limit'. Print Edition | Subscribe