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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 25 February 2007

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Liberalisation of Medisave


Liberalisation of Medisave

As part of the review of Medisave, the Ministry of Health will be increasing the withdrawal limits in the following four areas:
  1. The inpatient per diem limit will be increased from $400 to $450;
  2. The day surgery limit will be increased from $200 to $300;
  3. The annual limit for psychiatric bills will be increased from $3,500 to $5,000;
  4. Medisave will be allowed for diagnostic scans such as MRI and CT scans, if they form parts of outpatient cancer treatment.
The first three changes will be implemented in May 2007 while the use of Medisave for diagnostic scans will take effect before end 2007.
Further details are as follows:
(A) Inpatient per-diem withdrawal limit increased from $400 to $450
The Medisave inpatient per-diem withdrawal limit will be raised from $400 to $450.
The move is aimed at helping Singaporeans, especially the middle-income earners, to reduce their cash outlay for hospital bills, when they choose to stay in Class B1 and higher wards.
With the proposed increase to $450, Medisave will be, on average, able to effectively cover 82% of each B1 bill, and 66% of each A/private-hospital ward bill, compared to 76% and 57% respectively today.
More than 90% of all Class B2/C bills are already fully covered without the need for any cash outlay by the existing withdrawal limits.
(B) Day Surgery Limit increased from $200 to $300
Over the years, medical innovation has allowed treatments that were previously inpatient-based to be safely delivered as day surgeries.
Patients who can be treated through day surgery do not need to be hospitalised, saving them money and time. This also frees up valuable bed space for other patients who need them.
To facilitate this development and attendant to the increase in per diem withdrawal limit, the day surgery limit will be raised from $200 to $300.
After the change, 84% of all subsidised day surgery bills will be fully covered by Medisave, without the need for any cash outlay, as compared to 77% today.
(C) Annual Medisave Withdrawal Limit for psychiatric bills increased from $3,500 to $5,000
The Ministry will also be raising the annual Medisave Withdrawal Limit (MWL) for psychiatric bills from $3,500 to $5,000.
Prior to the increase, Medisave is able to cover, on average, 68% of each Class B2/C psychiatric bill. The proposed increase will see Medisave cover, on average, 82% of each Class B2/C bill.
(D) Medisave use allowed for diagnostic scans, when part of outpatient cancer treatment
Today, Medisave can be used by inpatients to help pay the costs of diagnostic scans such as MRI, CT and PET scans. For many cancer conditions, such diagnostic scans are now parts of the standard of care in the outpatient setting (e.g. tumour staging).
To help cancer patients afford these treatments, Medisave use will be allowed for these diagnostic scans when they form parts of outpatient cancer treatment.
Medisave use for other outpatient scans will continue to be disallowed.

Source: Press Release 23 Feb 2007

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