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  • 1. What is MediSave Care (also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care)?

    With the launch of MediSave Care, also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 30 and above who are severely disabled will be able to make monthly cash withdrawals from their own and/or their spouse’s MediSave account for their long-term care needs.

    After setting aside a minimum amount to ensure adequacy for other medical expenses, severely disabled Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents will be able to withdraw up to a total of $200/month from their own and/or their spouse’s MediSave account. The table below shows the MediSave balances and corresponding monthly withdrawal quanta.

    Table: MediSave Balances and corresponding Monthly MediSave Withdrawal Quantum for Severely Disabled Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 30 and above.1

    MediSave Balance Monthly Withdrawal Quantum
    $20,000 and above $200
    $15,000 and above $150
    $10,000 and above $100
    $5,000 and above $50
    Below $5,000 Nil

    1 Severely Disabled Singapore Citizens and Permenant Residents can withdraw from their spouse's MediSave Account, if they have insufficient MediSave balances, and their spouse has MediSave balances of $5,000 or more. Withdrawals from their spouse's MediSave will also be subject to the same MediSave balance thresholds. The total withdrawal from their own and/or spouse's MediSave is capped at $200/month.

    2. When will MediSave Care (also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care) be implemented?

    MediSave Care, also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care, will be implemented after applications open on 1 October 2020. It will be jointly administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB).

    3. Why is MediSave Care restricted to those age 30 years and above?

    MediSave Care is less applicable for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents below the age of 30 as they are significantly less likely to be severely disabled and need long-term care. They also tend to have lower MediSave Account balances based on employment history.

    Those under the age of 30 who require assistance can tap on various support schemes such as subsidies for early intervention programmes under Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and subsidies for therapy services at KK Hospital and the National University Hospital, and means-tested Government assistance schemes such as the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) in meeting their long-term care needs.

    Government-funded safety nets such as MediFund or ComCare can provide further assistance to Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their care even after Government subsidies and other means of support.

    4. Why am I not allowed to make a withdrawal under MediSave Care to meet the long-term care needs of my parent/child?

    The Government recognises and encourages family members to support one another in healthcare and long-term care. Hence, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are already allowed to use immediate family members’ MediSave for hospital expenses and premium payments of MediShield Life, ElderShield and CareShield Life.

    With MediSave Care, the Government is allowing cash withdrawals from MediSave Accounts for the first time. Hence, we have decided to start with a more cautious approach. Currently, MediSave Care allows only the applicant to withdraw from his/her own MediSave Account, supplemented by his/her spouse’s MediSave account, for long-term care. As the period that individuals could remain in severe disability vary significantly, the period of withdrawal and amount withdrawn can be substantial. When coupled with other existing withdrawals, allowing the severely disabled to tap on their children’s MediSave Accounts for withdrawals could potentially impact their children’s MediSave adequacy and compromise their ability to afford their own healthcare needs. Similarly, allowing MediSave Care withdrawals from the severely disabled’s parents could affect the elderly’s ability to afford their own medical expenses in old age.

    Singapore Citizens who are in need in need of financial assistance and have low MediSave Account balances may apply for ElderFund. If you are still unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support, there are other forms of assistance such as MediFund and ComCare. 

    5. I am severely disabled. Can I withdraw up to $200/month each from my own MediSave and another $200/month from my spouse’s MediSave account (i.e. withdrawing a total of $400/month) under MediSave Care?

    If you are eligible to apply for MediSave Care, you can only withdraw up to a combined total of $200 per month from your MediSave Account and/or your spouse’s MediSave account.

    Example

    1. Husband applies to withdraw $200 monthly from his own MediSave Account. That is the total maximum withdrawal limit allowed from his and his spouse’s MediSave Accounts.

    2. If the husband has $12,000 in his MediSave Account, he is eligible to withdraw $100 monthly from his own MediSave Account. If his wife’s MediSave Account balance is at least $10,000, he can apply to withdraw an additional $100 monthly from his wife’s MediSave Account. The total monthly MediSave Care withdrawal from his and his spouse’s MediSave Accounts add up to a maximum of $200.

    MediSave Account balances and corresponding monthly withdrawal quantum

    MediSave Balance Monthly Withdrawal Quantum
    $20,000 and above $200
    $15,000 and above $150
    $10,000 and above $100
    $5,000 and above $50
    Below $5,000 NIL ($0)

    6. Why is there a need to set aside the MediSave balance of at least $5,000 to be eligible for MediSave Care?

    MediSave is primarily designed to help Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents put aside sufficient savings for their hospitalisation expenses and selected outpatient treatments such as cancer treatments that are more expensive in nature.

    The minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000 set aside by  MediSave Care is to help individuals maintain some savings to pay for their other healthcare bills. 

    7. Will my MediSave Care withdrawal limit automatically change as and when my MediSave balance changes?

    The monthly cash withdrawal is based on your MediSave Account balance, or the maximum withdrawal amount that you set when applying (whichever is lower).

    MediSave Account balances and corresponding monthly withdrawal quantum

    MediSave Balance Monthly Withdrawal Quantum
    $20,000 and above $200
    $15,000 and above $150
    $10,000 and above $100
    $5,000 and above $50
    Below $5,000 Nil ($0)

    If you have received voluntary cash contribution from family members or Government top-ups, and the MediSave Account balance is in the higher tier once again, your withdrawal quantum will automatically increase correspondingly.

    8. Why is the withdrawal quantum under MediSave Care based on my MediSave account's balance?

    The MediSave Account is used for healthcare purposes, such as paying for hospitalisation expenses, approved outpatient medical care and approved medical insurance premiums.

    The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a social security system that allows members to set aside savings for retirement. The Ordinary Account is for housing, insurance, investment and education purposes. The Special Account is for retirement income and retirement-related investments.

    9. I am severely disabled. Can I make MediSave withdrawals under MediSave Care from my spouse's MediSave?

    If you are a severely disabled Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can make MediSave withdrawals under MediSave Care from your own and your spouse’s MediSave.

    If you are severely disabled but not a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident, your application to make withdrawal from your own and/or your spouse’s MediSave under MediSave Care will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

    To apply, you should submit an application to the Agency for Integrated Care, and arrange for a disability assessment by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, after applications open on 1 Oct 2020.

    10. What if I have insufficient MediSave balances for my healthcare and long-term care expenses?

    The minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000 under MediSave Care is carefully set to help individuals maintain some savings to pay for for their healthcare bills.

    If you have depleted your MediSave account, you may tap on your spouse's MediSave for long-term care withdrawals, and your family members' MediSave for your other healthcare treatments.

    You may also apply for other forms of assistance such as means-tested Government assistance schemes (ElderFund, Home Caregiving Grant) to meet your long-term care costs needs. If you are still unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support, there are other forms of assistance such as MediFund and ComCare.

    11. If I am not covered under CareShield Life, and I am severely disabled, can I withdraw more than $200/month under MediSave Care?

    The Government encourages individuals to review their severe disability insurance coverage carefully to ensure that they have adequate financial protection against severe disability, especially in old age.

    Due to the personal savings nature of MediSave, there are no benefits of risk-pooling like CareShield Life, and the withdrawals are constrained by the savings over the working years. The withdrawal limit of $200 under MediSave Care was set to ensure that there would be enough MediSave set aside for other medical purposes such as hospitalisation expenses and selected outpatient treatments which MediSave is primarily designed for.

    Government-funded safety nets such as MediFund or ComCare can provide further assistance if you are unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support.

    The Government will also review the MediSave withdrawal limits regularly to ensure that basic long-term care costs remain affordable for Singaporeans.
     

    12. Are Singaporeans who are residing overseas eligible for MediSave Care?

    If you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident who is living overseas, you are eligible for MediSave Care. However, you need to have a minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000 and also fulfil the following criteria:

    a. Aged 30 and above.

    b. Certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to be severely disabled (i.e. unable to perform three (3) or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). You can find the list of MOH-accredited severe disability assessors here.

     

    13. How do I know if I am eligible for MediSave Care?

    Severely disabled (unable to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)) Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who are aged 30 and above can apply to make such withdrawals after setting aside a minimum amount.

    You may submit an application to the Agency for Integrated Care and arrange for a disability assessment by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, after applications open on 1 Oct 2020.

    14. How can I apply for MediSave Care?

    To apply for MediSave Care, also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care, you may submit an application to the Agency for Integrated Care, and arrange for a disability assessment by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, after applications open on 1 Oct 2020.

    15. Why does cash withdrawal not apply to existing MediSave uses?

    The Government allows for cash withdrawals under MediSave Care, also known as MediSave Withdrawals for Long-Term Care, out of recognition that long-term care needs vary significantly across individuals. Allowing cash withdrawals will provide patients and their caregivers the flexibility to decide on their desired care arrangements and long-term care services.

    Other existing MediSave limits cater to well-defined care episodes and treatments. MediSave is hence intended to directly pay providers for the exact cost of treatment incurred, up to prevailing withdrawal limits.

    16. Can MediSave be used for the disability assessments?

    MediSave cannot be used to pay for the cost of the disability assessments. However, CareShield Life and MediSave Care will share the same disability assessment, so that the costs of the first disability assessment will be waived, and subsequent assessments for CareShield Life insureds will be fully reimbursed if the application outcome is successful.

    For severely disabled individuals who are applying to withdraw from their MediSave under MediSave Care but who are not covered under CareShield Life, assessment fees will be fully reimbursed by the Government if the application outcome is successful.

    17. Who administers MediSave Care?

    MediSave Care will be jointly administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB).

    18. Why is the ElderFund payout ($250) higher than the MediSave Care payout ($200)?

    The MediSave Account can be used for a wide variety of costly medical treatments (e.g. hospitalisation expenses, selected outpatient treatments), and MediSave Care. A higher withdrawal amount for long-term care would result in a faster depletion of MediSave Account balances, which may affect an individual’s ability to pay for other medical expenses in the future.

    Instead, MediSave Care complements insurance schemes such as ElderShield / CareShield Life / Supplement payouts, existing Government subsidies, Government assistance schemes, community support and other personal savings and family support, to help individuals better meet their long-term care financing needs. In deciding the MediSave Care withdrawal amount, the Government took into account the basic long-term care costs for a range of services and settings, other sources of long-term care funding such as those mentioned before, as well as the need to balance withdrawal amounts with MediSave adequacy.

    Meanwhile, ElderFund is targeted at helping lower-income Singaporeans who cannot benefit from ElderShield or CareShield Life and have low MediSave balances to draw on for their long-term care needs.

    19. Why is the withdrawal amount for MediSave Care capped at $200 monthly (or $2,400 yearly)?

    In deciding the MediSave Care withdrawal amount for long-term care, the Government took into account the basic long-term care costs for a range of services and settings, other sources of long-term care funding such as Government subsidies and assistance schemes, community support, personal savings, family support and Government-funded safety nets, as well as the need to balance withdrawal amounts with MediSave adequacy.

    For other forms of assistance, you may wish to apply for CareShield Life or tap on means-tested Government subsidies and various Government assistance schemes such as ElderFund in meeting your long-term care needs. If you are still unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support, there are other forms of assistance such as MediFund and ComCare.

    The Government will continue to review the healthcare financing framework, including MediSave withdrawal limits regularly, to ensure that basic long-term care costs remain affordable for Singaporeans.

    20. If I do not fully utilise my MediSave withdrawal limits for inpatient treatment, can I receive the unused amount in cash?

    You will not be able to receive the unused amount in cash if you do not fully utilise your MediSave withdrawal limits for inpatient treatment.

    Existing MediSave limits cater to well-defined care episodes and treatments. MediSave is hence intended to directly pay providers for the exact cost of treatment incurred, up to prevailing withdrawal limits.

    21. The MediSave withdrawal of $200 is significantly lower than the CareShield Life payout. Can I withdraw more as $200 a month is insufficient to cover long-term care needs?

    Due to the personal savings nature of MediSave, there are no benefits of risk-pooling like CareShield Life and the withdrawals are constrained by one’s savings over one’s working years. The withdrawal limit of $200 under MediSave Care was set to ensure that there would be enough MediSave set aside for other medical purposes such as hospitalisation expenses and selected outpatient treatments which MediSave is primarily designed for.

    The Government will also review the MediSave withdrawal limits regularly to ensure that basic long-term care costs remain affordable for Singaporeans.

    The Government encourages individuals to review their severe disability insurance coverage carefully to ensure that they have adequate financial protection against severe disability, especially in old age. For other forms of assistance, you may wish to apply for means-tested Government assistance schemes such as the ElderFund, Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) in meeting long-term care needs. If you are still unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support, there are other forms of assistance such as MediFund and ComCare.

     

    22. Why is the withdrawal under MediSave Care restricted to my own and/or my spouse’s MediSave accounts?

    The Government recognises and encourages family members to support one another in healthcare and long-term care. Hence, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are already allowed to use immediate family members’ MediSave for hospital expenses and premium payments of MediShield Life, ElderShield and CareShield Life.

    With MediSave Care, the Government is allowing cash withdrawals from MediSave Accounts for the first time. Hence, we have decided to start with a more cautious approach. Currently, MediSave Care allows only the applicant to withdraw from his/her own MediSave Account, supplemented by his/her spouse’s MediSave account, for long-term care. As the period that individuals could remain in severe disability vary significantly, the period of withdrawal and amount withdrawn can be substantial. When coupled with other existing withdrawals, allowing the severely disabled to tap on their children’s MediSave Accounts for withdrawals could potentially impact their children’s MediSave adequacy and compromise their ability to afford their own healthcare needs. Similarly, allowing MediSave Care withdrawals from the severely disabled’s parents could affect the elderly’s ability to afford their own medical expenses in old age.

    Singapore Citizens who are in need of financial assistance and have low MediSave Account balances may apply for ElderFund. If you are still unable to pay for your care even after Government subsidies and other means of support, there are other forms of assistance such as MediFund and ComCare. 

    23. I am severely disabled but not a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Permanent Resident(PR). However, my spouse is a SC/PR. Can I make MediSave Care withdrawals from my spouse’s MediSave account?

    If you are a severely disabled Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can make MediSave Care withdrawals from your own and your spouse’s MediSave.

    Non-Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident who wish to make MediSave Care withdrawals from your own or your spouse’s MediSave may be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

    24. If I am a severely disabled Singapore Citizen (SC) or Permanent Resident (PR), can I make MediSave Care withdrawals from my non-SC/PR spouse’s MediSave account?

    If you are a severely disabled Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can make MediSave Care withdrawals from your own and your spouse’s MediSave.

    Non-Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident who wish to make MediSave Care withdrawals from your own or your spouse’s MediSave may be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

    25. Do I need to submit/check/reveal my and/or my spouse’s MediSave Account balances before submitting an application for MediSave Care?

    No, you are not required to check your MediSave Account balances before submitting an application for MediSave Care. To be eligible and apply for MediSave Care, you need to fulfil all of the following criteria.

    a. Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident.

    b. Aged 30 and above.

    c. Certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to be severely disabled (i.e. unable to perform three (3) or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). You can find the list of MOH-accredited severe disability assessors here.

    d. Minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000.

    If your MediSave Account balance is more than $5,000, the withdrawal will automatically be made from your own MediSave Account first.

    If your MediSave Account balance is insufficient (i.e. below $5,000) or you wish to supplement your MediSave Care withdrawals, you may apply to withdraw from your spouse’s MediSave Account. Your spouse has to be at least 30 years old, and his/her MediSave Account balance should also be more than $5,000 to be eligible for withdrawals. Similarly, there is no need for you to check your spouse’s MediSave Account balance before submitting an application. If you have previously submitted an application without applying to withdraw from your spouse’s MediSave Account, you would have to submit a new application for us to process.
     

    26. Do I need to wait for my 30th birthday before I can apply for MediSave Care?

    To be eligible for MediSave Care, you need to be at least 30 years old and fulfil all of the following criteria.

    a. Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident.

    b. Certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to be severely disabled (i.e. unable to perform three (3) or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). You can find the list of MOH-accredited severe disability assessors here.

    c. Minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000.
     

    27. Can I use my MediSave Care withdrawal for overseas treatment?

    Withdrawals of up to $200 monthly under the MediSave Care scheme are in cash, and applicants can choose to utilise the cash locally or overseas for their long-term care needs.

    28. Is MediSave Care means-tested?

    No, means-testing is not required. However, to be eligible for MediSave Care, you need to fulfil all of the following criteria:

    a. Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident.

    b. Aged 30 and above.

    c. Certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to be severely disabled (i.e. unable to perform three (3) or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). You can find the list of MOH-accredited severe disability assessors here.

    d. Minimum MediSave Account balance of $5,000.
     

    29. Can I engage my family doctor (GP) OR own doctor/healthcare professional for the CareShield Life/ MediSave Care severe disability assessment?

    If you wish to apply for any of the severe disability schemes, you need to undergo a severe disability assessment by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor.  You may wish to check if your own doctor or healthcare professional is on the list of MOH accredited severe disability assessors. This can be found on the AIC’s website. If they are not, you will need to make an appointment with one of the assessors on the list for an assessment.

    30. Who are the MOH-accredited severe disability assessors for CareShield Life and MediSave Care?

    MOH-accredited severe disability assessors are Singapore-registered doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and registered nurses who have undergone a rigorous training programme to assess a Patient’s level of disability. 

    For a list of the MOH-accredited severe disability assessors, please visit the AIC’s website.

    31. Why am I unable to undergo a severe disability assessment for ElderShield/ CareShield Life/ MediSave Care at a hospital?

    While you are undergoing treatment in the hospital, your disability status may change, and this may impact your long-term care scheme application.  As such, we do not recommend the Patients to attend the severe disability assessment while hospitalised.

    Our focus is to accredit healthcare professionals in the community, including the GPs, and clinicians in the long-term care sector to assess individuals’ level of disability when their condition has stabilised.

    32. Are there any alternative documents that I can submit for ElderShield/ CareShield Life/ MediSave Care claims instead of a severe disability assessment?

    The Government is looking into recognising equivalent assessments that have been performed by a qualified healthcare professional (doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and registered nurses) providing care to the Patient. In such cases, the Patient need not undergo a separate severe disability assessment. Today, those who are staying in a Nursing Home can already approach their Nursing Home for assistance to submit the Resident’s Assessment Form in place of the severe disability assessment.

    MOH and AIC will progressively roll out the use of such equivalent assessments and will make the information available via the MOH and AIC website.

    33. Can the pool of assessors for MediSave Care be expanded to include any Singapore-registered doctor, therapist or nurse?

    Severely disabled individuals who wish to apply for MediSave Care will need to undergo a severe disability assessment by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor. A trained, accredited severe disability assessor will be able to assess whether the applicant meets the MediSave Care criteria of being unable to perform three or more of the six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). We have expanded the list of accredited assessors to include therapists and nurses who have been trained.

    All MOH-accredited assessors have undergone a rigorous training programme to learn how to assess a Patient’s level of disability. Through the training, assessors are equipped to assess an individual’s ability to perform the six ADLs, including specific components of each ADL to take into account, what factors to consider when an individual is cognitively impaired, and what should be done if any individual’s functional ability fluctuates over time. As this is a complex process, the training and accreditation is necessary to ensure that disability assessments are conducted with a high degree of rigour and consistency.

    The Government is also looking into recognising equivalent assessments that have been performed by a qualified healthcare professional (doctor, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and registered nurses) providing care to the patient. In such cases, the patient need not undergo a separate severe disability assessment. Today, those who are staying in a nursing home can already approach their nursing home for assistance to submit the Resident's Assessment Form in place of the severe disability assessment.

    MOH and AIC will progressively roll out the use of such equivalent assessments and will make the information available via MOH and AIC website.