Introduction to Medisave

Medisave, introduced in April 1984, is a national medical savings scheme which helps individuals put aside part of their income into their Medisave Accounts to meet their future personal or immediate family's hospitalization, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses.

Under the scheme, every employee contributes 6.5-9% (depending on age group) of his monthly salary to a personal Medisave account. The savings can be withdrawn to pay the hospital bills of the account holder and his immediate family members.

Contributing to Medisave


Employees have to contribute 6.5% - 9% of their monthly wages to their Medisave account depending on their age group as shown below:

Age
CONTRIBUTION RATE
(% of wage)
35 and below
6.5%
Above 35 to 45
7.5%
Above 45 to 60
8.5%
Above 60
9%


Contributions to the Medisave Account will be subjected to a Medisave Contribution Ceiling (MCC), which is the maximum balance a member may have in his Medisave Account. The current MCC is set at $34,500 (wef 1 Jul 08).

Any Medisave contribution in excess of the prevailing MCC will be transferred to the Special Account for members below 55 years. For members aged 55 years and above, Medisave Account overflows will be transferred to their Retirement Account (RA) to top-up any Minimum Sum shortfall. Once the Required Amount has been topped up to cover any Minimum Sum shortfall, Medisave Account overflows would go into their Ordinary Account.

When a member withdraw his Medisave at or after age 55, he needs to set aside a minimum of $29,500 in his Medisave account (wef 1 Jul 08) or the actual Medisave account balance, whichever is lower, as the Medisave Minimum Sum (MMS). He will be able to withdraw the amount that is in excess of this minimum sum.

Withdrawal Limits

An account holder may use his Medisave to pay the hospitalisation and certain outpatient expenses incurred at any hospital in Singapore. He may use his Medisave savings for himself and as well as his immediate family members.
Medisave can be claimed only if the patient stays in the hospital for at least 8 hours (unless the patient is admitted for day surgery).

The claim limits are as follows:
  • Medical / surgical inpatient cases
    S$450 per day for daily hospital charges for patients admitted on or after 1 May 2007. S$400 per day for daily hospital charges for patients admitted before 1 May 2007. This includes a maximum of S$50 for doctor's daily attendance fees.
  • Approved day surgeries
    Up to S$300 per day for daily hospital charges for surgeries done on or after 1 May 2007. Up to S$200 per day for surgeries done before 1 May 2007.
  • Surgical operations (inpatient and day surgery)
    A fixed limit - depending on the complexity of the operation - according to the table of surgical operation, as given below :
With effect from 1 June 09
Table of Operations
Medisave Limits
1A - 1C
S$250 - 450
2A - 2C
S$600 - 950
3A - 3C
S$1,250 - 1,850
4A - 4C
S$2,150 - 2,850
5A - 5C
S$3,150 - 3,950
6A - 6C
S$4,650 - 5,650
7A - 7C
S$6,200 - 7,550


For a more detailed table, please click on the above links.
  • Psychiatric treatment
    Up to S$150 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$50 for the doctor's daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$5,000 a year for treatment received on or after 1 Jan 2007.
  • Stay in approved community hospitals
    Up to S$150 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor's daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,500 a year
  • Stay in approved convalescent hospitals
    Up to S$50 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor's daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,000 a year
  • Stay in approved hospices
    Up to S$160 per day for the daily hospital charges including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor's daily attendance fees
  • Day Rehabilitation at Senior Citizens Health Care Centers
    Up to S$20 per day for day rehabilitation charges, subject to a maximum of S$1,500 a year
  • Inpatient medical treatment in approved day hospitals
    Up to S$150 per day, including a maximum of S$30 for the doctor's daily attendance fees, subject to a maximum of S$3,000 per year.

Medisave can be used for the following outpatient treatment:
  • Outpatient treatments of approved chronic diseases
    • Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for diabetes (with effect from 1st Oct 2006)
    • Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for hypertension, lipids disorders or stroke (with effect from 1st Jan 2007)
    • Up to S$300 per Medisave account a year (subject to S$30 deductible and 15% co-payment by patient) for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (with effect from 1st April 2008)
  • Outpatient MRI scans, CT scans and other diagnostics for cancer patients
    • Up to $600 per year (from 1 April 2008)
  • Hepatitis B vaccination
    Depending on age of patient:
    • Newborns to persons below 12 years old S$25
    • Persons aged 12 to below 20 years old S$35
    • Persons aged 20 and above S$50
  • Assisted conception procedures
    Use of Medisave up to 3 treatment cycles (regardless whether treatment is undertaken in inpatient or outpatient basis) per patient (only patient's and spouse's Medisave may be used) For Assisted Conception Procedures' treatments received on or after 1 August 2004, the withdrawal limits are:
    • 1st withdrawal - $6,000
    • 2nd withdrawal - $5,000
    • 3rd withdrawal - $4,000
  • Renal dialysis treatment (Only the patient's Medisave may be used. For patients age of 18 and below, the parents' Medisave may be used)
    • S$450 a month
  • Radiotherapy for cancer patients
    • For External Therapy, S$80 per treatment
    • For Brachytherapy with external radiotherapy, S$300 per treatment
    • For Brachytherapy without external radiotherapy, S$360 per treatment
    • For Superficial X-Ray, S$30 per treatment
    • For Stereotactic radiotherapy, S$2,800 per treatment
  • Chemotherapy for cancer patients
    Includes analgesic medication and suppressive treatments (neuro-endocrine and nuclear medicine treatments).
    • S$300 for 7-day treatment cycle or S$1,200 for 21/28-day treatment cycle
  • HIV anti-retroviral drugs (Only the patient's own Medisave may be used. For patients aged 18 and below, their parents' Medisave may be used.)
    Includes drugs used for the treatment of opportunistic infections.
    • S$550 per month
  • Desferral drug and blood transfusion for Thalassaemia treatment
    • S$350 per month
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
    • S$100 per treatment cycle
  • Outpatient Intravenous Antibiotic Treatment
    • S$600 per weekly cycle, up to $2,400 a year
  • Long Term Oxygen Therapy and Infant Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy
    Medisave maybe used for the rental of the devices that provide concentrated oxygen or pressured oxygen for the above treatments.
    • S$75 per month
  • Immuno-Suppressants for patients after organ transplants
    • S$300 per month

The Medisave withdrawal limits are necessary to ensure that members' Medisave savings are conserved for future medical needs, especially during old age. However, the limits are generally adequate to cover most of the charges incurred in the Class B2 and C wards. However, for expenses incurred in the private hospitals and Class A and B1 wards of government and restructured hospitals, the patient usually has to pay cash out-of-pocket for part of the bill which exceeds the withdrawal possible from Medisave.

Medisave for the Self-Employed


From year 2002 onwards, only self-employed persons who earn more than $6,000 a year would need to contribute to Medisave. As the self-employed are required to contribute to Medisave based on the previous year's net trade income, this would apply to income earned during and from 2002 onwards.

The amount of Medisave they are required to contribute is capped based on an annual income ceiling of $60,000 for income earned in 2005 and $54,000 for income earned in 2006. Details of Medisave contribution for the self-employed can be found in CPF Board's website

Chronic Diseases


Chronic diseases are a significant cause of illness and death in Singapore. This is a phenomenon common to all developed countries.

Four common chronic diseases affect about 1 million Singaporeans: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, lipid disorders (e.g. high cholesterol) and stroke.

If not properly managed, these diseases often lead to more serious complications. Many patients begin treatment late and only when severe complications arise. They end up going to multiple specialists for treatment of their many problems and may have to be hospitalized. Not only do they suffer significant pain, they will have to pay high medical costs as well.

However, with early detection and good management of these chronic diseases, complications can be avoided or delayed for many years.

The level of care will be raised through the promotion and extensive use of systematic, evidence-based chronic disease management programmes (DMPs). Patients with such chronic diseases are encouraged to work with their doctors, particularly their Family Physicians, to actively manage their diseases, through regular monitoring, appropriate medical treatment and lifestyle changes.

Use of Medisave


As disease management programmes can largely be effected at the outpatient level, MOH will allow the use of Medisave to help pay part of the outpatient cost, and reduce out of pocket payment for patients.

From 1 Oct 2006, the Medisave for Chronic Disease Management Programme has been launched with Diabetes Mellitus as the first chronic disease covered under the scheme. From 1 Jan 2007, the programme has further extended to the other chronic diseases - hypertension, lipid disorders and stroke. From 1 Apr 2008, the programme has been extended to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other chronic diseases with proven disease management treatments will be considered for inclusion under this scheme, after we have had some time to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme.
  • Details on Medisave Use
    Your doctor (whose clinic has to be participating in this programme) will need to certify in the Medisave Authorisation form that you suffer from one of the four chronic diseases in the above list.

    For each bill, patients will only need to pay the first $30 of the bill (as the deductible) as well as 15 per cent of the balance of the bill. Medisave can be used to pay for the remaining amount. This is regardless of whether the bill is for a one-off visit or a package.
    • Deductible:
      A deductible of $30 will be set on each outpatient bill. Bills below $30 will continue to be paid in cash;
    • Co-payment:
      A co-payment (in cash) of 15% on each outpatient bill in excess of the deductible will be set; and
    • Annual withdrawal limit:
      Withdrawals will be subject to an annual outpatient withdrawal limit of $300 per Medisave account. Patients can also use the Medisave of their immediate family member(s)* to pay for their treatment, up to a limit of $300 per year per account (up to a maximum of 10 accounts).

Marriage and Parenthood Schemes


Medisave Maternity Package
The Medisave Maternity Package enables you to use your Medisave, for the delivery and pre-delivery medical expenses of your first four children. You can also claim the Package for delivery and pre-delivery medical expenses of your fifth and subsequent child, if both you and your spouse have a combined Medisave balance of at least $15,000 at the time of delivery. This $15,000 minimum balance is needful for preventing premature depletion of your Medisave, which you might require for future hospitalisation needs, especially during old age.

MOH has put in place the Medisave Maternity Package to further help couples with delivery expenses as well as pre-delivery medical expenses (such as consultations, ultrasound).

Medisave Withdrawal Limit under the Medisave Maternity Package
Delivery Procedure
No. of days of Hospitalisation
Medisave Withdrawal Limit
Vaginal delivery (normal)
3
Up to $2250
Caesarian delivery (normal)
4
Up to $3650


To claim pre-delivery charges from Medisave, parents need just to present the bills incurred for your pre-delivery medical care to the hospital where you will be having your baby. The hospital will submit these bills, together with the delivery expenses, for Medisave claims under the Medisave Maternity Package.

You will be able to claim up to a maximum of $450 from Medisave for these charges.
(The total claim amount for delivery + pre-delivery must not exceed the withdrawal limit in the above table.)

Medisave for Assisted Conception Procedures


To help couples better afford the cost of treatment for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP), you may withdraw $6,000, $5,000 and $4,000 from Medisave for the first, second and third treatment cycles respectively.

The use of Medisave for ACP is subject to a maximum of 3 treatment cycles. This is because ACP success rates fall sharply after the third cycle. Therefore, if Medisave were allowed for more treatment cycles, the individual may not have sufficient savings for future hospitalisation expenses, especially during old age.

Government Co-funding Scheme for Assisted Reproduction Technology Treatments at Public Hospitals


With the median age at first marriage and first birth rising, there is an increasing number of couples who need medical help in conceiving. Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatments such as in-vitro fertilisation may be able to help these couples.

ART treatments are clinical and laboratory techniques that involve the mixing of eggs and sperms outside the body to enhance fertility. Couples with difficulties conceiving should try to seek such treatments early, as the success rate of ART is likely to fall with age. Such treatment can also be very costly.

As part of the Marriage and Parenthood package introduced by the Government to encourage couples to start a family, the Government has decided to provide co-funding for ART to make the treatment more affordable for couples who qualify for the scheme. This ART co-funding scheme will start on 17 August 2008 at the public hospitals.