Most Singaporeans have heard of Medisave and Medishield, we contribute to it every month through our CPF but do you understand what Medisave and Medishield do for you?

What’s Medisave & Its Importance?

Medisave was a scheme created to help financially save for the healthcare needs of the future, especially during retirement. Medisave accounts for 8 – 10.5 % of employee wages and so makes up a significant portion of your CPF.

Most Singaporeans are unaware that as of March 2010 you can make a claim on your Medisave even when hospitalised overseas, subject to certain conditions of course. Medisave is also unique in that it can be used to help your dependents as well; these include your spouse, children, parents and even grandparents. In the case of grandparents, the grandparent has to be a Singaporean citizen or minimally a permanent resident in Singapore.

What can I claim for under Medisave?

  1. Daily Ward Charges
  2. Doctors Fees
  3. Surgical Operations
  4. Inpatient charges for medical treatment (Please note that psychiatric treatment is included as well)

Things to note about Medisave

  1. To claim hospitalisation, patients must stay in the hospital for at least eight hours or die within eight hours of being hospitalised.
  2. Only approved treatments in approved hospitals and medical institutions are claimable
  3. Medisave withdrawal limits are sufficient to pay charges incurred by a patient staying in a Class B2/C ward

What’s Medishield Its Importance?

Medishield is a form of basic medical insurance that helps to pay for medical expenses partially. Medishield is meant to work in conjunction with Medisave. Like most other Medical insurance policies, Medishield has deductibles and payable premiums as well. Unlike most other policies, the deductibles apply to the claimable amount rather than the entire hospital bill, the premiums for Medishield can be paid through Medisave. The deductibles can be paid using your Medisave or cash, which means that your entire hospital bill can be paid first by Medisave while the rest could be covered by Medishield.

Enhancing my Medishield

Although Medishield is a government-run basic form of health insurance, Singaporeans can now elect to choose an Integrated Shield Plan (ISP) from an approved provider. ISPs allow Singaporeans to gain more protection through private insurers, presently approved insurers include AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income and Prudential. For more information, please refer to the table below:

CategoryName of Policy
Basic plansMediShield
NTUC Income IncomeShield Plan C*
Class B1    AIA HealthShield Gold Max C
Aviva MyShield Plan 3
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan B*
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan B Plus
NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield Plan Basic
NTUC Income IncomeShield Plan B
Prudential PruShield Plan B*
Class A    AIA HealthShield Gold Max B
Aviva MyShield Plan 2
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan A*
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan A Plus
NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield Plan Advantage
NTUC Income IncomeShield Plan A
Prudential PruShield Plan A Plus
Prudential PruShield Plan A*
Private hospitals    AIA HealthShield Gold Max A
Aviva MyShield Plan 1
Great Eastern SupremeHealth Plan P Plus
NTUC Income Enhanced IncomeShield Plan Preferred
NTUC Income IncomeShield Plan P
Prudential PruShield Plan A Premier

 

You can compare these plans based on the class of ward that you choose to stay at.
So for those of you who want to stay at a Class A ward, you should look at the plans under the Class A section.

Is this enough?

The ideal situation is that in the event you do fall ill with some form of critical illness, both your Integrated Shield Plan and your Medisave both kick in to prevent you from paying a large sum of cash out of pocket. Is this always the case? Not really.

Speak to any elderly person on the street, and they’ll have some tale to tell you, of a friend who entered hospital and exhausted their Medisave as the result of a single illness. The truth is that even with government mandated plans like these, the cost of healthcare in Singapore is high and continues to get higher with each passing year. Don’t count on Medisave being enough when the time comes.

Also, Medishield and Medisave only cover treatment, but not from longer term problems such as loss of income from being unable to work or other costs such as the need for household help if you’re paralysed, though some of these needs are addressed by another plan called Eldershield. It is, therefore, preferable that even with these forms of basic government-run insurance you should speak to a financial advisor on how to better protect yourself.

Ask your financial advisor these Insurance Questions before purchasing any policy.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).