The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board receives, on average, 500 to 600 appeals each year for MediSave withdrawals beyond the annual limit for medical treatment.
These are among a total of 1.2 million Singaporeans who make withdrawals from MediSave for various medical expenses, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a written Parliamentary reply on Monday (Jan. 6).
Of these 5-600 from the past three years, four or five were specifically related to rare diseases affecting fewer than one in 2,000 patients.
Amount requested for withdrawal varies
Gan was responding to Ang Mo Kio Member of Parliament (MP) Intan Azura Mokhtar, who asked how many Singaporeans had made appeals to the CPF Board over the past five years to withdraw MediSave funds beyond the allowed limit, and what monetary ranges the amounts requested beyond the limit fell into.
On this matter, Gan stated that the amount withdrawn varied, and was dependent on factors such as whether there are complications in treatment, or whether non-standard drugs and treatments are needed.
Govt believes that the elderly are expected to use more of their MediSave
On Jan. 1, 2020, the Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) for CPF members was raised from S$57,200 to S$60,000.
The BHS is the maximum amount of money you can keep in your MediSave account, and is adjusted every year.
Any additional savings you might have over the BHS is transferred to your Special Account or Retirement Account.
The increment in the BHS means that CPF members have to allocate more money to their MediSave account.
But if a CPF member has less money in their account than the BHS, they are not required to top it up to that limit.
The maximum amount is also frozen once you turn 65.
This means that for members who turn 65 in 2020, their BHS will be fixed at S$60,000 for the rest of their lives.
Here's how the BHS has changed over the years.
Top screenshot from Google Street View