Why You Might have Greater Peace Of Mind With Your Healthcare Needs In Your Golden Years

 Why You Might have Greater Peace Of Mind With Your Healthcare Needs In Your Golden Years

What's the first thing that involves the mind when you think about retirement planning?

For the majority of us, retirement planning is all about ensuring we've enough money for our bills and healthcare needs.

Having enough money each month for the retirement is essential. However it isn't only thing we should be thinking about.

Here’s a visual representation of a typical Singaporean’s get a hearty life, and how key decisions made affects them in the future:

MediShield Life & MediSave: Ensuring We've Sufficient Healthcare Savings & Coverage During Retirement

As we grow older, it is important to set aside some savings for our healthcare needs once we may get sick more often. This can be for visits to the doctor, medication, regular health screenings, out-patient treatments, in-patient hospitalisation, day surgeries and rehabilitative care. Be assured that you don't have to bear these healthcare costs on your own.

#1 CHAS: Supporting Singaporeans With General Healthcare Cost

For people who don't know, the city Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) has been expanded to pay for all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income. These are applicable at participating general practitioners (GPs), private dentists and Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) at public hospitals.

There are additional subsidies readily available for lower and middle-income Singaporeans, based on their household income, in addition to Merdeka and Pioneer Generation seniors. Subsidies for complex chronic the weather is increased as well.

Which CHAS Card Do Your Qualify For?

The good news is the fact that all Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation citizens will enjoy CHAS benefits, regardless of income or even the annual value of their home.

Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation citizens receive enhanced CHAS benefits, including higher subsidies for common illnesses, chronic conditions and dental services. They are able to also go for subsidised health screening under Screen for a lifetime, for $0 or $2.

For retirees, these benefits give them greater peace of mind knowing that general healthcare services they incur at CHAS clinics will be heavily subsidised through the government.

#2 MediSave & MediShield Life: For Hospitalisation And Other Costly Outpatient Treatments

For more severe illnesses that require hospitalisation or costly outpatient treatments, retirees in Singapore can depend on their MediSave or MediShield Life (or a private integrated shield plan if we get it).

MediSave is really a national savings scheme which will help CPF members put aside a part of their employment income to meet their future personal healthcare expenses, or the ones from themselves. We can use our MediSave savings for outpatient management of chronic conditions, for example diabetes or hypertension, and pay for our MediShield Life premiums.

MediShield Every day life is a mandatory lifelong medical health insurance plan that gives basic protection to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) against large hospital bills. We can use MediShield Life for hospitalisation plus some costly outpatient treatments, like dialysis.

MediSave Top-Ups: For Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation

Even as retirees stop making MediSave contributions (because they are no longer working), it's heartening to understand that Singaporeans who fall under the Pioneer Generation (born 1949 and earlier) and also the Merdeka Generation (born between 1950 to 1959) is going to be receiving regular MediSave top-ups.

Pioneer Generation Package: Every year, Pioneers receive between $200 to $800 MediSave top-ups for life.

Year of Birth Age in 2021 Amount
Born in 1934 and earlier 85 and above $800
Born in 1935 – 1939 80 – 84 $600
Born in 1940 – 1944 75 – 79 $400
Born in 1945 – 1949 70 – 74 $200

Merdeka Generation Package: Merdeka Generation seniors can look toward $1,000 in MediSave top-ups. This will be disbursed over Five years, from 2021 to 2023.

Additionally, Singaporeans aged 50 and above who do not get the Merdeka or Pioneer Generation Package will get a MediSave top-up of $100 a year for the next 5 years.

#3 MediFund: Safety Net With Financial Difficulties With Hospitalisation Bills

The Government is committed to ensuring all Singaporeans get access to quality, affordable healthcare.

MediFund is a medical endowment fund set up through the government like a back-up for Singaporeans who face financial difficulties using their hospital bills after exhausting all other way of payment for example MediShield Life, private integrated shield plans, MediSave, and cash.

This is a vital (and necessary) scheme since it protects Singaporeans from becoming financially distressed from hospital bills.

ElderShield Life & CareShield Life: For the Long-Term Care During Retirement

MediShield Life provides basic protection against large hospitalisation expenses, but relying solely on that may not cover us from the additional costs when we need long-term care during retirement. Long-term care refers to personal and medical care that a person requires because of severe disability as a result of old age or adverse health problems.

To address this, ElderShield, and from 2021 onwards, CareShield Life, are national schemes which try to help Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) cope with the price of long-term care. You can find out more about the differences between these two schemes here.

Similar to MediShield Life, premiums for both ElderShield and CareShield Life could be paid with funds from your MediSave account. While coverage for both schemes are for a lifetime, premiums are payable only till age 65 (ElderShield) and 67 (CareShield Life), so Singapore's seniors do not have to be worried about needing to continue make payment on annual premium for that schemes when they are older.

Subsidies To Help With Household Day-To-Day Expenses

Beyond these healthcare schemes and subsidies, there are other benefits that retirees may also rely on to help them defray living costs. For instance, Singaporean HDB Household can always anticipate the quarterly Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate, including between 1.5 months to three.5 months, depending on their HDB flat type. The quarterly GST Voucher – U-Save provides subsidies for household utilities. Seniors can take advantage of up to 55% off transport concession fares using the senior citizen concession card.

It helps to be aware of the different government schemes and subsidies that we are entitled to and learn to take advantage from them. When added up, these subsidies and schemes can significantly help defray our living expenses during retirement.

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