Dear CPF Board,

I’m writing to question and hopefully clarify the purpose of the Medisave scheme. Both me and my wife are self -employed and are required by law to contribute almost $5,000 each to our Medisave accounts annually in cash. Just how does Medisave help us? We found out the hard way that the Medisave scheme is causing us more financial burden instead of helping us.

I suffer from hypertension and needs to pay around $720 annually for my medication alone. I also need to go for blood tests and doctor’s consultations in order to get this medication with additional costs and nothing is claimable beyond the prescribed $400 annual withdrawal limit. Who and why dictate that I can only withdraw $400 annually from my Medisave account for treatments of such chronic illnesses? After all, I did not ask for or enjoy having hypertension. I’m not requesting Medisave funds to make my face prettier. I would rather pay the $720 medication fees for treating my hypertension in cash instead of having to contribute almost $5,000 to Medisave and only be allowed to utilise $400 each year.

Recently, my daughter was required to undergo for 2 surgeries. The total costs of the surgeries, hospitalization, medication and therapies etc. cost us around $60,000. Also recently, my wife was required to undergo an MRI scan. The scan itself cost around $1,400 and she was only allowed to utilise around $200 from Medisave. We were lucky to be able to claim the full amount from private insurance instead. It was during these occasions that we discovered that Medisave was almost absolutely of no help to us.

We are lucky to have bought private insurance that paid for almost all the costs. Since private insurance can cover such unexpected medical, surgical and hospitalization expenses in full, and one can only withdraw very controlled and limited amounts of funds from Medisave for such purposes, why not allow citizens to choose between getting insured privately instead? After all, the premiums for private insurance that reimburses hospitalization and medical costs in full is only a few hundred dollars per person per annum. If you compare this with the almost $5,000 per person annual contribution requirement, it just doesn’t make any sense.

When my father was dying of cancer in 2008, his doctor suggested him having a PET scan which, if I remembered correctly, cost around $2,500. We were told that this have to be paid in cash and not the dying man’s Medisave or ours. Why even deny a dying man’s need to utilise Medisave monies from his own account really trouble me until today. All in, if the government is afraid that they have to foot unpaid bills by any citizen because they have insufficient Medisave, me and my family members are more than willing to sign any form that relinquish them of such responsibilities.

We will take care of ourselves.

A.S.S. Contributor

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