Saturday, December 22, 2012

Medisave - White Elephant Scheme

Bad news again. CPF which is famous for perpetual policy changes to retain more and more money from us has just announced that from the 2013, the minimum required amount in Medisave account will increase from $32,000 to $38,500. That amounts to $6500 which translate to 20.3% hike ! The amount has been going up steadily year after year, but this round the increase is quite drastic due to local medical cost shooting up.

This will be followed by more bad news as there will be the yearly increase to the CPF minimum sum. The 2013 figure which the govt has yet to announced. In the year 2012, the increase was $8K (from $131K to $139K).

Retirees already have problem with daily expenses, and yet CPF does not spare this group. Thus, CPF account holders aged 55 and above must have at least $38,500 in their Medisave accounts, on top of the minimum sums set in their Ordinary and Special accounts, before being able to make a withdrawal.

For work done in 2013, they will be increasing the amount of contribution by low wage earners to their CPF Medisave account before these workers are eligible for WIS (Workfare Income Supplement). To add salt to injury, the amount of contribution required for those above 55 is more.  We know for a fact that for low wage workers, the older you are, the less you earn. Yet CPF insists on sucking more from this group of workers.

Besides, Medisave is a White Elephant to most of us. There are so many rules to its usage that unless one is critically sick, it is unlikely to meet normal aging medical needs. For example chronic diseases such as eye problems which are likely to hit the elderly, Medisave is of no use. Medical expenses which is out front cash payment for such regular eye examination and the many eye tests required are heavy as they are all under specialist consultation. 

A personal experience.  Just went for a MRI scan this month which cost bomb even after subsidy. Medisave cannot be used. How to survive if unforeseen medical all have to pay cash, especially if one is a low wage earner ?

Medical cost keep increasing, how can we keep up with forever increasing Medisave minimum sum and at the same time have to fork out cash for our medical cost ?  This does not make sense !

Besides - this so call 'subsidy' govt is giving, are they for real ?  First they jerk up the fee and then give us a 'subsidy'. Even doctors in private practice don't charge so much. For example, in HDB estate, GP general consultation charges is below $30.  Govt Polyclinic charges is $36.82 before subsidy. Then some medicine dispense in Polyclinic even after subsidy still cost more than Guardian Pharmacy.

Our 'subsidized' medical fee is just like HDB. Jerk up the flat cost sky high and then give a subsidy.  CPF is another big CON scheme.

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