Thursday 26 September 2013

More help for couples trying to conceive

By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 25 Sep 2013

FROM Oct 1, couples trying for a baby using assisted conception procedures will be able to use their Medisave funds for more than the current three cycles, said the Health Ministry (MOH) in a statement yesterday.

This is because the Government has co-funded up to three-quarters of each assisted reproduction cycle at public hospitals for eligible couples since January, so couples need to use less of their Medisave each time.

The enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package is intended to help Singaporeans have children.

Previously, the Government paid for up to 50 per cent of each cycle, up to three cycles.

"Since then, some Singaporeans have asked for more flexibility in the use of Medisave to complement the enhanced co-funding scheme," said a Health Ministry spokesman.

But while MOH has lifted the three-cycle cap on Medisave claims, the cumulative Medisave use allowed remains at $15,000 to ensure couples do not deplete their Medisave prematurely.

Assisted conception procedures include artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilisation and other techniques.

Currently, Medisave can be used for these procedures at any public or private assisted reproduction centres.

The current Medisave withdrawal limit is $6,000 for the first treatment cycle, $5,000 for the second and $4,000 for the third.

The change will allow couples to use Medisave for the fourth and subsequent cycles, subject to a $4,000 limit each, up to a cumulative total of $15,000.

Last year, a single cycle of IVF treatment here typically cost between $7,000 and $14,000.

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