Thursday, 18 June 2020

Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Seniors to Receive $255 million in MediSave Top-Ups in July 2020

Eligible seniors will receive top-ups ranging from $200 to $800 next month
By Cheryl Tan, The Straits Times, 18 Jun 2020

Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors will receive a total of $255 million in Medisave top-ups next month.

The top-up can be used for payment of insurance premiums for MediShield Life and other Medisave-approved insurance plans, as well as to pay for medical expenses such as for hospitalisation, day surgery and outpatient treatments.

The sum will be credited into their Medisave accounts next month. Seniors will be given more details of the top-up in a letter by the end of this month.

The top-ups are part of the benefits under the Pioneer and Merdeka Generation packages.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said it is to "thank our Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors for their contributions to Singapore".

"Altogether, we had set aside more than $14 billion for these packages, to cover about one million seniors for life."

He added that the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations had weathered difficult storms in the early years of Singapore, and contributed to Singapore's growth.

"We owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work and dedication. Let us continue to support them to stay active and healthy," he said.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health said the top-up for Pioneer members totals $160 million, while the top-up for Merdeka seniors is $95 million.

Eligible Pioneer members will receive between $200 and $800, depending on their age this year. Those who were born earlier will receive higher top-ups as they typically have less accumulated savings. Eligible Merdeka Generation seniors will receive $200 in Medisave top-ups annually until 2023. They started receiving the sum from last year.

Around 450,000 Pioneer and 500,000 Merdeka Generation seniors have been receiving Medisave top-ups as part of the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation packages since they were launched in 2014 and last year, respectively.

For the Pioneer Generation Package, $8 billion was set aside in 2014 to be given out to those born in 1949 or earlier.

This helps to cover outpatient subsidies, Medisave top-ups, MediShield Life premium subsidies, and payouts for long-term care.

As for the Merdeka Generation Package, $6.1 billion was set aside last year to provide seniors with greater assurance of their healthcare costs, and to help them stay active and healthy through their silver years. The top-ups help ease the burden of healthcare costs for Singaporeans who were born between Jan 1, 1950 and Dec 31, 1959.

From last year, Merdeka Generation seniors received additional benefits such as higher subsidies under the Community Health Assist Scheme and an extra 25 per cent discount on their bills at polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics, in addition to the yearly $200 Medisave top-ups.

The Pioneer and Merdeka Generation Medisave top-ups are in addition to the annual Medisave top-ups under the GST (goods and services tax) Voucher scheme for Singaporeans who are aged 65 and above.

The Medisave top-ups under the GST Voucher scheme will be made in August, and the amount that seniors can receive will depend on their age, the annual value of their place of residence, and the number of properties that they own.

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