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10 July 2023
SOURCE: CPF Board

 

Caregiver taking care of a senior, using digital services

Life is a journey taken hand in hand. While caregivers are a pillar of support for others, they are also a group that needs the support of the society. For example, managing one’s finances while being a caregiver can be challenging. The good news is, they do not have to face the challenges alone. From government support to help alleviate some of the financial costs to helping caregivers save for their own retirement, here are three ways that caregivers like you can tap on for support:


1. Increased usage of MediSave and increased MediShield Life coverage for cancer medication

A major consideration as one ages is managing healthcare costs. This is also true for caretakers, who might have additional difficulty in managing such costs.

 

With that in mind, the increased usage of MediSave savings and increased coverage for cancer medication under MediShield Life are two changes that can help alleviate such concerns. As part of the changes to your CPF which was announced in Budget 2023, these changes are also beneficial to caregivers as well. Such changes include, but are not limited to:

Extended use of MediSave for homebound patients

From late 2023, homebound patients who receive treatment for the conditions covered under the Chronic Disease Management Programme can use MediSave 500/700 and Flexi-MediSave schemes to pay for home medical care. Such patients can use up to $500 or $700 yearly (depending on the complexity of the medial condition) from their MediSave savings to pay for medical bills, including consultation fees and blood tests conducted at home. Patients aged 60 and above can also use an additional $300 yearly under Flexi-MediSave.

 

What this means for caregivers is a wider range of situations which MediSave can be applied under, and less worry when it comes to healthcare spending as less out-of-pocket cash is required. This allows for that money to be used elsewhere or saved for retirement.

Increased coverage for cancer medication under MediShield Life

MediShield Life claim limits for cancer drug services have been increased to $3,600 per calendar year. While there is no change to the MediSave withdrawal limit of $600 per calendar year for cancer drug services, patients who have made cancer drug services claims in 2023 have also been able to make additional MediShield Life claims up to the new limit starting from April this year.

 

This change also allows members to claim more from their MediShield Life to cover their cancer-related treatment and to set aside more cash for daily needs or for retirement planning. This can include making more cash top-ups to one’s CPF with the additional cash to build up one’s retirement nest egg.

2. Auto-conversion of CPF inflows into monthly payouts

Members who are under CPF LIFE might still receive additional contributions to their Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) even after starting their CPF LIFE payouts. However, some of these members might not have set aside their cohort’s Full Retirement Sum (FRS). For this group of people in particular, these contributions will not be available for lump-sum withdrawal and are meant to be disbursed as monthly payouts. In order to get higher CPF LIFE payouts, these members need to manually inform the Board to annuitise their OA and SA savings.

 

However, from October 2023, the Board will simplify the process for these members to help them get higher CPF LIFE payouts more easily. Any non-withdrawable savings in the members’ OA and SA will be automatically annuitised, which in turn results in higher payouts. These members will receive an individual notification before this process occurs.

 

For members who have already set aside their cohort FRS, their OA and SA savings will not be automatically annuitised, which in turn ensures that these savings will stay withdrawable at any time.

 

For caregivers who are under CPF LIFE or who are taking care of those who fulfil the above criteria, this helps to simplify processes and there is one less thing on their to-do list.

3. More Government support with increase in Assurance Package benefits

In addition to the changes in healthcare support, the Government is also providing additional financial support to help Singaporeans better cope with inflation. For caregivers, this means an extra avenue for financial support so as to better tackle the various challenges one might face in day-to-day life, from medical bills to daily necessities.

 

As announced in Budget 2023, the Government will be increasing the Assurance Package (AP) further from $6.6 billion to $9.6 billion. This increase provides one-time support to help Singaporeans with their cost of living concerns. Some forms this support comes in include:

Singaporeans aged 21 and above in the reference year will receive cash payments totalling $700 to $2,250 depending on their income and property ownership, disbursed over five years.

From 2023 to 2025, Singaporeans aged 20 and under and Singaporeans aged 55 and above will receive up to a total of $450 in their MediSave account.

Previously known as GSTV - Cash (Seniors’ Bonus), this package provides cash payments of $600 to $900 from 2023 to 2035, to eligible Singapore Citizens aged 55 and above, depending on Assessable Income, Annual Value of their home and the number of properties owned.

This package allows eligible HDB households to receive additional U-Save rebates under the Assurance Package from 2023 to 2026, provided the following criteria are met:

 

If your flat is not rented out:

 

  • There must be at least one Singapore Citizen owner or occupier
  • All owners and essential occupiers must not own or have any interest in more than one property

 

Or, if you rent an entire flat:

 

  • There must be at least one Singapore Citizen tenant
  • All tenants must not own or have any interest in more than one property

Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers

In addition to the $100 CDC Vouchers that were announced in October 2022 as part of the $1.5 billion Cost-of-Living package, an additional $100 in CDC Vouchers will also be introduced in 2024 as part of the enhancements to the Assurance Package.

 

In total, all Singaporean households will receive $600 worth of CDC Vouchers in 2023 and 2024.


Where health is concerned, no effort should be spared in maintaining one’s well-being. For caregivers and the ones they care for, the journey is a collaborative effort that involves careful planning and perseverance. Various forms of government support help make the journey a little smoother by lightening the load.

 

If you are a caregiver who needs a helping hand, check out the SupportGoWhere website today to find out what schemes you're eligible for.


The information provided in this article is accurate as of the date of publication.