Mr Danny Tseng's call for a review of Medisave usage policies is a valid one ("Review Medisave usage policies"; last Saturday).
While I understand the need to have sufficient Medisave funds for one's own health-care needs, Central Provident Fund (CPF) members ought to be able to use more of their savings to pay the medical bills of their loved ones.
Caps on Medisave use should be adjusted based on the age of the contributors.
For example, if they are aged below 55 and are still working, they should be allowed a higher cap for withdrawals since they can easily build up their funds again.
For older contributors, it makes sense to limit their withdrawals.
The CPF Board should work out the details of "tiered withdrawal" depending on life expectancy, demographics and inflation.
Alternatively, the Board could consider expanding the CPF top-up scheme for loved ones to include Medisave, besides the Special or Retirement accounts.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore could support this with tax reliefs for the Medisave top-ups.
The money used to top up the Medisave should be returned to the contributors if their loved ones die. In other words, top-up amounts should be exempt from the CPF law of nomination and intestacy.
This article was first published on June 05, 2014.
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