Press Release - Civil Service reviews medical benefit

04 July 2014

Civil Service reviews medical benefits


From January 2015, civil servants on MSO scheme to get 2% additional Medisave contribution, with low-wage officers getting at least $50 a month 

The Medisave-cum Subsidised Outpatient (MSO) scheme has been reviewed in consultation with the public sector unions to help civil servants with their inpatient medical needs and to benefit from MediShield Life.

From January 2015, officers on the MSO scheme will get 2% of their monthly salary (capped at $140 per month) as additional civil service employer’s Medisave contributions on top of their normal statutory Medisave contributions[1].

Currently, officers on the MSO scheme, introduced in 1994, do not get direct inpatient medical benefits from their civil service employer (i.e. the Government). Instead they receive an additional 1% of their monthly salary (capped at $70 per month), on top of their normal Medisave contribution.

The January 2015 increase will raise the civil service employer’s additional contribution from 1% of the monthly salary to 2%. This contribution goes into their Medisave account and can be used to buy MediShield or portable Medisave-approved insurance plans to cover their inpatient needs. Almost all the officers on the MSO scheme now buy such MediShield or Medisave approved insurance plans. 

In reviewing the MSO scheme, special consideration has been given for the low- wage officers. In support of the National Wages Council’s recommendation to boost low-wage employees’ ability to pay for MediShield Life premiums, these officers will receive more help. Civil servants earning $2,500[2] and below, will receive a minimum additional Medisave contribution of $50 a month (or about $750[3] a year). This is effectively more than 2% additional Medisave contributions. Please see attached factsheet for a worked example to illustrate what an officer earning $1,600 will get.

About 85% of the 82,000 civil servants are on the MSO scheme, and 15% are on the older Comprehensive Co-payment scheme (CCS). Civil servants on the CCS will get an additional 1% civil service employer Medisave contribution when MediShield Life starts. This will help defray premium costs. All officers will be informed on how the changes affect them.

The changes will also apply to officers in statutory boards.

 

Pensioners get help with MediShield Life premiums


Pensioners on CCS to get 2% additional Medisave contribution; Government to pay premiums for the rest

There are 32,000 Government pensioners. Of these, 40% are on the CCS. They already currently receive a 1% additional Medisave contribution and will get another 1% when MediShield Life starts.

The other 60% of the pensioners are on older medical benefits schemes, which already provide better coverage than what MediShield Life will be providing. But since MediShield Life is compulsory, Government will pay for the premiums for this group so that these pensioners will be no worse off and will benefit from Medshield Life coverage.

PSD will be writing to pensioners with the details by October 2014.


Eligibility for Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life Subsidies

All Singaporeans who meet the Pioneer Generation criteria, including retired civil servants, will be eligible for the Pioneer Generation Package, for life. They will also be eligible for MediShield Life subsidies already announced by MOH. 

[1] This will be on top of the 1% increase in statutory Medisave contributions for all employees in 2015, already announced at Budget 2014.
[2] The $2,500 is the salary ceiling for workmen coverage under the Employment Act.
[3] This assumes 12 months salary and 3 months of additional wages.

 

Factsheet

Worked example of how the additional 1% civil service employer Medisave contributions in January 2015 will help low-wage civil servants

 

Now

From 1 Jan 2015

Monthly salary of low- wage civil servant

$1,600

Monthly additional Medisave contribution

0.01 x $1,600 = $16

 

0.02 x $1,600 = $32

OR $50, whichever is higher

 

The officer will receive the minimum contribution of $50

 

 

Assuming 12 month salary and 3 months of additional wages

Estimated annual additional Medisave

 

(12+3) x $16 = $240

 

 

 

(12+3) x $50 = $750

($510, or about 3 times more)