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Elderly S'poreans hope Pioneer Generation Package can help defray medical expenses

Details of the Pioneer Generation Package will be announced in the Budget statement on Friday, and some elderly Singaporeans are hopeful the package can help to defray their medical expenses.

SINGAPORE: Details of the Pioneer Generation Package will be announced in the Budget statement on Friday, and some elderly Singaporeans are hopeful the package can help to defray their medical expenses.

Madam Noor Jahan Md Hussain turns 65 this year.

She would qualify for the Pioneer Generation Package.

Madam Noor Jahan, who used to work as a cleaner until two years ago, suffers from several chronic diseases.

While she gets financial help for her medical bills under Medifund, she used up more than half of her Medisave for several procedures last year, including a heart surgery.

She said: "After using up my Medisave, I hope the government can help me with top-ups to pay for all this."

She is likely to get additional annual top-ups to her Medisave account for the rest of her life.

It is one of the benefits that will be covered by the Pioneer Generation Package.

The other benefits include more affordable premiums for MediShield Life and extra subsidies for outpatient bills.

66-year-old Madam Tan Teck Chu hopes the subsidies can further defray her medical expenses, even though she pays a subsidised rate at the polyclinic.

She gets about S$100 in assistance a month from a voluntary welfare organisation, the bulk of which she uses to pay for her utilities bill.

Madam Tan also hopes she won't have to dip into her daughter's Medisave anymore with the additional annual top-ups.

She said: "She can save it for herself if I don't use her Medisave because I feel bad every time I do."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Pioneer Generation Package will focus on healthcare as consultations have shown that healthcare is at the top of many older Singaporeans' minds. But some seniors told Channel NewsAsia they hope the package can also help address some of their other needs.

They hope there will be also be additional subsidies for transport or food vouchers.

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