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NTUC welcomes tweaks to civil servant medical benefits

Labour Movement highlights measures to help lower-income groups, among other moves announced on July 4 by the Public Service Division.

SINGAPORE: The National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) said that it welcomes the enhancements to medical benefits for civil servants announced by the Public Service Division's (PSD) on Friday (July 4), adding that the PSD has set an "excellent example" in helping civil servants with their long-term healthcare needs. 

The NTUC statement, in full, is as follows:

The Labour Movement is heartened by the Public Service Division’s response to our call to:

a. Give additional Medisave contributions for civil servants with the introduction of the CPF Medishield Life scheme and to prepare for long term healthcare needs;

b. Help Lower Wage Workers with the introduction of a Minimum Floor for Medisave contributions; and

c. Improve the current MSO scheme and to periodically review and enhance the scheme in consultation with public sector unions.

The Public Service Division (PSD) of the Prime Minister’s Office has announced enhancements to medical benefits for the civil servants. The Labour Movement and its public sector unions welcome the enhancements which will address the impact of MediShield Life premiums on the various medical schemes in the Civil Service.

NTUC and its public sector unions are very pleased with the outcome that arose from several rounds of discussions with the PSD. As the largest employer, the PSD has been forward looking and set an excellent example in helping civil servants build up their Medisave for their long term healthcare needs with the introduction of the MediShield Life. We urge the private sector companies to follow this lead and review their current medical benefits scheme to make good use of the MediShield Life, enhance medical coverage and minimise duplication. This way, even more workers can benefit from such enlightened attitudes to help workers increase their Medisave savings.

Review of the Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient (MSO) Scheme

The public sector unions have been lobbying for a revision of the current 1 per cent contribution for those on the MSO Scheme. From Jan 1, 2015, officers on the MSO scheme will receive an extra 1 per cent Medisave contribution. With this, such officers will get 2 per cent Medisave contribution, over and above their monthly Medisave contribution.

We are especially heartened that the PSD has accepted our calls to help the lower-income groups and introduced a minimum floor of S$2,500 wage for the Medisave contributions. This means a minimum of S$50 in monthly Medisave contributions to boost their ability to pay Medishield Life premiums for themselves and their families.

In addition, we are pleased that the Government has agreed to monitor and periodically review the MSO scheme in consultation with the public sector unions to ensure that it remains relevant given the rising medical costs and inflation. This is something that NTUC is particularly encouraged by as we have been pushing for this from the start.

MediShield Life for Civil Service Officers on Older Medical Schemes: Fixed Amount on Ward Charges (FAW) Scheme and the Co-Payment on Ward Charges (CPW) Scheme

The Government is committed to bear the premium increases for Pensioners on the FAW or CPW schemes. For pensioners and in-service officers on the Comprehensive Co-Payment Scheme, the Government will top up an additional 1 per cent to their Medisave accounts to help them manage the increase in MediShield Life premiums. These will kick in at the end of 2015 when MediShield Life comes into effect.

Many pensioners have expressed their worries about having to pay more to meet the MediShield Life premiums, and we are happy that the Government has responded to their concerns.

The Labour Movement is heartened that the Government is enhancing the medical schemes for civil servants to help them cope with their healthcare and medical costs. We will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure that they always have affordable and accessible healthcare.

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