Just recently, you’ve come to a decision about getting liposuction. Being the determined person that you are, you’ve already discussed your health status with a certified specialist and got the green light. Everything seems great so far. But now there is one question left - is liposuction covered by MediSave? Is liposuction on insurance scheme at all? If not, what are your payment options? Bear with us to find out.
Singapore's national savings scheme MediSave covers a wide range of medical procedures for people of all ages. Every citizen has a personal MediSave account where part of their income is stored to be used for medical instances like some outpatient expenses, day surgery, and approved dependents’ or personal hospitalisation. The health insurer also serves to cover their healthcare needs when they retire. It should be mentioned Singapore patients can still use their MediSave Account in Malaysia under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act which ensures equal charges for local and international patients.
According to the Ministry of Health, patients in Singapore can use MediSave to pay for certain medical expenses. Depending on the issue you are dealing with, you can claim two different limits. The first one is the daily hospital limit which is used when someone is admitted to hospital. It includes the likes of hospice care and nursing facility. However, it does not apply to surgery.
And then there is a surgical limit, which - as its name implies - refers to surgical procedures. So, when you need to have an operation in the inpatient department, you can claim both limits.
In terms of MediSave’s daily hospital charge limit, the total funds claimable for inpatient episodes for the first two days of admission are capped at $550 or a fixed maximum limit. From day 3 onwards, the sum changes to $400 a day for daily hospital charges. MediSave pays off up to $300 a day for approved day surgeries.
As far as the surgical limit is concerned, the amount that is claimable depends on the case. The withdrawal limits exist so that citizens have enough money in their MediSave account when they grow old which would allow them to spend on basic healthcare services without worrying they don’t have cash on hand.
It goes without saying, there also is a MediSave maternity package. Under it fall pre-delivery medical expenses ($900) such as ultrasounds, consultations, and tests as well as inpatient limits ($450 a day). Assisted conception procedures are included. The withdrawal limits vary from $4,000 to $6,000.
The health insurance plan of Singapore MediSave can fully cover CareShield Life, ElderShield Life, and MediShield Life premiums. MediShield Life is designated to help citizens against big hospital bills, while CareShield Life is targeted at the disabled. It applies especially to the elder people who need medical care for a long period of time. The old are also covered by the MediSave ElderShield plan which addresses severe disability. People who have signed up for this plan receive cash payout on a monthly basis.
In addition to inpatient care and hospice care, MediSave is available for outpatient treatments too, childhood vaccinations, and a lot more actually. You can find more information about surgical limit, maximum limit, MediShield Life and other aspects of MediSave on the official website of the Ministry of Health.
No, Singapore MediSave does not pay the expenses for liposuction cost, regardless of whether it is part of outpatient services or not. And the reason for that is simple. Liposuction is not a medically necessary procedure. It is provided at aesthetic clinics rather than public hospitals, and patients normally have it for purposes of enhancing their silhouettes and body contours.
The logic is, skipping the treatment is not going to impact your health in any way, hence there is no need for MediSave to cover liposuction. This means that everything from surgeon's fees to the post-surgery garment are paid out of pocket.
Be that as it may, if your doctor thinks that a liposuction procedure can greatly improve your body function, then it may be able to pass as a medical treatment and get approval by your insurance company and MediSave.
At this point, MediSave does not cover the cost of outpatient services like cosmetic surgery and cosmetic treatment, as it can only be used for medical conditions. The list of treatments includes inpatient care and outpatient procedures plus surgery and can be checked on the website of the Ministry of Health. In case you haven’t done so already, make sure to familiarise yourself with your current health plan and the options it offers.
Elective procedures are rarely paid out by health insurance providers around the globe unless there is the option to upgrade your plan. However, there may be exceptions for manipulations like cosmetic procedures when they are carried out for medical reasons. This applies especially to reconstructive surgery. For instance, breast augmentation after mastectomy is such a reconstructive surgery procedure. Inpatient and outpatient treatments like nose surgery that serve to retouch a deviated septum because it obstructs breathing are another example.
With respect to health insurers like Singapore MediSave specifically, you have to discuss your options with your attending healthcare providers. They will give you more information on whether it can be counted as a medically necessary treatment. every case is different.
If MediSave or another health insurer does not include outpatient treatments like liposuction, you can still avail of other alternatives. Most cosmetic surgeons are pretty flexible with financing, accepting a wide range of payment methods. The best way to learn about your options is to have a one-on-one talk with them. Some doctors are fine with credit cards, cash, and plastic surgery loans.
With respect to the latter, you can ask your physician of choice whether they partner with any companies that grant loans to patients. If they do, you may be able to get liposuction without the need to have all the cash readily available. Of course, if you are not okay with paying off loans, you should consider other options.