As our loved ones (and even we ourselves) get older, being able to meet our growing healthcare needs becomes increasingly important.
Beyond government subsidies on general medical care and healthcare devices, MediSave is a major avenue that the government uses to assist those who may need to pay for expensive medical treatment.
Here’s all you need to know about the Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) for your CPF MediSave.
What Is the Basic Healthcare Sum?
The Basic Healthcare Sum is an estimated projection of how much you should have in your CPF MediSave account, in order for your basic healthcare needs to be covered during your retirement years.
Same as CPF contributions, CPF members automatically contribute a percentage of their salary to their MediSave Accounts every month – this gets Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to set aside money for their healthcare needs in the future.
How Much Is the Basic Healthcare Sum?
The BHS varies depending on your age.
For CPF members aged below 65 in 2021: The prevailing BHS is $63,000, and is adjusted yearly in order to match the expected increase in MediSave use as you age.
For CPF members who turn 65 in 2021: The cohort BHS is $63,000 and will remain fixed for the rest of your lives.
For respective cohorts aged 65 and above in 2021:
|Age in 2021||Year When Cohort Turned Age 65||Cohort BHS (fixed for life)|
|70 and Above||2016 or earlier||$49,800|
Table taken from CPF website
What Happens if You Don’t Meet the Basic Healthcare Sum?
Image from CPF website
Some people assume that the BHS is a minimum amount that you need to have in your MediSave Account. However, the BSH is a maximum sum, not a minimum sum, and functions as a cap on your MediSave balance.
There is no minimum amount required for your MediSave savings, so not to worry if you don’t hit the BHS. Neither the savings in your MediSave account nor the BHS affects your ability to withdraw your CPF savings when you turn 55, or your CPF monthly payouts from age 65 onwards.
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Should You Try to Hit the Basic Healthcare Sum?
Even though you don’t HAVE to meet your BHS, there are still benefits to having some money in your MediSave.
MediSave top-ups will allow you to enjoy the 4% MediSave interest rates, and you’ll be able to get tax relief from making voluntary MediSave top-ups. By having a substantial amount of money in your MediSave, your funds will be able to generate enough interest for it to remain stable even as your withdraw money to make payments – especially if your regular MediSave healthcare costs like insurance premium payments are large enough that they start to deplete your MediSave funds.
That said, there is no point in aiming to hit the BHS specifically – just ensure that your MediSave funds are at a good level for the interest to keep it stable despite withdrawals.
What Happens if You Exceed the Basic Healthcare Sum?
Since you aren’t encouraged to put a ton of money into your MediSave account, the BHS exists to provide a ceiling as to how much can remain in your MediSave account.
Once you have attained the BHS in your MediSave account, the excess amounts go into your Special Account (SA) instead. Once the Full Retirement Sum has been attained in your SA, then the excess will be directed to your Ordinary Account (OA).
MediSave can be used for a range of medical care that covers a variety of areas including acute care, rehabilitative care, in-patient hospitalisation, day surgeries, health screenings, vaccinations, end-of-life care, outpatient treatments, and even medical insurance premiums.
Read more about what MediSave can be used for in our MediSave guide.
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- What is the Basic Healthcare Sum? Central Provident Fund Board. Retrieved 10th September from https://www.cpf.gov.sg/members/FAQ/schemes/healthcare/medisave/FAQDetails?category=healthcare&group=MediSave&ajfaqid=2189345&folderid=12917
- MediSave Basic Healthcare Sum: 5 things you should know about it. AsiaOne. Retrieved 10th September from https://www.asiaone.com/lifestyle/medisave-basic-healthcare-sum-5-things-you-should-know-about-it
- All You Need To Know About The Basic Healthcare Sum. Seedly.sg. Retrieved 10th September from https://blog.seedly.sg/basic-healthcare-sum-bhs-cpf-singapore/
- CPF Medisave: Here’s How Your Basic Healthcare Sum Might Look Like When You’re 65. Dollars and Sense. Retrieved 10th September from https://dollarsandsense.sg/cpf-medisave-heres-basic-healthcare-sum-might-look-like-youre-55/