The lowering of claims from MediShield Life and MediSave for certain cancer treatments has been met with frustration and anger from patients.
Oncologists too have criticised the Health Ministry for the new caps, calling them inadequate and saying that almost half of subsidised patients will need to put up more out-of-pocket to pay their bills.
The first round of changes took in September last year.
Prior to the change, subsidised patients could claim up to S$3,000 a month for their total cancer treatment costs.
They could also use an additional S$1,200 a month from their MediSave.
Since September, the limit on cancer treatment claims have been split between claims for drugs and claims for services.
Coverage will only include treatments on the Cancer Drug List cannot be covered, and approved cancer drugs.
Patients may also claim up to S$1,200 a year for cancer services, and use S$600 a year from their MediSave.
The Health Ministry has said that from April this year, the MediShield Life cap on cancer services claims will be raised to S$3,600 a year from April, while the cap on MediSave withdrawal for cancer services will remain at S$600 a year.
Cancer patient has questioned the adequateness of the cap.
One patient says that her bills for services range from S$400 to S$800 a depending on tests and medications.
But even with the higher cap, her claims would work out to S$300 from MediShield Life and S$50 from MediSave a month
Cancer patients are upset that MediShield Life and MediSave cannot be used as needed for treatment, especially since they may be on their last leg in life.
They say that if their insurance doesn’t cover all of the bill for treatment, they should be allowed to use their MediSave savings to pay the bill.