Monday, June 4, 2012

Raymond's letter to TNP: Struggling seniors need more support

My letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper today, Monday 4th June 2012, page 19.

I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by Reader Allan Zheng about Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s remarks on choosing a younger candidate to enter Parliament (“Why make candidate’s age an issue at all- The New Paper, May 28).

Many of our seniors are finding it so hard to secure jobs and many are struggling to cope with rising medical costs. 

So it does not help when a senior politician makes such comments that may see more employers discriminating against the elderly. 

During the election campaign, Mr Gerald Giam of the Workers’ Party also raised concerns about Medishield premiums and payouts.

I have been paying Medishield premiums for both myself and my wife since its inception, but we find it so difficult to make a claim.

Recently, I needed a colonoscopy at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and was charged $484.50, but was told that I cannot claim a single cent from Medishield because the scheme is only for operations and bigger bills.

There have been other instances where both my wife and I could not make similar claims. What is the point of paying premiums year after year when no claims can be made for such medical expenses?

There must also be greater transparency on Medishield premiums so that account holders can easily find out from their annual CPF statements how much they have paid.

For senior citizens, the rising medical costs are indeed worrisome.  For instance, there are no subsidies for some non-standard medications such as Glucobay for diabetes, which can cost as much as $78 for three months.

The Government needs to provide more support for this group of citizens who have contributed to the economy in the past.


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