Hoping to save as much as you can on prenatal costs? Using Medisave for maternity packages in Malaysia can help you cut costs by as much as 50 per cent!
Having a baby in Singapore is not cheap. But there are ways to cut costs and save more for the important task of bringing up baby. Did you know, for instance, that you can significantly lower your hospital bills by having your baby across the Causeway? Yep. Under certain conditions − maternity being one of them − Singapore residents (i.e. citizens and Permanent Residents) can use their Medisave to pay for overseas hospitalisation. Although not many people are aware of it, this scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Health eight years ago, in 2010.
Maternity Package Savings? Sounds Good!
However, you can’t just walk into a hospital in Malaysia and use your Medisave when settling the bills. Firstly, you must have a referral through Medisave-accredited healthcare providers in Singapore before receiving treatment under this scheme in Malaysia. Secondly, you need to take note of certain conditions under which you can use Medisave in Malaysian hospitals:
- It is limited to hospitalisation and day surgery, so you can’t use it for outpatient treatment.
- The Malaysian hospital must have an approved working arrangement with a Medisave-accredited institution or referral centre in Singapore.
- The patient must be referred through a Medisave-accredited institution/referral centre in Singapore.
- The local centre must provide pre-admission clinical assessment and financial counselling to the interested patient.
- The local centre will be accountable for patient satisfaction and the clinical outcome.
(See also: Save $4,500 in Baby’s First Year)
Where to Go
HMI’s local Medisave-accredited referral centre is at its Balestier Clinic and Health Screening Centre. It provides referrals to its two overseas subsidiaries: Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor Bahru, and Makhota Medical Centre in Malacca.
Parkway Pantai’s Medisave-accredited referral centre is located at Parkway East Hospital. It partners with 15 hospitals in Malaysia, the closest being Gleneagles Medini Hospital, located just a few minutes from the Tuas Second Link and next to LEGOLAND. There are other centres across the country, from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, and even Sabah in East Malaysia.
How to Do It
A spokesperson from HMI’s Patient Service Centre explains the steps:
- First, you will need to see a specialist or a gynaecologist at the Regency Specialist Hospital or Mahkota Medical Centre to confirm your operation or delivery.
- You can then get a referral letter before calling the Medisave Hotline (6353 3477 / 6334 7283) at its Balestier clinic to book a financial counselling appointment.
- On the day of your financial counselling, you have to bring certain documents (the clinic will let you know which ones to bring) and pay a deposit. Once the financial counselling session is over, you will bring back a set of Medisave documents. You will have to produce these at the hospital on your delivery day.
- HMI Patient Service Centre will submit your hospital bill after your discharge from the hospital.
(See also: Where to Buy Cheap Diapers in Singapore)
The Bottom Line on using Medisave for Maternity in Malaysia
The HMI spokesperson also told us that there are no fixed maternity packages under this scheme. In other words, every delivery is subject to individual pricing based on the gynae, ward choice, length of stay and medications. The withdrawal limits and conditions for using Medisave – as well as who can claim – are the same as applied in Singapore hospitals (see here).
Reports suggest that under this scheme, couples have been able to slash their delivery bill by up to 50 per cent! So what do you think, mums and dads-to-be? Would you consider giving birth in Malaysia? If you have already done so, do share your experience with us and let other parents-to-be learn how to save on maternity costs too!