If you are currently serving your National Service (NS), did you know that your 11B allows you to claim rather attractive medical benefits?
Here is a guide to explain what are the expenses that you will be able to claim with your 11B.
Can NSFs claim medical expenses?
You are able to claim medical expenses as an NSF in most cases by producing your 11B card during payment. However, for certain medical expenses such as private clinics and hospitals, you will need to pay for these expenses first before submitting a claim to be reimbursed.
With the 11B, you will be eligible for medical and dental benefits, including:
|Type of Expense||Coverage|
|Consultations||SAF medical centres|
Private clinics and hospitals
(subsidy depends on the ward)
|Dental treatment||SAF dental clinics|
You may want to note that you are unable to claim any medical expenses that you incur when you visit a Chinese Medical Hall.
The medical benefits that you receive are pretty extensive. However, you may want to note that the benefits that you receive would depend on whether you are going to a public or private healthcare institution.
In my experience, when you are making a payment at a polyclinic or restructured hospital, all you’ll need to do is produce your 11B at payment.
After the staff has seen your 11B, they will provide you with the invoice and you do not need to pay anything!
Does the 11B cover private clinic expenses?
The SAF 11B covers private clinic expenses up to $20 per visit, and a maximum of $350 per calendar year.
If you visit a private clinic for consultation, you will need to make payment for your medical expenses first.
Afterwards, you will be able to submit a claim to be reimbursed up to $20 per visit.
Does the 11B cover A&E expenses?
The 11B will cover all A&E expenses for public hospitals if you are not admitted to the ward. However, you will only be able to cover up to $20 per visit if you go to the A&E department at a private hospital.
If you go to the A&E department and are not admitted to the hospital ward, you will be treated as an outpatient case. As such, the benefits that you will receive will be covered under the ‘Outpatient Treatment’ section.
In this case, you will be fully subsidised if you go to the A&E department of a restructured hospital.
If you decide to go to the A&E department of a private hospital, the same limits apply for the private clinic expenses.
However, if you go to any A&E department and are admitted to the wards, you will incur hospitalisation expenses instead.
Does the 11B cover hospitalisation expenses?
The 11B covers inpatient medical treatment if you are admitted to a restructured hospital, and the type of ward where you’ll receive a full subsidy will depend on your current rank. For eligible wards, you will receive an 80% subsidy on ward and meal charges, and 100% of treatment charges.
Here are the wards that you’ll be eligible for this full subsidy, which is based on your rank.
|Class C||Class C|
You may want to note that your spouse and children are eligible for some subsidies too, if you have a CS medical card. For the ward and meal charges, they will be covered 50% instead of the 80% that you receive.
If you choose to stay at a ward that is a ‘higher class’ compared to the one that you are eligible for the subsidy, you will still receive 80% of the ward charges based on your correct ward eligibility.
However, the treatment charges are slightly different. You will need to co-pay the treatment charges, based on this table below:
As such, it will be best if you stay at the ward where you’re eligible to receive the most medical subsidies.
Are there Co-Payment on Ward Charges (CPW) for NSFs?
You are required to co-pay for the treatment charges if you decide to upgrade your ward beyond the one that you’re eligible for based on your current rank. In contrast, your treatment charges are fully subsidised if you are admitted to a ward class that you’re eligible for.
Does the 11B cover MRI?
The 11B covers the cost of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), provided that you do the procedure at a restructured hospital, and you receive a referral for polyclinic.
I received a full subsidy for an MRI that I did when I was in NS.
To have your MRI fully subsidised, you will need to:
- Go to a restructured hospital for the MRI procedure
- Receive a referral from a polyclinic
However, this may take a while before you are able to find an appointment to do the procedure. This is because:
- You’ll need to go to the polyclinic to be referred to a restructured hospital
- You will need to be seen by the relevant doctor to be referred to do an MRI
- You will need to book an available slot for the MRI
It took about 1-2 months from my first polyclinic visit before I could go for the MRI procedure.
If you decide to do your MRI at a private hospital, you will not be able to receive the full subsidy for your MRI.
Does the 11B cover dental expenses?
The 11B covers dental treatment at SAF dental clinics, as well as follow-up treatments at a restructured hospital. Other costs (precious metals in treatment) may be fully borne by you as they are not reimbursable.
If you are looking to go for dental treatment while you’re in NS, the best way would be to book a slot at one of the SAF dental clinics.
This is because the treatments that you receive are fully subsidised.
You are also eligible under the SAF Dental Subsidy Scheme, which reimburses 85% of dental treatment expenses incurred at:
- Restructured hospitals
- Private dental clinics
This amount is capped at $120 per year.
While you are serving as an NSF, you are able to receive really attractive medical benefits.
It will be good to go to polyclinics or restructured hospitals to receive treatment, as you will receive more subsidies compared to private healthcare institutions.
If you are intending to receive outpatient treatment at a restructured hospital, don’t forget to go to a polyclinic for a referral first. Otherwise, you will need to pay the first consultation fee!
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