Medical insurers have proposed that the Government subsidise an alternative scheme people can use to buy medical insurance before they reach 65 and cover long-term care in old age. Rejecting a government proposal for a post-retirement medical savings plan, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers said the administration's option would not be fair or advantageous for patients or insurers. The federation proposes a subsidised scheme in which workers contribute one to three per cent of wages. 'But instead of only taking the funds out for health-care funding at 65, the individual can use the contributions to start purchasing medical insurance for today's needs and even put some aside for old-age long-term care and nursing needs,' said Sarah Ho Sook-ming, chairwoman of the federation's taskforce on health-care reform. She said a government subsidy would help keep premiums affordable. Ms Ho yesterday announced main points of the insurers' submission, after handing it to the Government on Friday. The consultation exercise on the Green Paper on health-care reform closed on Saturday, with 474 submissions received. Ms Ho said the insurers' proposal would offer freedom of choice. The Government has proposed a Health Protection Account in which workers pay one to two per cent of wages from the age of 40 until they turn 65. They would use the savings for medical and dental services after the age of 65. The Government called on insurers to devise products catering for retired people using contributions made to the protection account. Ms Ho said voluntary purchase of medical insurance only from the age of 65 would be hampered by underwriting limitations and high premiums.