This article was updated on 25 April 2019 to incorporate new information on CHAS Green and benefits for the Merdeka Generation.
In Budget 2019, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) benefits will be expanded to include all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income.
Ever since CHAS was introduced in 2012, the scheme has been expanded to include more Singaporeans, including members of the Pioneer Generation and the Merdeka Generation (from 1 November 2019 onwards).
Here is your guide to what is CHAS, who’s eligible, and what benefits that Singaporeans can look forward to receiving.
What Is The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)?
CHAS subsidises lower and middle income Singaporeans’ when they visit participating general practitioners (GPs), private dentists and Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) at public hospitals. CHAS is meant to help Singaporeans manage the cost of outpatient medical expenses and reduce the load on public hospitals and polyclinics.
In 2014, enhanced benefits were provided to all members of the Pioneer Generation using the CHAS framework.
Today, CHAS benefits are enjoyed by about 1.2 million Singaporeans at 1,000 private GP clinics and 700 dental clinics islandwide.
During his Budget Statement 2019, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the expansion of CHAS to cover all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income. Known as CHAS Green, this will allow more Singaporeans to benefit from more affordable chronic care at participating CHAS GP clinics, and enable greater anchoring of chronic care in the community. These new changes will take effect on 1 November 2019,
On 1 November 2019, Merdeka Generation seniors will also receive special subsidies for medical and dental care at CHAS GP and dental clinics as well as enjoy subsidised referrals to Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) located at Public Hospitals.
Eligibility Conditions For CHAS
For the majority of Singaporeans, the amount of CHAS benefits received depends on the colour of the CHAS card they are holding, which is based on either their monthly household income (for households with income) or the Annual Value (AV) of their home (for households with no income).
Members of the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation will enjoy enhanced CHAS benefits, regardless of their income or their home’s Annual Value. Singapore Citizens who have a Public Assistance (PA) card do not need to apply for CHAS, as they can already receive full CHAS subsidies by showing their PA card.
The monthly household income per person is the total gross household monthly income divided by total number of family members living together. Gross monthly income refers to your basic income, overtime pay, allowances, cash awards, commissions and bonuses. You can calculate your household monthly income per person here.
The Annual Value of your home is the estimated annual rent if it is rented out. This value is assessed by IRAS. For reference, an AV of $21,000 covers all HDB flats and some lower-value private properties.
Which CHAS Card Do You Qualify For?
Benefits For CHAS Cardholders
Those who are eligible for CHAS will hold either a Blue or Orange card, depending on household income or Annual Value of their property. Singapore Citizens who are on Public Assistance (PA) will also receive full subsidies for treatment of conditions covered under the Blue CHAS tier.
CHAS cards are typically valid for two years, after which they need to be renewed. Pioneers holding a Pioneer Generation card receive the greatest subsidies regardless of income or property value, and their card is valid for life.
And here are the subsidies CHAS cardholders and Pioneer Generation members are enjoying today:
And here are the enhanced CHAS subsidies that all existing CHAS cardholders, new CHAS Green cardholders, and the Merdeka Generation will enjoy from 1 November 2019 onwards. Revised benefits are highlighted in grey.
You can login to the CHAS website to check the amount of subsidies you have left for the year or enquire at participating CHAS clinics.
For reference, here is the list of conditions and procedures that you’ll enjoy CHAS subsidies for:
Where Can CHAS Cards Be Used?
All participating CHAS GPs and dental clinics will display the CHAS stickers. These clinics are made up of:
CHAS GP and Dental clinics: The cards can be used at 1,600 participating CHAS GP and dental clinics. You can use this clinic locator to locate the nearest clinic around your vicinity.
Community Health Centres (CHCs): CHAS cards can also be used at CHCs to receive subsidised rates for healthcare services which complement the clinical care offered by CHAS GPs for chronic conditions. Services at CHCs include Diabetic Retinal Photography (DRP), Diabetic Foot Screening (DFS), nurse counselling, dietetics and physiotherapy.
Primary Care Network (PCN) / Specialist Outpatient clinics: PCN refers to a network of General Practitioners (GPs) supported by nurses and care coordinators who provide holistic, coordinated care for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. You can also enjoy CHAS subsidies at Specialist Outpatient Clinics when referred by your GP.
To enjoy subsidies for your treatment at the CHAS clinic, you will need to produce your CHAS card, Pioneer Generation card, Public Assistance card and NRIC during your visit, preferably at the point of registration. CHAS cardholders below 15 years old will need to present their CHAS card with a student ID or birth certificate.
How Do I Apply To Receive My CHAS Card?
Even though the introduction of CHAS Green means that every Singapore Citizen is eligible for CHAS, enrolment into CHAS is still on an application basis. To enjoy CHAS subsidies, Singaporean households are required to submit an application.
To apply, you can download the CHAS application form or get it at any community centre, Community Development Council, public hospital or polyclinic. Family members living in the same address (as per their NRIC) will only need to submit one application form.
After completing the signed form, enclose it with supporting documents and mail it to P.O. Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office, Singapore 911536. Applications will take around 15 working days to process.
Once successful, all eligible family members will receive their own CHAS Blue, Orange or Green card (depending on the tier that your household qualifies for) and a welcome pack with information on how to use the card and a list of participating CHAS clinics.
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