As announced in Budget 2019, ALL Singaporeans can now receive subsidies for chronic conditions (touchwood), regardless of their income.
Why is this important, you ask?
It’s no secret that Singapore’s population is ageing, and with it comes an increase in healthcare needs.
So the enhancements to the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies is just one of the many ways which the government is trying to make healthcare more affordable, accessible, and comprehensive for as many Singaporeans as possible.
So what’s CHAS all about? And how do you go about applying for one?
Let’s find out!
TL;DR – A Singaporean’s Guide To CHAS Card And All Its Subsidies
Effective 1 November 2019, the CHAS will be enhanced in three ways:
- Extended to cover ALL Singaporeans for chronic conditions, regardless of income
- Increased subsidies for complex chronic conditions
- Lower to middle-income Singaporeans who are CHAS Orange cardholders will also receive subsidies for common illnesses
As I’ve explained in an earlier article, the CHAS card is NOT just for lower-income Singaporeans anymore.
You can apply for a CHAS card to enjoy subsidies for:
- Medical and dental care at participating General Practitioners (GP) and dental clinics
- Health screenings
Enhanced CHAS Subsidies And Screen For Life Subsidies
The first batch of CHAS Green-tier cards has been received by applicants in mid-October.
Here are the improved CHAS subsidies at a glance:
|Treatment Type||CHAS Blue||CHAS Orange||CHAS Green
|1. Common Illness||Up to S$18.50 per visit||Up to S$10 per visit|
|2. Simple Chronic Illness||Up to S$80 per visit|
|Up to S$50 per visit|
|Up to S$28 per visit
|3. Complex Chronic Illness||Up to S$125 per visit|
|Up to S$80 per visit|
|Up to S$40 per visit
|4. Selected Dental Services||S$11 to S$256.50 per procedure||S$50 to S$170.50 per procedure||Not applicable|
|5. Health Screening||S$2 with Screen for Life invitation letter||S$5 with Screen for Life invitation letter|
Improved Subsidies For Merdeka And Pioneer Generations
And here are the improved subsidies for Merdeka and Pioneer Generations:
|Treatment Type||Merdeka Generation|
|1. Common Illness||Up to S$23.50 per visit||Up to S$28.50 per visit|
|2. Simple Chronic Illness||Up to S$85 per visit|
|Up to S$90 per visit
|3. Complex Chronic Illness||Up to S$130 per visit|
|Up to S$135 per visit
|4. Selected Dental Services||S$16 to S$261.50 per procedure||S$21 to S$266.50 per procedure|
|5. Health Screening||S$2 with Screen for Life invitation letter||FREE with Screen for Life invitation letter|
If you’re wondering what the definitions are:
- ‘Simple’ chronic illness – One chronic condition
- ‘Complex’ chronic illness – Multiple chronic conditions or a single chronic condition with complications
- Health screening – Screening for diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer (If required, health screening includes first post-screening consultation)
So… What Conditions Are Covered Under CHAS?
Here it is for your convenience:
|Common Illnesses^||Chronic Conditions||Dental Services^|
|- Abdominal pain|
- Cough, cold, flu
- Skin infection and rashes
- Sore eyes
- Urinary tract infection
(List is not exhaustive)
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Bipolar Disorder+
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Diabetes Mellitus (DM) (including Pre-Diabetes)
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Ischaemic Heart Disease
- Lipid Disorders (e.g. High cholesterol)
- Major Depression+
- Chronic Kidney Disease (Nephritis/Nephrosis)
- Parkinson's Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Removable Denture
- Denture Reline/Repair
- Permanent Crown
- Root Canal Treatment
- Topical fluoride*
|^ Not applicable for CHAS Green Tier|
|* Not applicable for CHAS Orange Tier|
|+ Only claimable at selected clinics. Please call the CHAS Hotline 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS) for more information.|
If in doubt, I would call the CHAS Hotline (1800-275-2427) to get more information.
Who Is Eligible For The CHAS Card?
Depending on which criteria you fulfil, you’ll qualify for one of these cards:
There are three CHAS tiers (obviously, from the picture above):
- CHAS Blue
- CHAS Orange
- CHAS Green
Here’re the eligibility criteria for the various CHAS cards:
|CHAS Card||Household monthly income (per person)||Annual value of home (for households with NO income)|
|CHAS Blue||S$1,200 and below||S$13,000 and below|
|CHAS Orange||S$1,201 to S$2,000||S$13,001 to S$21,000|
|Above S$2,000||Above S$21,000|
|For Merdeka Generation|
|All Merdeka Generation seniors receive CHAS benefits|
|For Pioneer Generation||All Pioneer Generation seniors receive CHAS benefits|
How Do I Apply For A CHAS Card?
1. Online Application
- Log-in to the CHAS Online Application e-Service using your SingPass
- Confirm or update your household information which would have been auto-populated based on family members with the same NRIC address
- Submit the completed application electronically
2. Hardcopy Application Form
- Fill up the CHAS card application form or you can pick it up at any Community Centre, Community Development Council, Public Hospital or Polyclinic
- Mail the completed application form to:
P.O. Box 680
Bukit Merah Central Post Office
The application process will take you 15 days.
And because I’m super helpful, here’re some things to note if you’re applying for a CHAS card:
|Things to note for CHAS application|
|1||Family with the same NRIC address only requires one application form to be submitted.|
|2||Parents or legal guardians will need to give consent by signing on the application form on behalf of their family members who are under 21 years old.|
|3||For those who are mentally incapacitated, the appointed donee(s) or deputy(s) can sign on their behalf.|
|4||In the event consent has been provided on behalf of any family member(s), additional supporting documents may be required.|
|5||By signing up for CHAS, you are giving your consents for data sharing between Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partners.|
If you’re on Public Assistance (PA), you will automatically receive the same subsidies as CHAS Blue cardholders. You DO NOT NEED TO SUBMIT A SEPARATE APPLICATION.
To enjoy the CHAS subsidies, simply present your PA card at participating clinics.
How Do I Enjoy The Subsidies With My CHAS card?
You need to be visiting a participating clinic in order to enjoy the subsidies.
For easy identification, all CHAS participating clinics will display a CHAS sticker at their entrance. So look out for this:
Alternatively, you can look for a CHAS participating clinic here.
This is what the clinic locator will look like:
Side note: This is probably the smarter way to go about looking for a CHAS clinic.
What Do I Need To Bring To The CHAS Clinic?
In order to enjoy your CHAS benefits, remember to bring these along and present them upon registration at participating clinics:
- A valid CHAS card or PA card
- Student pass or birth certificate (for those under 15 years old)
Can I Use MediSave To Pay My Medical Bill After Deducting CHAS Subsidies?
Yes, you can!
After deducting CHAS subsidies, you will need to co-pay 15% of the remaining medical bill in cash while the rest can be paid for using MediSave.
You can use your own or your immediate family members’ MediSave account – up to the withdrawal limit of $500 per account per year for outpatient treatment of chronic conditions.