The New CHAS: Not Just For Lower-Income Singaporeans Anymore
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat elaborated more on the extension of CHAS coverage to all Singaporeans during the 3-hour-long budget that we tuned in to and broke it down for you.
Greater Healthcare Assurance
As more Singaporeans enter their senior years, healthcare needs will grow. Major changes have been made in healthcare to make it more affordable, accessible, and comprehensive.
CHAS subsidies for GP clinics will be enhanced in three ways:
- Extended to cover ALL Singaporeans for chronic conditions, regardless of income
- Lower to middle-income Singaporeans who are CHAS Orange cardholders will also receive subsidies for common illnesses
- Increased subsidies for complex chronic conditions
As Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Monday (Feb 18),
“CHAS makes it possible for more Singaporeans to turn to GP clinics near their homes to manage their chronic conditions. But we must also put in the measures to ensure that CHAS clinics are delivering good outcomes.”
According to The Straits Times,
“The number of CHAS card holders has grown by five times to about 1.3 million Singaporeans from 2012 to 2017, and the amount spent on the scheme has also grown by more than 10 times over this period.”
More Details on the NEW CHAS Benefits
1. Extended to cover ALL Singaporeans for chronic conditions, regardless of income
This is good news. Currently, CHAS covers all Singaporeans with either:
- Household monthly income below S$1,800 per person; or
- The annual value of home: $21,000 (for households with no income)
2. Lower to middle-income Singaporeans who are CHAS Orange cardholders will be eligible to receive subsidies for common illnesses
There are currently 2 tiers to the CHAS card
- Blue (Low income); and
- Orange (Lower to middle-income)
From the image above, Orange cardholders are currently not eligible for any subsidies for common illnesses such as cough, cold, flu etc.
Looking ahead, Orange cardholders will also receive subsidies for common illnesses. The exact amount will be announced at a later date.
Recommended Read: CHAS Card for Singaporeans. Who can apply? What are the benefits?
3. Increased subsidies for complex chronic conditions
Complex chronic conditions refer to visits for:
- Multiple chronic conditions
- Single chronic condition with complication(s)
4. Merdeka Generation to enjoy higher subsidies
- Extra 25% discount on their bills at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong will provide more details on these changes during the coming debate on his ministry’s budget.