SINGAPORE - The bulk of the Merdeka Generation Package benefits will be rolled out in two tranches, from July and November this year, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor told Parliament on Wednesday (March 6).
From July, Singaporeans in the Merdeka Generation, who were born in the 1950s, will receive the first $200 top-up to their Medisave accounts. They will continue to get annual top-ups until 2023.
Additional MediShield Life premium subsidies will also take effect, starting from 5 per cent of their annual premiums and increasing to 10 per cent after they turn 75.
Although system changes to automatically apply the subsidies will be ready only towards the end of the year, the subsidies will be backdated to July 1, Dr Khor said.
Those whose policy renewal dates fall between July 1 and Oct 31 will first pay the full premiums, and get the additional subsidies as a refund by the end of the year.
The one-time $100 top-up for the Merdeka Generation's PAssion Silver cards will also be available from July, Dr Khor said, adding that more details on how to redeem the credits will be shared soon.
She said those eligible will have until the end of 2020 to redeem the credits, which do not expire.
From Nov 1, additional lifetime subsidies for outpatient care will kick in for the Merdeka Generation, including an additional 25 per cent off their subsidised bills at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics.
Dr Khor said: "Implementing the outpatient subsidies involves many healthcare partners, who need to train front-line staff and make necessary system changes. We need time to do this correctly, so implementation can be as smooth as possible."
Merdeka Generation card holders will also get subsidies at Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) general practice and dental clinics from November.
They will be able to get annual subsidies for chronic conditions, capped at $340 for simple conditions and $520 for complex conditions.
Depending on the procedure, they will also get dental subsidies of between $16 and $261.50 per procedure.
For health screenings under the Screen for Life programme, those in the Merdeka Generation will pay just $2 from November.
The last benefit will be implemented from 2021 when CareShield Life, a compulsory long-term care insurance scheme, becomes available for existing cohorts.
An additional $1,500 participation incentive will be extended to the Merdeka Generation for joining the scheme, on top of the $2,500 previously announced.
The total incentive of $4,000 will offset their annual premiums for 10 years, Dr Khor said. The participation incentive is only available until 2023.
Those eligible will get notification letters by next month. The Silver Generation Office will also begin reaching out to the 500,000 Singaporeans in the Merdeka Generation from next month to share details on the package.
Dr Khor also updated Parliament that she will co-chair a Merdeka Generation Communications and Engagement Taskforce together with Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information as well as Culture, Community and Youth.
The taskforce, which comprises 23 members from the public, private and people sectors, will oversee efforts to reach out to Merdeka Generation seniors and explain how they can benefit from the package.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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