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Over 100,000 receive Chas green cards as new benefits kick in

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Vanessa Liu on 02 Nov 2019

The Straits Times

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More than 100,000 people have received their Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) green card as of the middle of last month, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor yesterday.

 

She was speaking to reporters at Sims Drive Medical Clinic about the benefits of the new Chas green card, which provides healthcare subsidies for selected chronic conditions to all Singaporeans regardless of their income. The benefits kicked in from yesterday.

 

Those with a per capita household income of more than $2,000 a month, or those whose annual home value exceeds $21,000 - for those with no income - come under the Chas green tier.

 

The Chas orange tier is for those whose monthly per capita household income falls between $1,201 and $2,000, while those whose per capita household income is below $1,200 belong to the Chas blue tier.

 

Green cardholders can benefit from up to $160 worth of subsidies a year to manage chronic diseases.

 

Additionally, the annual subsidy limit for complex chronic illnesses for Chas blue and orange cardholders has been raised by up to $20 per year, to $500 and $320 respectively. Chas orange cardholders can also benefit from subsidies for common illnesses of up to $10 per visit.

 

Singaporeans can still submit their Chas application online at https://www.chas.sg/Apply

 

Since the launch of the online portal in September, the Health Ministry has received more than 110,000 online applications for all tiers, said Dr Khor.

 

From yesterday, members of the Merdeka Generation will also receive additional subsidies for outpatient care.

 

The Merdeka Generation Package, which covers Singaporeans born in the 1950s, gives them enhanced Chas subsidies regardless of income, Medisave top-ups and additional MediShield Life premium subsidies.

 

This second round of benefits for them includes an additional 25 per cent off their subsidised bills when they visit polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics.

 

At all general practitioners (GP) and dental clinics in the Chas scheme, Merdeka Generation seniors will now enjoy subsidies of up to $23.50 per visit for common illnesses such as colds, $520 in annual subsidies for chronic illnesses, and up to $261.50 per procedure for selected dental procedures.

 

Dr Lim Chien Chuan, a GP at Sims Drive Medical Clinic, said the Chas benefits for Merdeka Generation seniors are timely.

 

"This particular group of patients are facing greater uncertainty. This is the period of time when they are entering retirement, so they have less disposable income," said Dr Lim.

 

"On top of that, they have to spend more on healthcare because of chronic diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol."

 

Ms Annie Goh, 65, who has multiple chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, has been paying $230 a month, which will be reduced to $100 with the help of the subsidies.

 

She appreciates the higher annual subsidy limit for chronic conditions. "Because we're not getting better, we can just keep the chronic condition under control so that it doesn't get worse," she said.

 

To get the subsidised rates, Merdeka Generation seniors must present their NRIC and physical or electronic MG card at Chas-listed clinics.

 

Visits to polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics will require only their NRIC card.

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

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