You can never be too certain about what tomorrow may bring, especially when you get sick. Because of the unpredictable nature of life, illnesses can come without warning and wreak havoc on your physical health and financial security.
Singaporeans are fortunate to have a lifeline when a dire need strikes regarding medical care. This is made possible through the Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS card.
The CHAS card offers Singapore citizens discounted healthcare options at partner medical facilities and dental practices. As a result, CHAS cardholders can get the necessary medical care at a small fraction of the going rate.
What are the CHAS benefits and subsidy per visit? What are the chronic conditions or other health conditions covered by CHAS? What is its annual value AV and how does one go with the CHAS application? We’ll discuss all these and more as we delve further into the Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS card.
Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS Card – The Definition
CHAS, or the Community Health Assist Scheme, was started in 2000 by the Ministry of Health (MOH). The goal was to provide all Singapore citizens with a financial subsidy per visit to dental and medical care at nearby dental clinics and participating GP or general practitioners.
The best about CHAS is that it covers a broader demographic and isn’t limited to a particular demographic, like other schemes, including the Home Caregiving Grant and Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund. CHAS also provides beneficiaries with a broader option in terms of medical services.
CHAS Card Eligibility Criteria
What are the CHAS criteria, and who can apply for CHAS subsidies? First, all Singapore citizens can apply for a CHAS card. However, the applicant’s subsidy tier will depend on one’s home annual value AV or household monthly income per person.
CHAS cards were originally introduced to assist Singapore citizens with low income and the elderly, including those staying at Singapore elderly studio apartments, with their medical bills.
There are three CHAS card colours – CHAS blue card, CHAS orange card, and CHAS green card. Here are the CHAS criteria for each card colour:
- CHAS blue – $13,000 or below annual value AV for households with no income; or $1,200 or below household monthly income per person
- CHAS orange – $13,001 to $21,000 annual value for households with no income; or $1,201 to $2,000 household monthly income per person
- CHAS green card – More than $21,000 annual value for households with no income; or more than $2,000 household monthly income per person
You can check the government notice on CHAS cards to know more about the differences between CHAS orange, CHAS blue, and green CHAS cards.
CHAS Card – Who Can Apply?
Before requesting a CHAS card and proceeding with your CHAS card application, make sure that you qualify in any of the following CHAS criteria:
- Those who are aged 21 and below are considered minors. You must get consent or guidance from a parent or legal guardian in filling out the hardcopy CHAS card forms.
- You can be the main applicant for a CHAS card if you are over 21 years old. You only have to inform your household about your plan to apply for a CHAS card.
- For mentally incapacitated individuals applying for a CHAS card, you can only input your information in a hardcopy form. Moreso, you will need the consent of either a court-appointed deputy or a power or attorney-appointed done.
In cases when a mentally incapacitated individual has no family member living in the same NRIC address or any of the above requirements, they can request a certificate of inability from a doctor.
CHAS Card Application Steps
You can continue the CHAS card application process after proving your eligibility. You can choose to either do it online or physical application.
You must get your hand at a CHAS application form that you can get at any Community Development Council (CDC), Polyclinic, Public Hospital, or Community Centre (CC). You can also download the form at the CHAS application portal. Fill out the application form and send it to the CHAS office at PO Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office Singapore.
Go to the CHAS website and log in using your SingPass account. You will be guided at each step you must fulfil upon signing in.
Who Do You Include in Your CHAS Application?
You can include all the household members as long as they are eligible family members living at the same address indicated in your NRIC.
Family members can be related to you by adoption or by blood. This means that you cannot include tenants, friends, and domestic workers, in your application despite them being household members or living in the same house.
Processing and Receiving Your CHAS Card
As long as you provide all the correct information in your application for a CHAS card, you can get the card in 15 days. You will get the card by mail along with a welcome package detailing the CHAS subsidies, CHAS benefits, expected subsidy per visit, how to receive subsidies, the participating clinics for medical and dental care, what CHAS covers, and more. Take note that the card has a two-year validity unless otherwise stated.
How to Renew Your CHAS Card?
Always take note of the expiration date of your CHAS card; all CHAS cardholders (CHAS blue, CHAS orange, and CHAS green card holders) must apply for renewal three months prior to the date when the card expires.
Renewal of the CHAS card typically entails the following:
- Expect MOH to review the eligibility of your household. It will assess if there are any changes in the household monthly income and the household’s composition.
- Expect to get a renewal invitation package three months prior to the card’s expiration. MOH will also send a notification if your household needs to undergo a reassessment.
What to do if you are not notified despite your card’s expiration date nearing?
Take it upon yourself to renew the CHAS card either through a physical or online application. You will lose all CHAS subsidies or the subsidy per visit at a CHAS clinic you are entitled to if you allow the CHAS card to expire.
Aside from the CHAS green tier, CHAS blue tier, and CHAS orange tier, elderly Singaporeans, including those booked into nursing homes in Singapore, are given the Merdeka Generation or the Pioneer Generation cards that also offer subsidy per visit at CHAS clinics, dental clinics, and other medical services.
You can use both the Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards as long as you live. You don’t have to worry about renewal since the Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards don’t expire.
All About the Subsidies Included for a CHAS Cardholder
To receive subsidies from your CHAS card, you must have finished the application process, including the assessment of your household monthly income or monthly household income per person.
The financial subsidies and medical subsidies you will get depend on your subsidy tier. This means the subsidy tier determines whether you are a blue, orange, or green CHAS cardholder.
Once approved and you have your card, you can start using it to avail of dental services at participating dental clinics. Or have yourself checked or treated for chronic conditions or common illnesses at CHAS clinics.
Your CHAS card can help make any medical bill affordable. Meanwhile, you can get a subsidy per visit when you are referred to undergo selected dental services at the National Dental Centre or a specialist in public hospitals.
You must meet the MOH eligibility to get a subsidised rate when undergoing a health screening for chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cervical cancer, high cholesterol, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Those who own Pioneer Generation cards are given an additional 50% discount on medication and services. Meanwhile, Merdeka Generation cardholders are given an additional 25% off on subsidised services and medicine in public health clinics.
Checking Your CHAS Subsidies Balance
You can check your balance at the CHAS website to keep track of your CHAS subsidies. You can also call the CHAS hotline to find out the subsidy balance. Take note that your CHAS cap is updated annually.
Health Conditions and Services Covered by CHAS
Here’s a list of the common illnesses covered by CHAS blue and orange tiers:
- Urinary tract infection
- Sore eyes
- Rashes and skin infection
- Cold, flu, cough
- Abdominal pain
Here’s a list of the chronic conditions covered by all CHAS card colours:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ischaemic Heart Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Allergic rhinitis
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Lipid disorders
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Chronic Hepatitis B
- Chronic kidney disease
You are also eligible for subsidies for the following conditions, given that you will avail of them at selected clinics. You can call the CHAS office for more details:
- Major depression
- Bipolar disorder
These dental services are available for all CHAS cardholders, except for green card holders:
- Root canal treatment
- Permanent crown
- Denture reline or repair
- Removable denture
Here are the dental services only available for blue CHAS cardholders:
- Topical fluoride
CHAS – Easing Your Financial and Medical Worries
In addition to addressing the urgent issues related to medical care, CHAS has a good effect on the general well-being of individuals and families. Singaporeans may face the future with more assurance now that they have the resources necessary to overcome life’s obstacles thanks to CHAS green, blue, and orange cards and the Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards.
These cards serve as a safety net in vulnerable situations and guarantee that you have a backup in the pursuit of more affordable healthcare in treating common to complex illnesses.