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CHAS card application and eligibility — All Singaporeans can now apply

If you’re young, mostly healthy and up until now, have been quite apathetic towards the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), it’s time to listen up. Previously, the CHAS card was only for lower-income and elderly Singaporeans from the Merdeka and Pioneer generation. 

However, in the Budget 2019 announcement last year, the Government announced that CHAS will now extend to all Singaporeans, regardless of income.

Of course, the more extensive coverage is still reserved for the needy (orange and blue tiers), but the newly included group of green card holders who earn over $1,800 monthly or own homes with annual values above $21,000 will now receive subsidies for selected chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

But the most important bit about this news is that CHAS inclusion is on an application basis, which means that even if you’re an eligible Singapore Citizen, you must manually apply for a CHAS card to receive these subsidies.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on the updated CHAS eligibility criteria, card tiers, subsidies and more.  

CHAS Card Eligibility: Which tier do you qualify for?

Let’s first take a look at the CHAS card eligibility criteria to determine which tier of subsidies you’re eligible for. 

CHAS CriteriaCHAS GreenCHAS OrangeCHAS Blue
Household monthly income per person (for households with income) Above $2,000$1,201 – $2,000$1,200 and below
Annual Value (AV) of home (for households with no income) Above $21,000$13,001 – $21,000$13,000 and below

Note that income eligibility is not based on how much you earn individually. It is the average of your household income, calculated by taking the total gross household monthly income and dividing it by the total number of family members living together.

For example, you may earn $1,800 while your spouse earns $3,500 monthly. Based on your income alone, you may think you’re eligible for CHAS orange. However, your gross household income is $5,300. Dividing that between the two of you, your household monthly income per person is $2,650, which is only eligible for CHAS green.

Children are also counted! So if you and your spouse have two young children, and your total household income is $8,000, your household monthly income per person is $2,000 (divided by 4) and your family members are eligible for CHAS Orange, which offers higher subsidies than CHAS Green.

If this is confusing, you can use the official CHAS monthly household income calculator.

If nobody at home is drawing an income, CHAS eligibility will be based on your home’s annual value (AV). That’s more straightforward – the AV is based on IRAS’s estimate of your property’s annual rent.

CHAS Application: How do you apply for the card? 

There are two ways to sign up for the CHAS card: you can do it online or mail a hardcopy form to apply. 

Online CHAS application

Online CHAS application is very simple. Head to the application portal on the CHAS website, log in with your SingPass, fill up your personal details and you’re done. Singaporeans above age 21 can apply on behalf of other family members, but to apply, you’ll need the following information: full names, NRIC / Birth Certificate / FIN numbers, and contact numbers of all household members.

CHAS application hardcopy form

Alternatively, you can mail a hardcopy form (downloadable here), fill it up, and mail your application (including supporting documents, if any) to the CHAS office at P.O. Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office, Singapore 911536.

CHAS card application approval

Once approved, you receive a CHAS card that indicates the subsidy tier you and your family members are eligible for.

Applications take up to 15 working days to be processed. If you don’t receive any news by then, either log into the online portal with your SingPass to check for an update, or call the CHAS hotline at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS).

CHAS Card Tiers: Green, Orange, Blue, Merdeka and Pioneer Generation 

Now that you know which tier you’re eligible for and how to apply for the CHAS card, let’s compare the coverage for the various tiers of CHAS subsidy.

CHAS subsidiesCHAS GreenCHAS OrangeCHAS Blue
Common illnesses NAUp to $10 subsidy per visitUp to $18.50 subsidy per visit
Selected simple chronic conditions Up to $28 subsidy per visit, capped at $112 per yearUp to $50 subsidy per visit, capped at $200 per yearUp to $80 subsidy per visit, capped at $320 per year
Complex simple chronic conditionsUp to $40 subsidy per visit, capped at $160 per yearUp to $80 subsidy per visit, capped at $320 per yearUp to $125 subsidy per visit, capped at $500 per year
Selected dental servicesNAUp to $50 to $170.50 subsidy per procedure (denture, crown, root canal only) Up to $11 to $256.50 subsidy per procedure (depending on procedure) 
Screen for Life health screening $5 with Screen for Life invitation letter$2 with Screen for Life invitation letterFree with Screen for Life invitation letter

 

In addition to these three tiers, elderly in the Merdeka and Pioneer Generation receive their own unique set of benefits:

CHAS subsidiesCHAS Merdeka GenerationCHAS Pioneer Generation
Common illnesses Up to $23.50 subsidy per visitUp to $28.50 subsidy per visit
Selected simple chronic conditions Up to $85 subsidy per visit, capped at $340 per yearUp to $90 subsidy per visit, capped at $360 per year
Complex simple chronic conditionsUp to $130 subsidy per visit, capped at $520 per yearUp to $135 subsidy per visit, capped at $540 per year
Selected dental servicesUp to $16 to $261.50 subsidy per procedure (depending on procedure) Up to $21 to $266.50 subsidy per procedure (depending on procedure) 
Screen for Life health screening $2 with Screen for Life invitation letterFree with Screen for Life invitation letter

CHAS medical and dental subsidies: How much subsidy can you receive?

Let’s make sense of all that information.

Basically, the level of CHAS subsidies increase from green, orange, blue, Merdeka to Pioneer. That means green card holders get the least subsidies, while Pioneer generation seniors get the most.

If you’re a CHAS green card holder, you don’t get any perks when you visit the GP for the common flu and cold, and aren’t covered for dental treatments. You’re covered for chronic conditions, but the subsidy is less than the other tiers.

For CHAS orange and blue card holders (i.e. lower-income Singaporeans), you are covered for common illnesses at CHAS GP clinics as well. The subsidy amounts are substantially higher, and you are eligible for dental subsidies too. Dental subsidies for CHAS orange are limited to denture, crown and root canal treatments only.

Lastly, seniors from the Merdeka and Pioneer Generations get the highest subsidies – regardless of income or property annual value. They’re covered for all eligible illnesses (common and chronic) and dental treatments. With an invitation letter, Pioneer seniors also get free health screenings under Screen for Life.

For more detailed information on the selected covered conditions and more, refer to the CHAS brochure. There’s also aCHAS brochure for dental treatment, since it’s slightly different from medical subsidies.

CHAS Card Renewal: How to renew your “membership”

CHAS cards are typically valid for two years. The good news is that your CHAS card will be automatically renewed three months before expiry. No action is needed from you unless more information is required on CHAS’s end, in which case they will reach out to you.

During renewal, your eligibility will be reassessed based on your latest income. If there are changes to the tier you’re in, you’ll be duly informed.

In case you don’t receive any information or updates one month before your CHAS card expiry, you can proceed to reapply via the above-mentioned modes (via online portal or hardcopy form).

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