By now you would’ve known someone with the Pioneer Generation Card. It could be your grandfather, your aunt, your mother-in-law. Remember in 2014/2015 when music videos in various Chinese dialects were being plastered on movie screens to explain its benefits?
But, anyway, this article is not about the Pioneer Generation. This article is about YOU. Yes, the children and grandchildren of the Pioneer Generation. Here’s what YOU need to know about their Pioneer Generation Card.
First things first, do your parents qualify?
The Pioneer Generation card is for Singaporean citizens who are born on or before 31 December 1949. In 2019, your parents should be 70 years old.
Oh no, your parent or grandparent was born slightly after 1 January 1950? Don’t worry, Merdeka Generation benefits (for seniors born on or before 1949) are on their way, and hopefully, supermarkets and cinemas will jump on board to offer benefits too, just like for the PG card.
1. Cheaper premiums for MediShield and MediShield Life
It was REALLY confusing when the implementation of the medical benefits of the Pioneer Generation Package was staggered over 2014, when it was launched. In September 2014, only medical services at polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics were subsidised for PG cardholders. The medication subsidies only kicked in at the beginning of 2015.
You can imagine the confusion at the clinics!
The good news is, the worst is over. Everything has been automated and your parents/grandparents don’t even need to bring out their Pioneer Generation Card when they visit the polyclinics, since their information has already been captured in the system. So no need to remind them to bring the Pioneer Generation Card wherever they go.
There’s still one more aspect of the Pioneer Generation Package to expect – MediShield Life.
When MediShield Life is implemented later this year, almost everyone in Singapore will be expected to pay for coverage. However, if your parents are in the Pioneer Generation, their coverage is subsidised.
Age Next Birthday
|Pioneer Generation Subsidies||Annual MediShield Premiums||MediShield Life annual premiums before subsidies||MediShield Life Annual Premiums with Pioneer Generation Subsidies|
|66-80||40% – 54%||$540 – $865||$815 – $1,175||$489 – $537|
|81 & above||54% – 60%||$1,123 – $1,190||$1,250 – $1,530||$566 – $615|
Depending on age, PG cardholders will receive generous subsidies of between 40 to 60%, regardless of income. They will also receive $200 to $800 a year in MediSave top-ups, which can be used to pay for their MediShield Life premiums.
Using a combination of subsidies and MediSave Top-Ups, those born between 1945 to 1949 (70 to 74 years old in 2019) will need to pay only $337 or less in premiums each year. This is about half what they were supposed to have paid. If they are born 1934 and earlier (85 years old and above) with the MediSave top-ups and subsidies, they don’t need to pay premiums at all!
This, of course, has huge implications for you, especially if you’re going to be footing their medical bills. And if your parents are financially independent enough not to rely on you, you may actually benefit from these savings in other ways.
3. Other medical benefits for PG cardholders
Health screening is significantly cheaper for PG cardholders. It could cost less than $30 per visit for common illnesses and health screenings, and $90 per visit for chronic illnesses. They also enjoy subsidies for dental check-ups.
|Type of illness/condition||CHAS for Pioneer Generation|
|Common illnesses||$28.50 per visit|
|Simple chronic conditions||$90 per visit, capped at $360 a year|
|Complex chronic conditions||$135 per visit, capped at $540 a year|
The Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PioneerDAS) administered by Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) benefits pioneers with disabilities. Pioneers who have moderate or severe disabilities can receive $100 monthly to help with their care expenses. Eligibility is automatic once you claim under ElderShield.
For many who have children and elderly parents to care for, these subsidies will lighten the load of the household.
2. Discounts at NTUC Fairprice, NTUC food courts and Unity Pharmacies
NTUC was very happy to jump on the bandwagon when the Pioneer Generation Package was announced. They brought all their different brands on board, and the good news is, you can take advantage of your parents’ Pioneer Generation Cards.
Firstly, Pioneer Generation cardholders will get a 3% discount every Monday at NTUC Fairprice outlets. This is on top of the 2% discount every Tuesday for senior citizens. These aren’t the only supermarkets that offer senior citizen discounts but NTUC Fairprice is the only supermarket that specifically benefits the Pioneer Generation. So get your parents to do your grocery shopping for you! Or better yet, use it as an opportunity to bond with them. And apply for the best credit card for groceries while you’re at it.
Secondly, flashing the Pioneer Generation Card at NTUC Foodfare outlets on Mondays get you a 12% discount. Your parents also get a 6.5% discount at NTUC Unity Pharmacies on the same day. I’m sure I don’t need to go into details about how these discounts help you, right?
Get your parents or grandparents to buy your food and medication using their discounts will help your household save money. As long as you’re there to help carry any heavy loads, I’m sure they won’t begrudge you for trying to save money.
Are there any other Pioneer Generation benefits that we’ve missed out? Let us know.