Falling sick in Singapore can be a terrifying experience, and not just because of health concerns. As you sit in the waiting room waiting for the bill to arrive, you wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper to just organise a funeral for yourself instead. The CHAS card in Singapore is meant to alleviate some of those costs, at least for those who qualify.
Singaporeans belonging to a lower-to-middle income household, those who are from the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation, as well as Singaporeans with chronic conditions can qualify for the CHAS card (Community Health Assist card). Flashing this card lets you get subsidised treatments at participating clinics and healthcare centres.
[Updated on 20 February 2019 following Budget 2019’s updates on the CHAS card]
CHAS card application procedure & eligibility criteria
The CHAS card is only for lower-income Singaporeans and the elderly. If the average household income per person is $1,800 or below, you can qualify for the card. For households with no income, the eligibility is based on the annual value of your home – it needs to be $21,000 and below.
Here’s the eligibility criteria at a glance:
|Type of CHAS card||Household monthly income per person||Annual value of home (for households with no income)|
|CHAS Green||Abve $1,800||Above $21,000|
|CHAS Orange||$1,101 to $1,800||$13,001 to $21,000|
|CHAS Blue||$1,100 and below||$13,000 and below|
|CHAS for Merdeka Generation||N/A. All Merdeka Generation seniors receive CHAS benefits|
|CHAS for Pioneer Generation||N/A. All Pioneers receive CHAS benefits|
If you qualify for a CHAS card based on your income, fill out and submit this CHAS card application form. You can also pick up a hard copy of the form at any public hospital, polyclinic, Community Club or Community Development Council.
Send the completed form to the following address:
PO Box 680
Bukit Merah Central Post Office
All Singaporeans on Public Assistance (PA) are automatically receive the same subsidies as blue CHAS card holders, without the need to apply separately. All you need to do to get subsidised fees is just flash your Public Assistance card at the participating clinic.
Summary of subsidies for all CHAS cardholders
CHAS cards can be used to see the doctor or dentist at participating GPs and dental clinics. You get a subsidy for each visit (see table below).
You can also use the CHAS card if you get referred to specialist outpatient clinics at public hospitals or the National Dental Centre. Similarly, you get a subsidy per visit.
The subsidies you receive will depend on what colour your CHAS card is:
Swipe left to see all 5 card types
|Type of treatment||CHAS Green||CHAS Orange||CHAS Blue||CHAS Merdeka Generation||CHAS Pioneer Generation|
|Common illnesses (e.g. cough, cold)||N/A||N/A
(Up to $10 per visit from 1 Nov)
|$18.50 per visit||From 1 Nov, up to $23.50 per visit||Up to $28.50 per visit|
|Chronic condition – simple (just 1 condition)||Up to $28 per visit (capped at $112 per year)||Up to $50 per visit (capped at $200 per year)||Up to $80 per visit (capped at $320 per year)||From 1 Nov, up to $85 per visit (capped at $340 per year)||Up to $90 per visit (capped at $360 per year)|
|Chronic condition – complex (multiple conditions or condition with complication)||Up to $40 per visit (capped at $160 per year)||$75 (capped at $300 per year)
From 1 Nov, Up to $80 per visit (capped at $320 per year)
|$120 (capped at $480 per year)
From 1 Nov, Up to $125 (capped at $500 per year)
|From 1 Nov, up to $130 per visit (capped at $520 a year)||Up to $135 per visit (capped at $540 per year)|
|Selected dental services||N/A||$50 to $170.50 (per procedure – crown, denture and root canal treatment only)||$11 to $256.50 (per procedure)||From 1 Nov, $16 to $261.50 (per procedure)||$21 to $266.50 (per procedure)|
|Health screening (Screen for Life*, includes 1 post-screening consultation)||$5 with Screen for Life invitation letter||
$2 with Screen for Life invitation letter
|From 1 Nov, $2 with Screen for Life invitation letter||Free with Screen for Life invitation letter|
*This is a screening for diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer. You need to meet MOH’s Screen For Life criteria to get the subsidised rate.
Subsidies for the MG card and the Green CHAS card for chronic ailments announced during Budget 2019 will kick in from 1 November 2019.
Merdeka Generation members also get an additional 25% discount on subsidised medicine and services at public clinics.
Budget 2019 updates to CHAS subsidies
According Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Budget 2019 announcements, the CHAS programme will be expanded. Below are 3 key changes:
1. All Singaporeans with chronic conditions can enjoy CHAS subsidies, regardless of income level. They will be issued the CHAS Green card, which can be used from 1 November 2019.
2. Merdeka Generation, which refer to people born in 1959 and before, will be given CHAS subsidies as well, regardless of income level. The benefits will be fewer than the Pioneer Generation’s, but more than the CHAS blue card.
3. Lower to middle-income Singaporeans who are CHAS Orange cardholders will now get subsidies for common illnesses, up to $10 per visit.
Which health conditions are covered by CHAS?
You can seek subsidies through CHAS for common illnesses, chronic conditions under the MOH’s Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP), and selected dental services.
- abdominal pain
- skin infection and rashes
- sore eyes
- urinary tract infection
Chronic conditions under CDMP:
- diabetes mellitus
- hyperlipidemia (lipid disorders)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- major depression
- bipolar disorder
- benign prostatic hyperplasia
- parkinson’s disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- ischaemic heart disease
Selected dental services:
- denture reline
- root canal treatment
On top of these, CHAS Blue and CHAS Pioneer Generation also get subsidies for the following dental treatments: cementation, curettage, denture repair, extraction, filling, polishing, scaling, topical fluoride, X-ray.
How do you get subsidy at a CHAS clinic?
In order to use your CHAS card, you will have to make sure you are visiting a participating clinic, as you won’t be able to get subsidies at clinics that aren’t part of the scheme.
You can find a full list of participating CHAS clinics here. All CHAS clinics will display CHAS stickers for easy identification.
There’s no need to make an appointment beforehand. Just walk into the clinic and show the following when you register at the counter in order to receive your CHAS subsidies:
- Valid CHAS, Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation or Public Assistance card, or medical certification of chronic condition
- Valid student ID or birth certificate (for CHAS cardholders aged 15 and under only)
The subsidy amount will automatically be deducted from your total bill, and you will pay the balance at the end of your visit.
Do you think the CHAS medical subsidies are sufficient? Share your views in the comments.