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, or those who are from the Pioneer Generation, can quality for the CHAS card (Community Health Assist card). Flashing this card lets you get subsidised treatments at participating clinics and healthcare centres.
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 Blue||$1,100 and below||$13,000 and below|
|CHAS Orange||$1,101 to $1,800||$13,001 to $21,000|
|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 orange & blue CHAS card
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:
|Type of treatment||CHAS Blue max. subsidy per visit||CHAS Orange max. subsidy per visit||CHAS Pioneer Generation max. subsidy per visit|
|Common illnesses (e.g. cough, cold)||$18.50||N/A||$28.50|
|Chronic condition – simple (just 1 condition)||$80 (capped at $320 per year)||$50 (capped at $200 per year)||$90 (capped at $360 per year)|
|Chronic condition – complex (multiple conditions or condition with complication)||$120 (capped at $480 per year)||$75 (capped at $300 per year)||$135 (capped at $540 per year)|
|Selected dental services||$11 to $256.50 (per procedure)||$50 to $170.50 (per procedure – crown, denture and root canal treatment only)||$21 to $266.50 (per procedure)|
|Health screening (Screen for Life*, includes 1 post-screening consultation)||$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.
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.
Common illnesses: Cough, cold, flu, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, headache, skin infection and rashes, sore eyes, urinary tract infection
Chronic conditions under CDMP: Asthma, benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of prostate gland), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension (high blood pressure), lipid disorders (high cholesterol), nephritis/nephrosis (chronic kidney disease), osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke
In addition, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety are also covered under the CHAS programme, but the subsidy is only claimable at selected clinics.
Selected dental services: Crowning, denture, 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 or Public Assistance card
- (For CHAS cardholders aged 15 and under only) Valid student ID or birth certificate
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.
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