The pandemic may have brought fear to people around the world, but it also instilled something important in everyone, which is awareness. You are never too certain when common illnesses, chronic conditions, and other health concerns will take you or your family members down. It is best to prepare for the worst than experience the wrath of having no means to pay for you or a loved one’s medical bills and supplies.
This is the reason for the expansion of CHAS cards for Singapore citizens. Make sure you know the uses of CHAS cards, where the CHAS clinics are, who are eligible, and how a Singapore citizen can apply for one.
This article will enlighten you about what you want and need to know about Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS, the CHAS subsidies, and MOM’s CHAS guide on CHAS card application.
You never know when a CHAS card will be handy. It’s best to process your application while you and your family members are still healthy. Let’s start your journey toward learning more about the Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS.
Defining Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS
Singapore citizens have various health cards to choose from, depending on many factors. They include eligibility, household monthly income per person, chronic conditions, health conditions, and common illnesses of the household members.
How to define Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS? It existed before 2019 when the Ministry of Health (MOH) opened its applications to all Singapore citizens. The move enabled them to get financial CHAS subsidies for medical and dental care at participating clinics of general practitioners and dental services CHAS clinics.
A year before the Community Health Assist Scheme CHAS was expanded, the CHAS subsidies were only available to specific Singapore citizens. They included the low-income earners, the Merdeka Generation, and the Pioneer Generation. The rule before was to have a home value not exceeding S$21,000, or the person vying for CHAS subsidies had no income at all.
After the expansion of CHAS cards and CHAS benefits in 2019, the following rules were enforced:
- Orange CHAS card holders with low to middle income range can avail CHAS subsidies of S$10 or more for seeking treatment for common illnesses.
- All those under the Merdeka generation can avail of all CHAS subsidies regardless of how much they are earning.
- It paved the way for the introduction of green card, which can be used by Singapore residents in seeking treatment for chronic conditions no matter how much they are earning.
This means that you can apply for five CHAS card types, depending on what category you belong to:
- Merdeka generation cards
- Pioneer generation cards
- CHAS green card
- CHAS orange card
- CHAS blue card
Explaining the CHAS Qualifying Measures to Receive Subsidies
All applications for CHAS cards will be based on your home’s value or household monthly income per person. This is what the computation for the CHAS card eligibility looks like:
Home’s annual value for a household with no income
- CHAS green card – More than S$21,000
- CHAS orange card – S$13,001 to S$21,000
- CHAS blue card – S$13,000 and lower
Household monthly income per person
- CHAS green card – More than S$2,000
- CHAS orange card – S$1,201 to S$2,000
- CHAS blue card – S$1,200 and lower
Here’s a look at how the CHAS card applications compute the monthly household income per person:
- The number of people living in the same address or the same household (blood or adoption-related) added to the total gross household monthly income
In this instance, gross monthly income refers to income from self-employment, commissions, bonuses, cash awards, allowances, overtime pay, and basic employment income or wage.
On the other hand, the CHAS card eligibility criteria compute the estimated annual rent payable to determine your home’s annual value.
CHAS covers medical services for holders of a Public Assistance or PA card. A PA card automatically gives you CHAS subsidies same as with the holders of CHAS blue cards.
Instead of using a CHAS card, you can use your Public Assistance card to shoulder your medical bill to seek treatment for common illnesses and chronic conditions and obtain other financial subsidies covered by CHAS.
The Steps in Applying for a CHAS Card
You have two options to proceed to the CHAS card application process: online and physical application. Before proceeding with it, ensure you have the details and proof of your annual home value or household gross monthly income.
Online CHAS Card Application
Here are the steps to follow to apply for CHAS cards online:
- Go to CHAS website, look for the Apply button and click on it.
- Use your Singpass to log in to the eService account.
- You will see the step-by-step guide on how to apply for CHAS cards. Follow them all until you’re done.
Physical CHAS Card Application
You can also file the paperwork offline. First, obtain an application form and fill it out with your details. You can get the CHAS card application form at polyclinics, community centres, public hospitals, and community hospitals.
Check all your input in the form, and once you’ve completed it, send it via the post office. Address it to PO Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office.
Eligibility for the CHAS Card
Who are the eligible family members who can apply for the CHAS blue, CHAS orange tier, green CHAS, or other CHAS card types?
- Any family member older than 21 can apply as the principal candidate. The primary applicant needs to notify their family about the plan to enrol for the health assistance program.
- Minors under the age of 21 must complete the paper forms with the assistance and permission of their legal guardian or parent.
- Mentally disabled people can only fill out the paper version of the CHAS card application. But they must first obtain consent from a deputy designated by a court. Moreso, this individual must provide a doctor’s certificate if they do not have any of the required documents and no family members live at the same NRIC address.
Who do you include in the CHAS application form for a CHAS card?
CHAS cardholders can be any of your family members living in the same house as indicated in your NRIC. It doesn’t matter whether you’re related by adoption or by blood.
However, you can’t apply for a CHAS card for any member of the family not living in the same house as you. You can’t also apply for a CHAS card for your tenants, friends, or domestic workers living under your roof.
How long does it take to process and release the CHAS card?
CHAS cards typically take up to 15 days to finish processing upon successful application. To avoid delays, check all the details you provide and make sure they are all accurate.
You will get a welcome pack and your CHAS card in the mail when approved for the CHAS criteria. Go through the welcome pack to learn more about the locations of the CHAS clinics, the CHAS benefits, dental services offered, the participating clinics, when you will receive subsidies, what the CHAS covers, the health conditions covered, and more. Note that the card’s validity lasts two years unless stated otherwise.
More About the Health Conditions and Other Services Covered by CHAS
You can use the CHAS card for health screening and the following conditions:
Dental care and other dental services
- Topical fluoride and x-ray
- Polishing and root canal treatment
- Re-cementation, permanent crown, denture repair and reline
- Removable denture
- Filling and extraction
- Dental care consultation
- Other selected dental services
- Stroke and rheumatoid arthritis
- Osteoarthritis, lipid disorder, ischemic heart ailment, and hypertension
- Mellitus, diabetes, and asthma
- Major depressive disorder
- Anxiety and dementia
- Abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Skin infections and rashes
- Common cold and headache
The Subsidies of the CHAS Cardholders
Your CHAS card subsidy depends on your card colour. So it will differ if you have a CHAS orange, CHAS green card, or CHAS blue.
However, you can avail of a subsidy per visit using your CHAS card when you go to a specialist at the National Dental Centre or public hospitals.
On the other hand, you must meet the criteria set by MOH to avail of the subsidised rate when you need to go through screenings of chronic conditions, such as cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
As per the Pioneer Generation cardholders, you are entitled to an additional 50 per cent off on medication and services. Meanwhile, it’s an additional 25 per cent discount for the Merdeka generation on subsidised services and medicine in public health facilities.
To avail of the subsidy using your CHAS card, you must go to a CHAS clinic with a CHAS sticker at its door. You can also check the participating CHAS clinics online.
The good news is you don’t need to set an appointment to get entertained at a CHAS clinic. But make sure that you bring the following:
- Student identification or birth certificate for CHAS cardholders aged 15 and below
- Proof of your chronic condition, or your PA, Merdeka Generation, Pioneer Generation, CHAS blue, CHAS orange, or CHAS green card.
The clinic will verify your card or documents, so they would know which subsidy you are eligible for. Once determined, the cardholders pay the balance after deducting the subsidy from the bill.
What Else Do You Need to Know About CHAS?
Here are the other things important to know about your CHAS card:
How can you monitor your subsidy balance?
Visit the CHAS website to check. Or you can also ask by calling the CHAS hotline. This limit in subsidy gets refreshed annually.
How can you renew the card?
If you are a CHAS orange, CHAS green tier, or CHAS blue card holder, you must renew the card three months before it lapses. You will typically get a letter informing you about the upcoming expiration of the card. If you did not get it, you can fill out a hard copy form or finish the filing online.
On the other hand, the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generations cards do not expire.
CHAS made healthcare more affordable to the citizens of Singapore. If you have other concerns about how your loved ones can avail of the offered subsidies, RC Caregivers can walk you through the details and steps to follow.
We can also advise you on what other benefits and subsidies you can avail for your elderly loved ones. You can check our article on Home Caregiving Grant to find out more about it.