What is a CHAS card and who is eligible? Learn how the CHAS card can help ease your financial burden as you seek healthcare.
Life’s uncertainties coupled with a rise in chronic diseases, mean there is a need to be ready for all eventualities. Illness could abruptly devastate your body and finances.
Fortunately, Singaporeans can tap on the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). The CHAS card allows Singaporeans to receive medical care for acute illnesses and complex chronic diseases affordably.
It’s a welcome relief for Singapore citizens, allowing them to be eligible for subsidies at participating healthcare centres and dental clinics. We take a look at the benefits, eligibility, and how you can apply for a CHAS card.
What is a CHAS card?
The Ministry of Health (MOH) set up the CHAS in 2000 to provide financial subsidies for medical and dental care. Compared to other medical schemes in Singapore, it covers a wider demographic and broader array of medical services.
When you apply for the scheme and are eligible, you get the CHAS card that you present to participating healthcare centres and dental clinics.
How to apply for the CHAS card
All Singapore Citizens are eligible and can apply for the scheme. However, this has not always been the case. Before 2019, only the Pioneer Generation, the Merdeka Generation, and low-income earners were eligible. If you didn’t have an income, the value of your home had to be less than S$21,000.
In 2019, the programme was expanded:
- The green card was introduced. Using the green card, all Singaporeans with chronic conditions are eligible for medical subsidies regardless of how much they earn.
- The Merdeka generation is eligible for the CHAS subsidies regardless of their income level.
- Holders of the CHAS orange card from low to middle income are eligible for subsidies of S$10 and above for the treatment of common illnesses.
You can apply for five possible CHAS cards: CHAS blue, CHAS orange, CHAS green, Pioneer Generation, and Merdeka Generation.
In terms of qualifying for the scheme, households are assessed based on monthly per capita income or the home’s value. Here is the breakdown of the CHAS card eligibility criteria:
|CHAS blue||CHAS orange||CHAS green|
|Per capita monthly household income||Below S$1,200||S$1,201–S$2,000||Above S$2,000|
|Annual value of the home (for a household with no income)||S$13,000 and below||S$13,001–S$21,000||Above S$21,000|
- The monthly household income per person is calculated as below:
Total gross household income÷Number of people living in the house
Gross income includes employment income, overtime pay, allowances, cash awards, bonuses, commissions, and self-employed income.
- To get the annual value of your home, you tabulate the annual rent payable.
You automatically qualify to receive medical subsidies if you have a Public Assistance (PA) card. You will qualify to receive the same subsidies as the blue cardholder. Use your PA card to access the medical subsidies.
CHAS Card application process
You can apply for the scheme card once you have your home’s monthly per capita household income or your annual home value. You can apply for the card through the online portal or visit the CHAS office.
To apply, follow the steps below.
- Visit the CHAS website and click on ‘Apply’.
- Login to the e-service account using Singpass.
- Follow the steps as directed by the application.
If you prefer to settle the paperwork offline, you can pick up the application form, fill it out and send it via the post office. You can get the application forms from the community or public hospitals, community centres, or polyclinics.
On completing the form, send it to P.O. Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office, Singapore 911536.
You can also download the application forms here, fill them up and send them via the postal address.
Who can apply for the CHAS card?
The following applies when requesting for the CHAS cards:
- Any family member over 21 years old can be the main applicant. The main applicant informs his/her household of his/her intention to apply for the health assist scheme.
- Minors below 21 years old have to fill the hardcopy forms with the guidance and consent of the legal guardian or parent.
- When applying for the CHAS card, mentally incapacitated persons can only fill the hard copy form. To apply, the mentally incapacitated require either a donee appointed by power of attorney, or a court-appointed deputy to provide consent.
If the mentally incapacitated person does not have any of the above and no family members share the NRIC address, he/she would need to submit a certificate of inability to give consent from a doctor.
Who should you include in the CHAS card application form?
When applying for the CHAS card, you can include all family members related to you by blood or adoption and living at the address stated in your NRIC. If family members are not living at the same NRIC address, they don’t qualify. Also, domestic workers, friends, and tenants living at the same address don’t qualify as members of your household.
CHAS application processing and receiving the card
It takes 15 days to process a complete application. You must provide all the details required accurately.
If your application is successful, you will receive a CHAS card and a welcome pack in the mail. The welcome pack will guide you on the medical subsidies you will receive from the scheme. CHAS cards are valid for two years unless indicated otherwise.
Services and health conditions covered by the CHAS card
The CHAS card covers the following:
- Common illness
- Chronic conditions
- Dental services
Under common illness, the CHAS card covers acute illnesses that can be resolved by resting and medication.
Chronic conditions require long-term care and medication and include mental and physical illness.
Dental services include consultation and X-ray services.
The table below shows the health conditions covered by the CHAS card. They are in three groups: common illnesses, chronic conditions, or dental services.
|Common illnesses||Chronic conditions||Dental services|
|Headache, common cold||Dementia and anxiety||Dental consultation|
|Diarrhoea||Major depressive disorder||Extraction and filling|
|Rashes and skin infections||Asthma and diabetes mellitus||Removable denture|
|Urinary tract infections||Hypertension and ischemic heart diseaseLipid disorderOsteoarthritis||Denture reline and repair, permanent crown and re-cementation|
|Abdominal pain, among others||Stroke and schizophrenia||Root canal treatment and polishing|
|Rheumatoid arthritis and stroke||X-ray and topical fluoride|
|Psoriasis, among other chronic conditions|
CHAS cardholder subsidies
You can use your CHAS card to seek medical attention at any participating healthcare and dental clinics. The subsidy you get depends on the colour of your card. The table below summarises the subsidy you get based on the kind of card you hold.
|Pioneer Generation card||Merdeka Generation card||CHAS blue||CHAS orange||CHAS green|
|Common illness||Per visit S$28.50||Per visit S$23.50||Per visit S$18.50||Per visit S$10||N/A|
|Chronic condition(simple)||S$90 per visit|
Max spend of S$360 per year
|S$85 per visit|
Max spend of S$340 per year
|S$80 per visit|
Max spend of S$320 per year
|Up to S$50 per visit|
Max spend of S$200 per year
|Up to S$28 per visit|
Max spend of S$112 per year
|Chronic condition (Complex)||S$135 per visit|
Max spend of S$540 per year
|S$130 per visit|
Max spend of S$520 per year
|S$125 per visit |
Max spend of S$500 per year
|S$80 per visit|
Max spend of S$320 per year
|S$40 per visit |
Max spend of S$160 per year
|Dental services||Per procedure S$21 to S$266.50||Per procedureS$16 to S$261.50||Per procedureS$11 to S$256.50||Per procedure S$50 to S$170.50 that goes towards the crown, and root canal only||N/A|
|Health screening for chronic illness (includes one post-screening consultation)||Free with the screening invitation letter||S$1 with the screening invitation letter||S$2 with the screening invitation letter||S$2 with the screening invitation letter||S$5 with the screening invitation letter|
If you are referred to a specialist in public hospitals or the National Dental Centre you can use your CHAS card to get a subsidy per visit.
Screening caters for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer. To get the subsidised rate, you must meet the MOH criteria. In addition to the above, the Merdeka Generation is eligible for a further 25% discount on subsidised medicine and service in public clinics. Those from the Pioneer Generation also qualify for an additional 50% off on services and medication.
How to receive subsidies at a CHAS clinic
To get the subsidy, you have to visit a participating clinic. The participating clinics have a CHAS sticker so you can quickly identify them. Alternatively, find the list of CHAS clinics here. The good thing is you don’t need an appointment to visit the CHAS clinic. Bring the following, and you will receive the services you need:
- CHAS, Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation, or Public Assistance card, or a certificate to prove your chronic condition.
- CHAS cardholders who are 15 years of age and younger should carry a birth certificate or student identification.
The service providers will check the validity of your card, identification, or certificate before they offer the subsidy. Once the documents are verified, they will deduct the subsidy from the total bill, and you will pay the balance.
How to check your subsidy balance
To monitor your CHAS subsidy balance, visit the website here and check your balance. You can also confirm the subsidy balance by calling the CHAS representative. The limit is refreshed every year.
Renewal of CHAS card
CHAS blue, green and orange cardholders need to apply for renewal three months in advance. During renewal, you can expect the following:
- Evaluation of your household eligibility. The MOH will review your household’s composition and income to see if there are any changes.
- You will receive a renewal invitation package three months before your card expires. If they need to reassess your household, you will receive a notification.
If you don’t receive the renewal letter and your card is nearing expiry, fill in the online renewal form or use the hard copy form. Don’t let your CHAS card expire, as you will miss out on the subsidy.
The Merdeka and Pioneer Generation cards are valid for life.
Ease your financial burden with CHAS
Through CHAS, all Singapore citizens have access to subsidies, making healthcare affordable. Whether it be simple illnesses such as coughs, or complex chronic conditions, don’t miss out on this helping hand.
Be prepared on all fronts when it comes to healthcare. Besides your CHAS card, compare the best CareShield Life supplement plans to make sure that you’re covered in the case of disability.
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