More Singaporeans to benefit from higher healthcare subsidies under revised income criteria

More Singaporeans to benefit from higher healthcare subsidies under revised income criteria

More than 365,000 Singaporeans will benefit from higher healthcare subsidies, after the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (Jul 27) that it has revised the means-tested income criteria. Cheryl Goh reports.

SINGAPORE: More than 365,000 Singaporeans will benefit from higher healthcare subsidies, after the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (Jul 27) that it has revised the means-tested income criteria.

The income ceiling will be raised for each subsidy tier, with increases ranging from S$100 to S$300.

This will be implemented by October, said MOH.

Eligible Singaporeans will be able to get subsidies for schemes and services such as MediShield Life premiums, drugs at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics, as well as the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund.

The revised income criteria also applies to the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

Table 1 PCHI criteria for MedShield Life premium subsidies

“No action is needed on the part of existing or new patients and beneficiaries when they use the services and apply for the subsidies,” said MOH in a press release.

“The various service providers and scheme administrators will automatically extend the corresponding subsidies to those who are eligible.”

MOH added that it will issue replacement cards for existing CHAS cardholders who quality for a higher tier by October.

Under means testing, the ministry extends higher subsidies to lower income groups based on their monthly per-capita household income (PCHI).

To qualify for subsidies under CHAS Blue, for instance, the PCHI is currently S$1,100. This will be raised to S$1,200. For CHAS Orange cardholders, the ceiling will be raised from S$1,800 to S$2,000.

Table 2 criteria for CHAS

MOH said it revised the means-tested income criteria taking into consideration changes in household incomes and healthcare expenditure.

“MOH will continually review our healthcare financing frameworks to ensure that they meet the needs of Singapore residents,” it said.

READ: Merdeka Generation Package worth S$8b to include subsidies for outpatient care

SHIFT TOWARDS UNIVERSAL SUBSIDIES FOR CHRONIC CONDITIONS

Speaking at the CHAS carnival at Toa Payoh HDB Hub on Saturday, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong highlighted the introduction of CHAS Green, which aims to help all Singaporeans with chronic conditions – regardless of their income.

CHAS Green will provide up to S$160 in annual subsidies for selected chronic conditions.

READ: CHAS to be extended to all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income
READ: CHAS patients to be limited to 24 claims for common illnesses a year

“The introduction of CHAS Green is a major shift towards universal subsidies for chronic conditions under GP care,” said Mr Gan.

“As our population ages, more Singaporeans will require support to manage their chronic conditions, with many requiring continued treatments. Much of chronic disease management should take place in the community,” he added.

“Our private GPs, which serve 80 per cent of the primary care needs of Singaporeans, are our key partners in this.”

Mr Gan also said that his ministry is working to make CHAS application easier.

From September, Singaporeans will be able to complete and submit their CHAS application entirely online, using their SingPass account.

For those who choose to submit their application in person, only one household member will be required to fill in and sign the form on behalf of their family.

Source: CNA/rw

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