You may know of the CHAS card as a card that lets the elderly and folks with disabilities get subsidised rates for their medical bills. It was introduced in 2000 to help them manage their healthcare costs.?
However, as the years went by, the government soon realised that we all could use a helping hand when it came to healthcare costs and widened the eligibility criteria for CHAS. That's where the CHAS Green Card was introduced.?
Aimed at middle-class Singaporeans, there's no minimum income threshold and technically, all Singapore Citizens can get their hands on it. But there's a catch: you still need to fill out an application for your household if you want the card. The idea behind it? Making it a bit of a hassle so that the ultra-rich think twice before bothering to apply.
But let's see whether this card it's worth it to get this card or not.?
1. What is the CHAS Card?
The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidises your GP fees if you go to a participating clinic.
There are different coloured CHAS Cards (green, orange, blue), as well as separate cards for seniors from the Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG). Each card represents a different subsidy tier based on the cardholder's household income.?
Besides medical perks, those with the CHAS Blue, Orange, Merdeka Generation, and Pioneer Generation cards also enjoy discounts at participating dental clinics.
2. CHAS Card types and eligibility
The type of CHAS card you're eligible for depends on your household's monthly income or your home's annual value (if your household doesn't bring in any income).
|Household monthly income per person
|$1,200 and below
|Annual value of home (2023)
|$13,000 and below
|Annual value of home (from 1 Jan 2024)
|$21,000 and below
Now, if you're part of the Merdeka or Pioneer Generation, you won't be flashing coloured cards. Instead, you get special cards that unlock exclusive perks at CHAS clinics.
Oh, and if you've got a Public Assistance Card, you don't need to apply for a CHAS card. You're automatically eligible for full subsidies on treatments covered under CHAS.
3. How do I apply for a CHAS Card?
You can apply for a CHAS Card at the chas.moh.gov.sg site. Just log in with your Singpass to get started. Have your family's NRIC details and contact numbers handy too.
Application takes around 15 working days and you can check your application status online. You can also choose how you want to be notified of your application status, whether it's by SMS or mail.
4. Green CHAS Card: Summary of benefits and subsidies
These are the benefits for CHAS Green Card holders:
|CHAS Green Card subsidies
|Selected chronic conditions—simple (a single chronic condition)
|Up to $28 subsidy per visit, capped at $112 per year
|Selected chronic conditions—complex (multiple chronic conditions, or a single chronic condition with 1 or more complications)
|Up to $40 subsidy per visit, capped at $160 per year
|Selected dental services
|Recommended health screening under Screen For Life programme
|Fixed fee of $5 for eligible Singaporeans
|Singapore Citizens who meet the criteria for vaccination under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) and National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) are eligible for subsidies for nationally-recommended vaccinations
|Childhood Developmental Screening
|All Singaporean children (0 to 6 years) attending Childhood Development Screening according to recommended touchpoints under local guidelines will be eligible for subsidies
Since CHAS Green Card holders belong to the top tier, they don't enjoy subsidies for common illnesses or dental services. However, they do get discounts for selected chronic conditions and health screenings.
5. Blue and Orange CHAS Card: Benefits and subsidies
Both the Blue and Orange cards cater to lower-income households, offering subsidies across the board, including for common illnesses and dental services.
The Blue CHAS Card offers more subsidies than the Orange CHAS Card as it's for the lowest income tier.?
For instance, Blue CHAS Card holders get:?
- Common illnesses: Up to $18.50 subsidy per visit (vs $10 for Orange)?
- Selected Chronic Conditions: Up to $80 – $125 subsidy per visit (vs. $50 – $80 for Orange)
- Selected Dental Services: Up to $11 to $256.50 subsidy per procedure (vs $50 to $170.50 for Orange)
The Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation Cards beat the three cards though, especially the Pioneer Generation Card which receives the most generous subsidies of all, with Screen For Life health screenings being free.
6. CHAS Card: List of health conditions
To see what illnesses are covered by the CHAS cards, check out the table below.
What if you're a CHAS Green Card cardholder? Unfortunately, you won't be covered for common illnesses, but you do get subsidised for chronic conditions.
|Covered by CHAS Green Card?
|Cough, cold, flu
|Skin infection and rashes
|Urinary tract infection
|Anxiety (only claimable at selected clinics)
|Benign prostatic hyperplasia
|Bipolar disorder (only claimable at selected clinics)
|Chronic Hepatitis B
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
|Diabetes mellitus (including pre-diabetes)
|Hypertension (high blood pressure)
|Ischaemic heart disease
|Lipid disorders (eg. high cholesterol)
|Major depression (only claimable at selected clinics)
|Chronic kidney disease (nephritis/nephrosis)
|Schizophrenia (only claimable at selected clinics)
The list of illnesses is non-exhaustive though. If you have a condition that’s not on the list, it’s best to call a CHAS GP clinic to check.?
In addition to the above table of conditions, CHAS Blue, Orange, Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation Cardholders also get subsidised dental services at participating dental clinics, including up to two consultations/cleaning sessions per year.
7. How do I use the CHAS Card at polyclinics and clinics?
Unfortunately, CHAS Cards are not valid at polyclinics. You can only use them at participating private clinics.?
Those with the CHAS Green Cards can only be used at participating GP clinics, while all the other CHAS Cards can be used at participating GP clinics and dental clinics.
To check if you can use your CHAS subsidies at a clinic, check the full list of participating CHAS clinics before your visit.
Simply show your CHAS card at the clinic to enjoy the subsidies. No physical card? No problem! Singaporeans aged 15 and above can use their digital CHAS card via the Singpass mobile app.
8. Is the CHAS Card worth applying for?
Yes! It's a piece of cake to apply for, and having one handy could save you some money when you need to quickly see a GP and don't want to queue for ages at a polyclinic. Plus, if you're dealing with chronic conditions, it's a ticket to discounted private healthcare.
And hey, if you're thinking about beefing up your healthcare coverage, consider snagging an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) for extra peace of mind. Check out the options on MoneySmart to find one that suits your needs.