SINGAPORE - Health Minister Gan Kim Yong today said that the qualifying criteria for the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) will not be raised above the current household Annual Value (AV) limit of $13,000.
Minister Gan was addressing Ms Sylvia's Lim's query if the Government will extend the AV limit to include more economically inactive elderly citizens, including those living in non-premium private and landed properties.
Household AV refers to the estimated annual rent of property if it were to be rented out for a year.
In a written reply to her query, Mr Gan said that the CHAS, formerly known as the Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS), was already expanded earlier this year "to benefit more Singaporeans".
From January 2012, the qualifying age for CHAS was lowered to 40 years old, down from the previous age of 65 years old. Further, the qualifying income criterion is $1,500 per capita monthly household income, raised from the previous $800.
Pointing out that all HDB flats, as well as some non-premium private properties have an AV of $13,000 or less, he said that more than 80 per cent of all non-working households live in a property with AV of $13,000 or less.
Minister Gan added that the Ministry will take into account appeals from non-working households living in a property exceeding an AV of $13,000 and are facing extenuating circumstances.
These, he said, will be "considered sympathetically, taking into account their specific circumstance."
He added that the Ministry of Health will review the CHAS eligibility criteria from time to time.