SINGAPORE - Before she got her Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) card, frequent dental visits were never a habit for Madam Chia Fei Sin.
"I wouldn't go unless I had a problem with my teeth," said the 60-year-old. "At most, I would go once a year, or once every two years."
She has an upper set of dentures which she has to replace every seven years or so.
These cost $400 each, so she tries to make every set last as long as possible.
"They can get a bit loose," she said in Mandarin.
"But I usually put up with them until I really have to get a new pair made."
But with her blue Chas card - which entitles her to a subsidy of up to $256.50 per procedure - she had her fourth set of dentures made last year for $180.
She had her teeth cleaned and a filling done for free as well, as the card covered the cost of these procedures.
She also uses the card at a general practitioner clinic near her home in Bedok when she falls ill, although she lamented that there is often a long wait.
"But I can do other things in that time - sometimes, I go grocery shopping - and I need to be thrifty, so it's all right."
This article was first published on Jan 12, 2015.
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