First introduced in 2000, the CHAS card was meant to help the elderly and disabled with their healthcare costs.
But over the years, the government, realising that we ALL need help, has tried to cover more Singaporeans with this healthcare assistance scheme by broadening the qualifying criteria.
Hence, the CHAS Green Card was born. Otherwise known as the "CHAS Card for middle-class Singaporeans", it has no minimum income requirement and every Singapore Citizen is technically eligible.
However, your household still needs to submit an application if you want the card. The idea is that Crazy Rich Asians would be discouraged from applying because of the hassle of getting their butlers to fill in the forms.
If you have the SingPass mobile app and opted in for notifications, you might have received a message in November prompting you to apply for your green CHAS Card through the app.
What are the benefits? Let's find out.
What is CHAS Card?
The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidises the cost of visits to participating GP clinics.
Those who have the CHAS Blue, Orange, Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards also get subsidies for visits to participating dental clinics.
CHAS Card Application
Eligibility for CHAS cards depends on your monthly household income (if your household has an income) or the annual value of your home (if your household has no income).
|CHAS criteria||CHAS Green||CHAS Orange||CHAS Blue|
|Household monthly income per person||Above $2,000||$1,201-$2,000||$1,200 and below|
|Annual value of home||Above $21,000||$13,001-$21,000||$13,000 and below|
Those who fall under the Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation automatically receive special subsidies at CHAS clinics.
In addition, those who have a Public Assistance Card also receive full subsidies for treatment of all conditions covered under CHAS.
How to apply for CHAS Card?
You can apply for your CHAS Card here for yourself and on behalf of your household members.
You’ll need to log in with your Singpass and should have the names, NRIC/birth certificate/FIN numbers and contact numbers of all your household members at hand.
Green CHAS Card: Summary of benefits & subsidies
Here’s a summary of the subsidies CHAS Green Card holders can enjoy.
|CHAS Green Card subsidies||Amount|
|Selected chronic conditions – simple||Up to $28 subsidy per visit, capped at $112 per year|
|Selected chronic conditions – complex||Up to $40 subsidy per visit, capped at $160 per year|
|Selected dental services||NA|
|Recommended health screening under Screen For Life programme||Fixed fee of $5 for eligible Singaporeans|
|Nationally-recommended vaccinations||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 (zero to six years) attending Childhood Development Screening according to recommended touchpoints under local guidelines will be eligible for subsidies|
As you can see, CHAS Green Card holders, being in the wealthiest tier of cardholders, do not get subsidies for common illnesses or dental services.
Blue & Orange CHAS Card: Benefits & subsidies
Both CHAS Blue and Orange cards are for lower income households, and unlike CHAS Green Card holders, they receive subsidies in all the categories, including common illnesses and selected dental services.
Compared to the CHAS Green Card, the subsidy amounts are also more generous for both cards, with the CHAS Blue Card receiving the most generous subsidies as it is for the lowest income tier.
That said, none of the three cards (Green, Orange or Blue) is as generous as the Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation Cards. The Pioneer Generation receives the most generous subsidies of all, with Screen For Life health screenings being free.
CHAS Card: List of health conditions
Wondering whether that weird rash qualifies for a subsidy? Depends on which card you have.
All of the illnesses in the below table are covered by the CHAS Orange, Blue, Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation cards.
On the other hand, CHAS Green Card holders cannot get subsidies for common illnesses. They only get subsidised for chronic conditions.
|Covered by CHAS Green Card?|
|Cough, cold, flu||No|
|Skin infection and rashes||No|
|Urinary tract infection||No|
|Anxiety (only claimable at selected clinics)||Yes|
|Benign prostatic hyperplasia||Yes|
|Bipolar disorder (only claimable at selected clinics)||Yes|
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||Yes|
|Diabetes mellitus (including pre-diabetes)||Yes|
|Hypertension (high blood pressure)||Yes|
|Ischaemic heart disease||Yes|
|Lipid disorders (eg. high cholesterol)||Yes|
|Major depression (only claimable at selected clinics)||Yes|
|Chronic kidney disease (nephritis/nephrosis)||Yes|
|Schizophrenia (only claimable at selected clinics)||Yes|
The above list is non-exhaustive. If you have a condition that’s not on the list, your best bet would be to phone a CHAS GP clinic for advice.
In addition to the above table of conditions, CHAS Blue, Orange, Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation Card holders also get subsidised dental services at participating dental clinics, including up to two consultations/cleaning sessions per year.
How to use CHAS Card at polyclinics & clinics?
CHAS Cards cannot be used at polyclinics, the logic being that those are already subsidised. They can only be used at participating private clinics.
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.
The CHAS Card is a nifty little thing to have in your wallet for when you need to see a GP but don’t want to spend hours queuing at a polyclinic just to save a bit of money.
CHAS Green Card holders might not be able to use their card for common ailments or dental visits, but for those suffering from chronic conditions, the card offers the chance to see a private doctor at a discount.
If you can afford it, getting an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) will boost your healthcare coverage even further. Browse health insurance plans on MoneySmart to find one that suits your needs.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.