Singapore Expands Healthcare Subsidies for Elderly

Feb 2019

The Singapore government is expanding healthcare support for elderly born between 1950 and 1959, dubbed the Merdeka Generation (MG) or those who were born prior to 1950 but did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package launched previously in 2014. All beneficiaries should have become Singapore citizens by 1996. Some of the measures are as below:

The government will provide a MediSave top-up of SGD 200 (USD 148)  per year for five years. This will start from this year until 2023. MediSave is a national medical savings scheme. 
 MG seniors will receive additional subsidies for outpatient care, for life.

They will receive special Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies, for common illnesses, chronic conditions, and dental procedures. The subsidy rates will be higher than the CHAS Blue subsidies. All MG seniors will receive these enhanced subsidies, regardless of income, including those who do not have a CHAS card today. CHAS enables Singapore Citizens from lower- to middle-income households, and all Pioneers, to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating General Practitioners (GP) and dental clinics near their home)
At polyclinics and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics, they will receive 25% off their subsidized bills. This is on top of the prevailing subsidies available

 MG seniors will have additional MediShield Life premium subsidies, for life. All MG seniors will receive subsidies for their premiums, starting from 5% of their MediShield Life premiums, and increasing to 10% after they reach 75 years of age. This is on top of the means-tested subsidies that lower- to middle-income Singaporeans are already receiving. MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan, administered by the Central Provident Fund Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer
The government will provide an additional participation incentive of SGD 1,500 (USD 1,110) for MG seniors who join CareShield Life, when it becomes available for existing cohorts in 2021. CareShield Life is a national long-term care insurance scheme designed to provide basic protection against long-term care costs, from 2020. It was introduced in 2018 as an enhanced version of the earlier ElderShield scheme. In addition to the SGD 2,500 (USD 1,850) previously announced, this means that all MG seniors who join CareShield Life will receive participation incentives totaling SGD 4,000 (USD 2,963) each. This will cover a significant portion of their premiums, and is on top of the regular means-tested premium subsidies.

(Sources: Singapore Government; Channel NewsAsia)

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