Gan Kim Yong: Higher healthcare subsidies for pioneer generation

SINGAPORE – Healthcare subsidies for the pioneer generation will be higher than those given to lower- and middle-income households, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong today (May 17).

The “unique and better” healthcare subsidies are given under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

For example, for common illnesses such as cold and cough, they will get a subsidy of S$28.50 per visit at participating general practitioner (GP) clinics. This is S$10 higher than for those who hold the Blue Health Assist Card, which is for those with a household monthly income per person of S$1,100 and below.

For complex chronic conditions, pioneers will receive up to S$540 in subsidies a year, compared to S$480 for those under the Blue tier.

Pioneers will also get higher subsidies for selected dental services, compared to those under the Blue tier.

The amount could range between S$21 and S$266.50 per procedure for pioneers, compared to between S$11 and S$256.50 per procedure for those on the Blue tier.

The subsidies depend on the type of procedures done.

Mr Gan, speaking at a dinner commemorating the first World Family Doctor’s Day in Singapore, said: “As with all CHAS beneficiaries, pioneers who are assessed to require specialist care can also be referred by CHAS clinics to the Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) in the public healthcare institutions as subsidised patients and they no longer need a referral letter from our polyclinics.”

He added that all those who qualify for the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) will receive a special CHAS card by September, regardless of their income or housing.

The Government had announced the S$9 billion PGP at this year’s Budget to recognise the contributions of the seniors in nation-building. The package is targeted at Singaporeans aged 65 and above this year, as well as those who became citizens before 1987. It is expected to benefit about 450,000 seniors.

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