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Home > News & Events > More to benefit from revised income criteria for healthcare subsidy schemes

More to benefit from revised income criteria for healthcare subsidy schemes

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reviewed the income criteria for means-tested healthcare subsidy and assistance schemes. More than 365,000 Singapore Residents will benefit from higher subsidies when the revised means-test income criteria is implemented by October 2019.

MOH provides means-tested subsidies to support Singapore Residents with healthcare cost, with higher subsidies extended to lower-income groups. Taking into consideration changes in household incomes and healthcare expenditure, MOH will be revising the income criteria for all schemes and services that are means-tested using the monthly per-capita household income (PCHI)1 criteria.

The schemes and services with revised income criteria include:

  • MediShield Life premium subsidies
  • CareShield Life premium subsidies (when scheme is launched in 2020)
  • Polyclinic drug subsidies
  • Public Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) service and drug subsidies
  • Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
  • Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) services
  • Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
  • Interim Disability Assistance Scheme Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE)
  • Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant

The monthly PCHI criteria for each subsidy tier will be raised, with increases ranging from $100 to $300. Key highlights of the revision are listed in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Highlights of revisions to monthly PCHI criteria of selected schemes 

Scheme 

Monthly PCHI to qualify for maximum subsidy  

Current PCHI  Revised PCHI 

MediShield Life premium subsidies

≤ $1,100 ≤ $1,200

CHAS

≤ $1,100 ≤ $1,200

Subsidised SOC services

≤ $1,100 ≤ $1,200

Subsidised drugs at SOCs and polyclinics

≤ $1,800 ≤ $2,000

Note: For patients/beneficiaries with no household income, their subsidies shall be based on the Annual Value (AV) of the property reflected in their NRIC addresses (i.e. residential address of household). 

Please refer to Annex A for the detailed changes to different schemes and services.

Annex B provides an illustration of the impact of the revised income criteria on subsidy eligibility.
 

Changes will be Automatically Applied

No action is needed on the part of existing or new patients and beneficiaries when they use the services and apply for the subsidies. The various service providers and scheme administrators will automatically extend the corresponding subsidies to those who are eligible. For CHAS cardholders, MOH will issue replacement cards for existing cardholders who qualify for a higher CHAS tier by October 20192.

Over the last few years, we have enhanced existing financing and subsidy schemes and introduced new ones. These include introducing MediShield Life, the upcoming CareShield Life, Flexi-MediSave; enhancing CHAS and Chronic Disease Management Programme coverage; and raising public SOC subsidies. This revision in means-test income criteria is another measure to uphold healthcare affordability for Singapore Residents. MOH will continually review our healthcare financing frameworks to ensure that they meet the needs of Singapore Residents.

No one will be denied appropriate healthcare because they cannot afford to pay. Those who still face financial difficulties after subsidies may approach their respective service providers to seek further financial assistance.


1 Monthly PCHI is computed as the total gross household monthly income divided by total number of family members living together in the household. Gross monthly household income includes basic employment income, trade/self-employed income, overtime pay, allowances, cash awards, commissions, and bonuses. 

2 For example, existing CHAS Orange cardholders who are eligible for CHAS Blue under the new income criteria will automatically receive a CHAS Blue card. No action is required by existing cardholders.  


FAQs

  1. Why did MOH decide to revise the income criteria?

    MOH periodically updates the income criteria used to determine subsidy levels so that the appropriate target group of households can continue to benefit from healthcare subsidies.
     
  2. How did MOH decide on the revised income criteria?

    In reviewing the income criteria for healthcare subsidy schemes, MOH took into consideration factors such as changes in household incomes and healthcare expenditure.
     
  3. Why is MOH not also changing the home annual value (AV) criterion used for means-testing?

    MOH has assessed that there is no need to revise the AV criterion. The $13,000 AV criterion already covers all HDB flats, while the $21,000 AV criterion covers about 80% of residential properties, including some lower value private properties.
     
  4. I am an existing CHAS cardholder, but recently received the CHAS renewal form by mail. What should I do?

    Please complete the renewal form and send it back to us. Your renewal form will be processed under the new income criteria.
     
  5. I am an existing CHAS cardholder, but recently submitted my CHAS renewal form. What should I do?

    Your renewal form will be processed under the new income criteria. No further action is required on your part for now. We will contact you if the renewal form is incomplete or requires clarification.
     
  6. I am not an existing CHAS cardholder, but recently submitted my CHAS application. What should I do?

    Your application form will be processed under the new income criteria. No further action is required on your part for now. We will contact you if the application form is incomplete of requires clarification.
     
  7. I am an existing CHAS cardholder, and recently received a new CHAS card of a higher tier. Which card should I use?

    You have received the new CHAS card as you are eligible for a higher tier under the new income criteria. Please use the new card at CHAS participating clinics. Please also note that chronic subsidies which have been utilised so far will be taken into account in the computation of your annual chronic balance under the new card.