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Home > News & Events > Time-limited extension of CHAS chronic subsidy and MediSave to video consultation

Time-limited extension of CHAS chronic subsidy and MediSave to video consultation

From 3 April 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce a time-limited and exceptional extension of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Chronic subsidy and MediSave for the regular follow-up of seven chronic conditions through video consultation to support the safe distancing measures the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has implemented. This will allow patients whose conditions are stable to avoid a physical visit to a clinic during this period of heightened alert due to COVID-19. 

In Support of Safe Distancing during COVID-19 Outbreak 

Currently, CHAS subsidy and MediSave are only available for physical consultations. To support safe distancing, CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave will be extended to video consultations of seven selected chronic conditions under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). Patients can tap on the prevailing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave (i.e. MediSave500 and Flexi-MediSave) limits to offset the cost of video consultation, related drugs and investigations.

These chronic conditions are diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety1. Patients with these conditions can generally be managed through video consultations without physical examination if these conditions are stable. Together, they also account for a high proportion of patients who use CHAS and MediSave for their chronic treatments.

The extension will remain active until the de-activation of the Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) scheme, or as otherwise determined by MOH.

Ensuring Patient Safety 

Healthcare professionals who wish to provide video consultations which can be paid using CHAS subsidies and MediSave will be required to undergo telemedicine e-training to familiarise themselves with the best practices. Details will be made available to healthcare professionals separately.

Healthcare providers should only carry out video consultations for patients that providers had physical consultations with previously, so that they can confirm the patient’s suitability for video consultation before its use. Whenever it is assessed to be necessary, such as when a physical examination is required, the provider should ask the patient to come into the clinic for a physical consultation.  

The list of healthcare institutions providing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions can be found at www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vc from 3 Apr 2020. The number of providers will be progressively ramped up as more providers adopt video consultation. Patients may also wish to check with their healthcare provider to ascertain their suitability for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions.


1 CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave can only be claimed for major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety at CDMP+ accredited clinics. Anxiety includes general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

 

1. Why has CHAS and MediSave been extended to video consultations for my chronic conditions now?

To support the safe distancing measures implemented by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced a time-limited extension of CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave for the treatment of selected chronic conditions via video consultation from 3 April 2020.

This will allow patients, whose conditions are stable and meet the criteria, to avoid a physical visit to a clinic during this period of heightened alert due to COVID-19.


2. For how long will I be able to use CHAS and MediSave for video consultations of my chronic conditions?

Patients may start using CHAS and MediSave for video consultations of selected chronic conditions from 3 April 2020 until the deactivation of the Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) scheme, or otherwise determined by MOH.


3. Why are there only seven chronic conditions included in this extension?

The chronic conditions included in this extension are diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety1.

Patients with these conditions can generally be managed through video consultations without physical examination if these conditions are stable. Together, they also account for a high proportion of patients who use CHAS and MediSave for their chronic treatments.

1CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave can only be claimed for major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety at CDMP+ accredited clinics. Anxiety includes general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


4. Are common illnesses (e.g. cold, cough) and other chronic conditions (e.g. asthma, ischaemic heart disease) included in this extension?

The new time-limited CHAS subsidies will not be extended to cover video consultations of common illnesses and other chronic conditions, which require an in-person clinical asessment by your doctor, to administer an appropriate treatment plan according to your condition(s) present during your visit.

To enjoy your CHAS subsidies for treatment of common illnesses or other chronic conditions covered under CHAS, you will need to schedule a physical in-person consultation with your CHAS GP.


5. Do all CHAS GP or Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) provide video consultation services for the seven chronic conditions?

Only selected medical practitioners who have completed the required telemedicine training and fulfilled MOH’s recommended guidelines on telehealth services can use CHAS and MediSave for video consultations for the seven chronic conditions.

The list of healthcare institutions providing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions can be found at www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vc from 3 April 2020. The number of providers will be progressively ramped up as more providers adopt video consultation.


6. How will my CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave be affected?

Each video consultation will be subject to the same per visit and annual subsidy limit under CHAS. Patients can tap on the prevailing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave (i.e. MediSave500 and Flexi-MediSave) limits to offset the cost of video consultation, related drugs and investigations.


7. Is there a limit on the number of video consultation sessions I can have with the clinic?

The total number of consultations (including video consultations) for each patient should be similar to the number of in-person consultations that the patient would have had, if video consultation were not used at all.

Generally, patients are expected to make about an average of four visits per calendar year for their chronic conditions. Given that, there should generally not be more than three video consultation episodes each year. For patients who need more regular follow-ups, medical practitioners should determine the suitability of the patient for an in-personal consultation, if necessary.


8. I do not have any suitable devices at home for a video consultation. Can I have the consultation via phone call, text messages or emails?

Only video consultations for the selected chronic conditions can be paid for using CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave. The time-limited extension is provided for video consultations as a start as the video feed enables the GP or healthcare provider to better assess visual cues of the patient which may not be possible via other modes of technology (e.g. text or audio).


9. Can I make an appointment for video consultation with any clinic or healthcare institution and how can I do so?

You must previously have had physical consultations at the clinic or healthcare institution within the last 12 months in order to use CHAS and MediSave for the video consultation. You may wish to check with your healthcare provider on your suitability for video consultation. However, whenever it is assessed to be necessary, such as when a physical examination is required, your medical practitioner may still advise you to come to the clinic or healthcare institution for a physical consultation.

The list of healthcare institutions providing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions can be found at www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vc from 3 April 2020. The number of providers will be progressively ramped up as more providers adopt video consultation.


10. Do I have to show my CHAS card on screen at the start of my video consultation?

Yes, please flash your identification document (e.g. NRIC/Student ID) together with your CHAS, Merdeka Generation and/or Pioneer Generation card at the start of the video consultation, so that the healthcare provider can verify your identity. Your healthcare provider should also explain to you the prevailing guidelines and terms & conditions for the use of CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave to pay for the video consultation.


11. Will I be charged twice if it is assessed that I need to make a physical trip to the clinic during or after the video consultation?

Clinics may decide how they want to charge the patient for such instances.


12. How do I know about the charges before the video consultation?

Generally, patients consulted via video consultation should not be charged differently compared to an in-person consultation. Clinics should obtain patient’s consent on the charges prior to arranging for a video consultation. You may contact your clinic to clarify with the clinic, prior to the video consultation.


13. How do I make payment for my video consultation after CHAS Chronic subsidy?

Clinics may choose to collect outstanding payment in cash from you later on, or via electronic payment if the clinic has electronic payment modes. Please check with your healthcare provider on the mode of payment.


14. How will I receive my bill from the clinic?

Clinics can issue an electronic bill to patient. Please check with your healthcare provider on the mode of billing and payment.


15. How do I collect my medication after the video consultation? Can I request for my medication to be delivered to my house?

Healthcare providers may allow collection at a physical premise or provide delivery of medication. However, the delivery charge cannot be paid for using CHAS or MediSave. Patients are encouraged to discuss with their clinic or healthcare provider to work out the best arrangement to collect the medication.