The Ministry of Health (MOH) stated on Tuesday (30 April) that the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) patients may appeal to the ministry if they need to make more than 24 claims a year for common illnesses such as flu and fever.
Common illnesses such as coughs usually require only one visit to the clinic, while acute conditions include bone fractures or urinary tract infections. Currently, CHAS – which provides subsidies to those in lower- and middle-income households for visits to participating general practitioner and dental clinics – allows up to four claims for common illnesses per clinic monthly.
The MOH announced last month in Parliament that the appeals channel will commence January next year when a new cap on claims for common and acute illnesses takes place. According to MOH, the annual cap will affect 0.5 per cent of CHAS patients as the majority do not exceed the threshold.
The new cap would not apply to chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure. Among those who exceed 24 visits to polyclinics or CHAS clinics a year are people seeking post-surgery treatment or who are recovering from an accident, it added.
The Government is imposing the cap to discourage “excessive utilisation of services so that the subsidy framework can be more sustainable in the long run”, said Senior Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min.
The MOH also revealed information concerning dental subsidies that Merdeka Generation seniors will receive starting this November, that will be higher than what blue CHAS cardholders receive, but lower than that for the Pioneer Generation.
From September onwards, Singaporeans may apply online for CHAS. To streamline the application process, they will be able to apply for CHAS cards on behalf of all household members in August, as long as the family members are living at the same address as shown on their identity cards.