Singapore—Welcome news is coming to Singaporeans born in the 1950’s by the end of the month. By the end of April, letters on their eligibility for the Merdeka Generation Package will be sent to around half a million baby boomers.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on April 1, towards the end of June, seniors who have qualified under the package guidelines will be receiving welcome folders and Merdeka Generation cards.
When Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat discussed this year’s budget #SGBudget2019, he said that the goal of the Merdeka Generation Package is to keep the older generation of Singaporeans healthy and active, as well as to provide a strong safety net in the light of the rising cost of healthcare as citizens grow older.
Here are the main criteria for eligibility: the package will be made available to Singaporeans whose birth dates fall between January 1, 1950, through December 31, 1959, as well as those who became citizens of the Republic by December 31, 1996.
Additionally, the Merdeka Generation Package is also available to citizens whose birthdate is before December 31, 1959, and those who became citizens by December 31, 1996, and have not been able to receive the Pioneer Generation Package.
The statement from MOF also said that at this point, those eligible need not take any action yet.
However, by July, the Merdeka Generation will begin to receive benefits, including a one-off $100 PAssion Silver card top-up, an annual $200 MediSave top-up for five years, from 2019 to 2023, plus an additional 5 percent subsidy for MediShield Life premiums, which goes up to 10 percent after 75.
From November this year, the MOF lists additional outpatient care subsidies as part of the package:
- Special subsidies at General Practitioner (GP) and dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS);
2. Additional 25% off subsidised bills at polyclinics and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs)
Seniors should present their Merdeka Generation cards from November 1 onwards at CHAS GP and dental clinics, polyclinics, and public SOCs in order to receive additional outpatient care subsidies.
And from 2021 onwards, an additional S$1,500 participation incentive for CareShield Life will also be given. Seniors may can receive a total of S$4,000 in participation incentives if they join CareShield Life when applications are opened from 2021 to 2023. The total amount is to be spread over 10 years and will be used to offset seniors’ annual CareShield Life premiums.
The statement from MOF regarding the Merdeka Generation Package also included a section on the Appeals Panel, which had previously applied to the Pioneer Generation.
Now renamed the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Appeals Panel, it is headed by Timothy James de Souza as its chairman. James Koh Cher Siang and Lim Soo Hoon are the Appeals Panel’s Deputy Chairpersons.
The panel is for citizens of Singapore who were born on or earlier than 1959 but who only became Singapore citizens after December 31, 1996. If they can claim that they belong to the Merdeka Generation, they may file for an appeal, which will be reviewed case by case.
However, the appeals of those born after December 31, 1959, will not be considered by the panel.
Citizens who would like to file an appeal may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, those who wish to ask questions about the package may call 1800 2222 888 for general inquiries, or 1800 650 6060 for healthcare inquiries, or email email@example.com.
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