THE first round of Medisave top-ups under the Pioneer Generation Package will be given out in early July, said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday.
He said the two years' worth of top-ups will help members of the pioneer generation pay for their current Medishield premiums, before the new universal insurance scheme Medishield Life kicks in, in late 2015.
He also made clear that the Medishield Life subsidies, which are part of the package, will cover Medisave-approved private health insurance plans that many have bought.
Mr Tharman, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was speaking on social spending as he wrapped up the debate on this year's Budget.
Benefits under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) that all pioneers will enjoy will also be brought forward to September this year, from January 2015. This will come into place at the same time as enhanced subsidies to be rolled out at specialist outpatient clinics. The Chas scheme means pioneers can receive subsidised treatment at participating private GP clinics.
To help pioneers who are unsure of the benefits they will receive, a Pioneer Generation card will be mailed to pioneers before September which they can use at these clinics.
The $8 billion pioneer package is the centrepiece of this year's Budget. It gives healthcare subsidies and topups to some 450,000 Singaporeans aged 65 and above this year and who became citizens before 1987, for life.