SINGAPORE - About half a million Singaporeans born in the 1950s will receive letters confirming their eligibility for the Merdeka Generation Package by the end of this month, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday (April 1).
The Merdeka Generation Package, announced earlier this year in Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget speech, seeks to offset some of the healthcare costs incurred by ageing Singaporeans.
To qualify for the package, seniors must be born between Jan 1, 1950, and Dec 31, 1959, and have attained Singapore citizenship by the end of 1996.
The Merdeka Generation Package will also be extended to Singaporeans who were born by Dec 31, 1949, became Singapore citizens by the end of 1996 and did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package.
Singaporeans eligible for the Merdeka Generation Package will receive an annual $200 top-up to their Medisave accounts for five years, from 2019 to 2023, with the first top-up automatically credited in July this year.
The 500,000 or so eligible seniors will also receive their welcome folders and Merdeka Generation cards from late June this year. The welcome folder will include details on the package, such as how to redeem the one-off $100 top-up for their PAssion Silver cards.
With the Merdeka Generation card, seniors can get additional outpatient care subsidies at general practitioner and dental clinics listed under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) from Nov 1.
The card will also entitle them to an additional 25 per cent off their subsidised bills at polyclinics and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics.
The existing Pioneer Generation Appeals Panel, set up to consider appeals for the Pioneer Generation Package, will now also review appeals for the Merdeka Generation Package and be renamed the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Appeals Panel.
Citizens born on Dec 31, 1959, or earlier, but who became Singapore citizens after Dec 31, 1996, can submit an appeal to the panel for consideration for the package if they have "good claims" to be counted among the Merdeka Generation, said the Finance Ministry.
The panel will not consider appeals from those born after Dec 31, 1959.