Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat revealed the long awaited details for the new Merdeka Generation Package (MGP) during the budget presentation today in Parliament (18 Feb). The package will benefit Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier who missed out on the Pioneer Generation Package but obtained citizenship by 1996.
The MGP is intended to help eligible Singaporeans with their medical expenses as they enter retirement.
Mr Heng outlines 5 key benefits of the MGP:
- A one-time top-up of $S100 to Passion Silver Cards which can be used to pay for activities and facilities at Community Clubs, public swimming pools, public transportation and more.
- An annual $S200 MediSave top-up from 2019 to 2023, on top of the GST vouchers that they are eligible for.
- Additional subsidies for outpatients care at CHAS general practices and dental clinics. These subsidies will be higher than CHAS Blue subsidies and will be given to all in the Merdeka Generation regardless of income.
- Additional subsidies for MediShield Life premiums – a 5% subsidy on the annual premium for those aged 60 to 75, and a 10% subsidy for those above 76 years old.
- Additional participation incentive of $S1,5000 for those who join CareShield Life, a disability insurance, when it is made available to the cohort in 2021.
The Mr Heng said the MGP will benefit close to 500,000 Singaporeans. Those eligible will be notified in April and start receiving their MGP cards from June 2019.
The Minister also noted that the package is expected to cost Singapore about $S8 billion in total. Even so, he announced that $S6.1 billion has been earmarked in the current budget for the MGP. With interest accumulated over time, Mr Heng expects the projected cost to be fully covered.