Sunday, 26 May 2019

Merdeka Generation to start getting cards from 2 June 2019

By Rei Kurohi, The Straits Times, 25 May 2019

The first batch of about 80,000 Merdeka Generation Package welcome folders will be available for collection at community events from June 2, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced yesterday.

The rest of the 500,000 or so folders will be sent out by SingPost later in the month, she said.

Dr Khor was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the factory where the folders were being prepared by Medialink Printing Services.

The folders include personalised Merdeka Generation cards which qualify holders for outpatient care subsidies at general practitioner (GP) and dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) from Nov 1, regardless of income or the value of their homes.

The Merdeka Generation Package was announced earlier this year by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during his Budget speech and is aimed at offsetting healthcare costs that come with ageing.

It includes an annual $200 top-up to the Medisave accounts of eligible Singaporeans for five years, from this year to 2023. The first top-up will be automatically credited in July.

The term Merdeka Generation generally refers to Singaporeans born between Jan 1, 1950, and Dec 31, 1959, plus others born in this period who became citizens by the end of 1996. Singaporeans born before this may also be eligible if they did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package.

Dr Khor said: "Our Silver Generation Office started their outreach to the Merdeka Generation seniors from April this year. To date, they have engaged close to 40,000 seniors, mostly through house visits and face-to-face engagements."

She added that engagement sessions are likely to continue until the end of next year and that all of the welcome folders should be sent out by the end of July.

Dr Khor co-chairs the Merdeka Generation Communications and Engagement Taskforce with Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Communications and Information Sim Ann, who was also on the visit.

The folder will also contain a list of six CHAS clinics nearest to the home address of the person receiving it, said Ms Sim.

The list will include four GP clinics and two dental clinics.

Ms Sim added that the folder will also contain - printed in all four official languages - a thank-you card from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, a booklet detailing the Merdeka Generation Package benefits and a leaflet on courses and activities that seniors can sign up for using the one-off $100 top-up for their PAssion Silver cards.

* Mail delivery of Merdeka Generation folders starts; more than 400,000 folders to eligible citizens by the end July 2019
By Renee Neo, The Straits Times, 29 Jun 2019

Mass delivery of Merdeka Generation Package welcome folders by mail started yesterday, kicking off the operation to deliver more than 400,000 folders to eligible citizens by the end of next month.

Yesterday's batch of folders will be the first of roughly 30,000 deliveries to homes islandwide daily. This follows the distribution of about 80,000 folders through various community events previously.

To mark the first day, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann visited the SingPost Kallang Delivery Base and learnt about the sorting and delivery of the welcome folders.

They also presented folders and SingPost tokens of appreciation to close to 30 postal workers from the Merdeka Generation.

Dr Khor got to meet 66-year-old Abdul Lah Haris who, with 47 years of service, is one of the longest-serving postmen at SingPost.

She said: "I learnt that with the transformation of SingPost and digitalisation of delivery processes, Mr Abdul Lah underwent training to learn how to use the new SmartPost app, which tracks delivery."

When he is not working, he joins his colleagues in badminton sessions and goes for regular jogs.

Dr Khor said: "I think Mr Abdul Lah really embodies the spirit of the Merdeka Generation, in terms of lifelong learning and active ageing."

Having delivered mail since the days when one traversed mud roads to get to a kampung, Mr Abdul Lah has seen first-hand how things have changed.

With a laugh, he said that while dogs were the enemies of postmen 30 years ago, now they help when the doorbell is faulty by alerting their owners to the presence of someone at the door.

The Merdeka Generation Package honours the hard work and contributions of Mr Abdul Lah and others born in the 1950s through various healthcare and other benefits.

In the personalised welcome folder, they will find things like their Merdeka Generation card and a list of Community Health Assist Scheme clinics nearest their homes.

Merdeka Generation Package unveiled at Singapore Budget 2019; benefits to be available from 1 July 2019

CHAS subsidies for all Singaporeans with chronic illnesses from November 2019

Changes to CHAS dental subsidies from November 2019

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