The CareShield Life is a healthcare scheme introduced by the government, which will replace the existing Eldershield from the year 2020.
There are chances of every one Singaporean out of two, who are aged 65, to become disable in one way or another. This means they will require long-term caring which can be an expensive affair. Finding out exactly how much this long-term care will cost in the near future is definitely not easy. Eldershield, introduced by the government of Singapore, is an insurance scheme which focuses on the long term disability factor. It has been introduced to help in supplementing the savings of the Singaporeans in case of disability considered as ‘severe’.
Understanding Eldershield :
Permanent Residents and Singaporeans who are 40 years of age and above and those who have not been affected by severe disability, can enroll for the ElderShield insurance from any of the private insurers. You can pay either from the funds of Medisave or even pay cash.
Policyholders who are already on ElderShield 400 receive a monthly payout of $400 for a maximum of 6 years (72 months) if the ‘severe disability’ factor is confirmed. The criteria for this disability are when an individual is unable to perform 3 activities of the 6 listed activities of daily living.
ElderShield will continue to operate for those who are enrolled already but not for those who turn 40 in the year 2020. In other words, the policyholders of ElderShield can continue enjoying the benefits of the ElderShield policy unless they make a choice of joining the CareShield Policy.
What you need to know about CareShield:
What happens to ElderShield:
There will be no change for those Permanent Residents and Singaporeans who are already holding the ElderShield. The only difference is that you are given a choice to join CareShield Life, which can be beneficial in the long term in case of severe health problems.
ElderShield has been administered by private insurers like NTUC Income, Great Eastern ad Aviva but CareShield will be administered by the Singaporean Government. The bulk of the investment for the infrastructure of the CareShield, the government will be using The Singapore government securities.
Term of Coverage:
You are covered for life under CareShield Life and also ElderShield. This means the coverage continues even after you stop paying the premiums. This is not so with most of the disability plans offered by private companies. The coverage tends to stop when you reach the age of 65. This is the time when you probably require making claims the most.
Option of Coverage:
CareShield Life is compulsory for Permanent Residents and Singaporeans who will be between the age of 30 and 40 in the year 2020, while ElderShield was a scheme with the option of opting out for Permanent Residents and Singaporeans when they turn 40 years of age.
Disabilities which are Pre-existing:
Those with pre-existing disabilities were excluded from the ElderShield Scheme. This is not so with CareShield Life. Everyone, even those with the pre-existing disabilities like autism are included in the scheme. This means, that anyone who will be under the age of 40 in the year 2020, with pre-existing disability, can receive payouts by only making one payment of the premium but subject to a satisfying assessment of the criteria of disability.
Those who have crossed the age of 40 by the year 2020 and already have pre-existing disability cannot join the CareShield. They need to look for other schemes and subsidies offered by the government.
The definition of disability for the CareShield remains similar to the ElderShield. An individual must require help for a minimum of three of the listed 6 ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living). These ADL’s include
*Dressing: The ability to take off and put on, unfasten and secure all garments and also braces, surgical medical appliances or artificial limbs.
*Washing: The ability to wash in the shower or the bath (including getting out or in the shower).
*Moving Around or Walking: The ability of moving from one room to another indoors on surfaces which are leveled.
*Feeding: The ability to feed one own self after this has been cooked and served.
*Going to the Toilet: Manage bladder and bowel function through the use of any surgical appliances or even protective undergarments.
*Transferring: The ability to move from the bed to a chair which is upright or even a wheelchair.
As compared to disability insurance which is private, this is more stringent.
The current scheme of ElderShield requires the policyholders to make a payment of $50 to around $150 for getting assessed for a disability.
With CareShield Life, there are no charges for the first assessment. The MOH clarified that these assessments need to be carried out only if the policy holders truly believe they qualify for the same. The subsequent cost of assessments will be refunded only if the individual holding the policy qualifies for the payout of the CareShield Life.
Duration of Pay Outs:
ElderShield has fixed payouts of ElderShield 300 ,which allows a payout of $300 every month and ElderShield400, which allows a payout of $400 every month. This is for a period of six years.
With CareShield Life you receive a payout of $600 if you start claiming in the year 2020. These tend to increase with each passing year till the time you stop paying the premiums. You stop paying the premiums only when you reach the age of 67 or make a claim which is successful.
The payouts continue as long as you live. This means that those who claim as soon as they join this scheme receive $600 every month without any increments. For those who do not claim immediately, $1,200/ is the estimated payouts on a monthly basis and this is based on the annual increment of 2%.
CareShield Life works perfect for basic coverage needs but there are chances you might need more coverage in the long run.