CareShield Life is not a new insurance policy. Already revealed a couple of years before its recent launch on Oct 1, it was originally intended to be launched in mid-2020, but was delayed due to Covid-19.
The three things you need to remember about CareShield Life is that it offers lifetime payouts when disability strikes, premiums increase over time, and it’s compulsory — for those born in 1980 or later. Those who are born 1979 or earlier, you can opt out.
So, if you’re Singaporean, no matter the age, you must familiarise yourself with CareShield Life. Let’s read on.
What is CareShield Life?
According to statistics by the Ministry of Health, 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could be severely disabled in their lifetime and may need long-term care. Disability also comes in various ways: stroke, spinal cord injuries, or the worsening of chronic conditions and diseases.
CareShield Life aims to pool such health risks together to ensure protection against catastrophic long-term care costs. A disabled person might need more financial support with nursing homes and medication, after all.
Essentially, CareShield Life is a long-term disability insurance plan, so that if you become severely disabled, you get payouts for life. Premiums will be adjusted every year, so unlike the previous scheme (ElderShield), you pay different premiums as you get older.
What disability does CareShield Life cover?
To claim payouts from CareShield Life, the eligibility is assessed based on the number of daily activities you can do.
There are six activities of daily living, abbreviated as ADL, namely eating, dressing, toileting, bathing, walking and transferring, that are on the criteria sheet. If the insured cannot carry out three of such activities, you can claim.
Who is CareShield Life for?
You might have already received a welcome package if you are a Singapore resident between 30 and 40. This is the first cohort to join the scheme from Oct 1 or on their 30th birthday, whichever is later.
For those who are born after 1990 (29 and younger in 2020), they will be automatically enrolled when their 30th birthday rolls around.
Born in 1979 or earlier: Optional to join. Details on when they can join will be released in 2021.
Born in 1980 to 1990: Automatically enrolled on Oct 1 or on their 30th birthday, whichever later
Born after 1990: Automatically enrolled on 30th birthday
Careshield Life premiums & premium subsidies
In 2020, the CareShield Life premiums is $600 per month. The premiums can be paid using MediSave. You can also pay for others’ CareShield Life premiums if they are approved dependents.
There are also premium subsidies offered by the government of up to 30%, with permanent means tested subsidies for lower- to middle-income Singapore residents. Those being enrolled between 2020 and 2024 will receive up to $250 in transitional subsidies.
ElderShield vs CareShield
ElderShield is an older “version” of CareShield Life, which covers those born in 1979 or earlier, and is by no means the same thing. If you are born in 1980 or later, you can skip this section as CareShield Life is compulsory for you.
Essentially, the main differences are that the monthly cash payouts for ElderShield is lower, and the premiums for ElderShield is fixed, as opposed to CareShield Life’s increasing premiums. Additionally, the premium term for ElderShield is from 40 to 65, while that of CareShield Life is longer from 30 to 67.
Starting CareShield Life payouts for Singaporeans with severe disability will be higher than under the existing ElderShield Scheme. The payout will increase annually until age 67, as long as the person remains severely disabled.
CareShield Life is, therefore, more comprehensive.
Here’s a table for easy comparison:
|Monthly Cash Payouts||$600 (starting from 2020)||$300 / $400|
|Payout Duration||Lifetime||5 / 6 years|
|Premiums||Adjusted, increases yearly until age 67||Fixed|
|Premium Duration||From age 30 to 67||From age 40 to 65|
CareShield opt-out option
If you are born in 1980 or later, CareShield Life is universal and mandatory. You cannot opt out.
For those born in 1979 and earlier, CareShield Life is optional. You will be automatically enrolled from the end of 2021, if you are currently covered under the ElderShield 400 scheme and are not severely disabled at the point of auto-enrolment. But, you can opt-out by 31 Dec 2023.
CareShield Life supplements
As with most government insurance plans, such as MediShield Life and ElderShield, usually private insuers will launch their own supplements so that you can increase the coverage.
There will also be CareShield Life supplements, however not all of them have been launched.
Aviva has launched its CareShield Life supplement called MyLongTermCare and MyLongTermCare Plus, and NTUC Income has launched Care Secure.
To know more about CareShield Life supplements, approach the individual insurer to know more.
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