CareShield Life is a long-term care insurance scheme that provides basic financial support in the event of disability. However, just how sufficient is its coverage? Read on to find out why you should consider applying for a supplementary plan.
With an ageing population, the Singapore government has implemented policies such as CareShield Life, a national long-term care insurance scheme to safeguard Singaporeans against the consequences of severe disability.
From 6 November 2021 onwards, eligible Singaporeans and permanent residents born in 1979 or earlier, and are not severely disabled, can sign up for CareShield Life. For those born after 1979, this scheme is compulsory and you are signed up by default. How adequate is this scheme when it comes to dealing with the needs of Singaporeans? What are the supplementary options available?
Read on as we delve into why you should consider applying for a CareShield Life supplementary plan.
What is CareShield Life?
CareShield Life is a disability insurance scheme that came into effect on 1 October 2020, to provide basic financial support in the event that one becomes severely disabled, especially during old age, and needs personal and medical care for a prolonged period (i.e. long-term care).
If you need help in at least three of the following six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), you will be deemed as severely disabled:
- Eating without help
- Using the toilet
- Getting dressed
- Moving from the bed to a chair, or vice versa
- Walking or moving on flat ground
With a supplementary plan, you can start receiving payout even if you require help in only one of the six ADLs. Compare the available supplementary plans here.
Why should I apply for a CareShield Life supplementary plan?
Long story short, CareShield Life does not provide sufficient coverage. Think inflation and rising cost of living – this also means that CareShield Life has its own limitations.
Furthermore, there are other reasons you should apply for a CareShield Life supplementary plan:
1. CareShield Life’s basic payout is insufficient
Since CareShield Life is meant to provide basic financial protection for long-term care needs, the sum we eventually need for our medical bills and other expenses could be way higher.
In the unfortunate event of a disability, you would probably require money for expenses including:
- Daily living expenses
- Medical aids
- Living in a nursing facility
- Getting a caregiver to provide care for you
- Other expenses
Under CareShield Life, the basic payout amount is only S$600 a month, which is insufficient even for those who live a simple lifestyle. To estimate your monthly required expenses, you can use EDB’s Cost of Living Calculator.
2. CareShield Life Supplements reduce claim criteria and provide additional coverage
Under CareShield Life, your payouts only start when you require help with three ADLs. Having a supplementary plan, however, will reduce the claim criteria from three to one of the six ADLs, which makes it easier for you to obtain financial help.
Private insurance companies Singlife with Aviva, NTUC Income and Great Eastern provide CareShield Life supplementary plans to provide additional monthly disability cash payouts, in addition to CareShield life’s basic benefit of S$600 a month.
Applying for a supplementary plan means that your monthly payouts can go up to as high as S$5,000, with the bulk of the payout coming from add-ons to the scheme’s basic monthly payouts.
3. MediSave funds can be used to pay for your CareShield Life supplementary plans
Moreover, these premiums are payable with MediSave from your own account, or your family members’ so long as they are within the additional withdrawal limit. You can use up to S$600 per year per person from your CPF MediSave to pay for your CareShield Life supplementary plan. However, should there be an excess of premiums beyond S$600, the remaining sum will be payable in cash.
For Singapore Citizens from low- to middle-income households, there is also help available to pay for premiums. Find out more on the CPF website here.
How do I check if I have a CareShield Life supplementary plan?
Before you apply for a CareShield Life supplementary plan, check whether you already have one. You can do so by following these steps:
- Head to https://www.cpf.gov.sg/member
- Login with your Singpass
- Click on “My Messages”
- Navigate to “CareShield Life/ElderShield” under the “Healthcare” section
If you already have a supplementary plan, the Healthcare section will reflect the insurer you are covered under (e.g. Aviva, NTUC Income, or Great Eastern). On the other hand, if you do not have any supplementary plans, the website will not reflect any information.
What are the available CareShield Life supplementary plans?
Private insurers including Aviva, NTUC Income, and Great Eastern offer CareShield Life supplementary plans.
Here’s a quick comparison table for you to make a well-informed decision:
Singlife with Aviva
Monthly Cash Benefit Upon
|2/6 ADLs or 3/6 ADLs||2/6 ADLs or 3/6 ADLs|
2/6 ADLs or 3/6 ADLs
1/6 ADLs triggers 50% of payout
Premium Term Options
|Until age next Birthday 68 and 98||Until 67 and 84 age last birthday|
Until age last birthday 67 and 95 if entry age is 30 to 47
Until age last birthday 95 or 20 years if entry age is 48 to 64
Waiver of Premium
|Inability to perform at least 1 out of 6 ADLs||Inability to perform at least 2 out of 6 ADLs|
Inability to perform at least 1 out of 6 ADLs
Initial Lump Sum Support Benefit (One Time)
|3 times the monthly benefit||300% of Monthly Benefit if due to 2 out of 6 ADLs|
600% of Monthly Benefit if due to 3 out of 6 ADLs
3 times the monthly benefit payable upon inability to perform at least 1 ADL
Monthly Cash Benefit Amount
|S$200 to S$5,000 per month (in increments of S$100) on top of CareShield Life’s payout||S$1,200 to S$5,000 per month (in increments of S$100). CareShield Life monthly cash benefit is part of the total monthly benefit if claim is due to 3 out of 6 ADLs|
S$300 to S$5,000 per month (in increments of S$100) on top of CareShield Life’s payout
Need a personalised quote? We’re here to help – simply submit your interest here.
Safeguard your financial future
Life is full of unexpected moments, and it never hurts to plan ahead of time. Getting a CareShield Life supplementary plan can give you peace of mind, knowing you are well insured for an unknown future.
If you are still on the fence about getting a supplementary plan, simply reach out to us at email@example.com and we can provide further advice.