All You Need To Know About CareShield Life

In 2018, the Singapore government announced CareShield Life, a long-term care insurance scheme. It’s aimed at protecting Singaporeans against the effects of severe disability.

There’s a lot to break down, depending on how old you are. Let’s break it all down.

Who is it for?

CareShield Life’s coverage extends to Singaporeans and permanent residents, and includes those who don’t currently reside in Singapore.

Born after 1990 (aged below 30 in 2020):

Coverage is mandatory. You will be automatically enrolled when you turn 30, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions and disability. Those with pre-existing severe disabilities at the point of reaching 30 will need to contribute once to join the scheme, and they can start receiving payouts.

Born between 1980-1990 (aged between 30-40 in 2020):

Coverage is mandatory. You will be automatically enrolled when you turn 30 or on 1 October 2020, whichever is later.

Born in 1979 or earlier

  • Born between 1970-1979 (aged 41 to 50 in 2020) with existing ElderShield and not severely disabled:

Coverage is optional. You will be automatically enrolled into CareShield Life from 1 December 2021. However, you can opt out by 31 Dec 2023 if you do not wish to remain on the scheme (more information will be announced later).

  • Born in 1979 or earlier, without existing ElderShield:

You can choose to join CareShield Life at careshieldlife.gov.sg. Check your personalised premiums here using your Singpass. .

What does it do, and how does it benefit me?

Similar to ElderShield, CareShield Life provides a payout upon severe disability to help with the cost of long-term care.

Severe disability is defined as needing assistance in at least three of these six activities of daily living:

  1. Eating without help
  2. Getting dressed
  3. Using the toilet
  4. Bathing
  5. Moving or walking on flat ground
  6. Transferring from the bed to a chair, or vice-versa.

1. Payout are planned with inflation in mind

2020, the payout amount starts at $600/month. This amount will increase by 2% per year from 2020 to 2025. Thereafter, increments in payout and premiums will be recommended by an independent CareShield Life Council.

This payout increases until an individual is 67, or when a successful claim is made, whichever occurs first. Once a successful new claim is made, the monthly payout amount will remain fixed for the duration of the severe disability.

Refer to this illustration below

Source: https://www.careshieldlife.gov.sg/careshield-life/benefits.html

2. Lifelong payouts

You will receive monthly payouts for life, for as long as you remain severely disabled.

3. Cash is king

Payouts are given in cash so you are free to use it however you like.

4. Worldwide coverage

Regardless of where you reside, you will remain covered, be able to make a claim, and receive payouts.

Read More: Best CareShield Life supplements compared.


How do I pay the premiums?

Premiums are fully payable by MediSave. Your family members (i.e. spouse, children, parents, siblings and grandchildren) can also help to pay your premiums with their MediSave, or top up your MediSave with cash.

How long do I need to pay the premiums for?

CareShield Life premiums are pre-funded with premiums paid during your working years. The government also manages a pool of funds within your generation, to cover its current and future claims. This way, we won’t need to pay for premiums during our retirement years but still get covered for life.

Premiums are paid from the age you join until the year you turn 67, or 10 years after you join the scheme, whichever is later.

But if you join at age 59 or older, you will pay premiums for 10 years. If you are still paying for premiums beyond age 67, base premiums will become flat. More on this in the next section.

How much are premiums?

Premiums come in two parts:

  1. Base premiums that apply to everyone enrolled:

From 2020 to 2025, premiums and payouts will both increase by 2% per year.

Beyond that, premium and payout adjustments will be recommended by an independent CareShield Life Council. The Council will use statistics from claims experience, life expectancy, and disability trends to determine the recommendations.

  1. A catch-up component — not applicable for those born in 1980 or after:

The catch-up component is a flat amount paid over 10 years, and is paid on top of the base premium.

Who will need to pay for this?

  • Existing ElderShield 300 policyholders
  • Those not insured under ElderShield
  • Those who opted into ElderShield late
  • Foreigners who became Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents from 1 October 2020

Source: https://www.careshieldlife.gov.sg/careshield-life/premiums-and-premium-support/existing-cohort–1979-or-earlier.html

Supplementing CareShield Life

While CareShield Life is a scheme managed by the government, there are supplementary plans offered by private insurance companies to provide additional monthly cash payouts.

Read more: Why You Should Plan For Long-Term Old Age Care, Even If You’re Young


There are four subsidies and support for premiums

1. Eligibility-based premium subsidies

This is means-tested, catering to lower- to middle-income households

S$1,200 or less30%
S$1,201 – $2,00025%
S$2,001 – $2,80020%

2. Transitional subsidies

  • For  those born in 1980 and after

Singapore citizens will receive up to S$250 in the first 5 years from 2020 to 2024 to help pay for the premiums of CareShield Life. This is given on top of the means-tested subsidies.

Source: https://www.careshieldlife.gov.sg/careshield-life/premiums-and-premium-support/future-cohort–1980-or-later.html

3. Participation incentives

Singapore Citizens born 1979 or earlier, and who who join by 31 December 2023

  • The incentive will be given over 10 years.

4. Additional Premium Support (APS)

  • For those who cannot afford the premiums even after the above subsidies and family support.

These subsidies are designed such that no one will lose their CareShield Life coverage because of the inability to afford their premiums.

Read More: Best CareShield Life supplements compared.

ElderShield vs CareShield

ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme that provides a basic cash payout to Singaporeans who may need long-term care, especially in their old age.

Here’s a comparison table between ElderShield and CareShield Life

Coverage periodFrom age 30, for life
From age 40, for life
Duration of payout during disabilityLifetime6 years
Disability monthly payoutS$600/mthS$400/mth
Premiums startsAt age 30At age 40
Premiums stopAt age 65
At age 67 (or at later retirement age)
Government subsidiesYesNo
ParticipationCompulsoryCan opt out
Insurance ProviderManaged by the government
By private insurers: Singlife with Aviva, Great Eastern or NTUC Income

For those born before 1980, should you switch to CareShield Life?

Two main factors we think you should consider before you decide to switch:

1. Eligibility

Applicants must not currently be disabled.

2. Affordability

Premiums are more expensive than ElderShield due to the higher payouts and longer payout period, so do consider if you have sufficient funds to pay the premiums until age 67 before making the switch.

To illustrate, we retrieved the Careshield Life premiums in a table below.  It assumes a person is currently under ElderShield 400, lives in a condo and has a minimum $28,000 annual household income, having enrolled in either plan in 2022.

Annual premiums in 2022 for person aged 46:


Annual premiums in 2022 for person aged 56:


Across the board, the premiums for women are roughly 30% more than men for all three schemes.

To dive deeper into the comparisons between CareShield Life and EldersShield, and to know more about converting from ElderShield, read more here.

We hope this has helped to demystify CareShield Life, and helped you understand how the scheme can fit into your life.

Read more: 3 Reasons To Apply for a CareShield Life Supplementary Plan

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