With Singaporeans’ life expectancy among the highest in the world, at 81.4 and 85.7 years for men and women respectively, there is a growing need to plan for healthy, peaceful ageing.
Fortunately, Singapore citizens and permanent residents are covered by CareShield Life, a long-term care insurance scheme that provides some financial protection if one becomes severely disabled in old age.
Singaporeans and permanent residents born in 1979 or earlier, and who aren’t severely disabled, can sign up for CareShield Life from 6 November 2021 onwards. If you were born after that, it’s mandatory and you’re signed up by default.
Here’s what you need to know about CareShield Life:
What is CareShield Life?
CareShield Life is a disability insurance scheme that provides basic financial support in the event that you become severely disabled, especially during old age, and require personal and medical care for an extended period (i.e. long-term care).
You are considered to be severely disabled if you require assistance in at least three of the six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):
- Eating without help
- Using the toilet
- Getting dressed
- Moving or walking on flat ground
- Moving from the bed to a chair, or vice versa
What are the CareShield Life premiums like?
Starting from age 30, you’ll have to pay a total of 38 premiums until you hit the age of 67 (or later, depending on retirement age). Premiums start at S$206 for men and S$253 for women, and increase by 2% every year for the first five years.
After you’re done paying your premiums, either when you turn 67 or 10 years after you join CareShield Life, whichever is later, you’ll be covered for your entire life.
If you have a severe disability at the entry age of 30, you’ll have to pay only the first premium to be eligible for lifetime payouts.
If you qualify for a payout, you no longer have to pay premiums even if you haven’t hit 67, the last premium-payment age.
Is CareShield Life better than ElderShield?
The answer is a resounding yes.
To start, the payouts are way higher, with a starting monthly disability benefit of S$600 – and the payouts increase over time, throughout your life. In comparison, ElderShield only provides S$300 or S$400 in benefits each month, for up to 60 or 72 months.
Think of CareShield Life as an enhanced version of ElderShield. Both schemes are fully payable by MediSave, and both are meant to disburse payouts if you become severely disabled. However, here are their differences:
|Option to opt out||No||Yes|
|Payable by MediSave||Yes||Yes|
|Entry age||30 years old||40 years old|
|Premiums end at||67 years old (or later, depending on retirement age)||65 years old|
|Annual premiums||Start at S$200 for men and S$250 for women, but increase by 2% every year||S$175 for men, S$218 for women|
|Payouts start when||Require help with three Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)||Require help with three Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)|
|Payout amount||S$600 per month||S$400 per month|
|Payout duration||Lifetime||60 or 72 months|
What will happen to ElderShield?
Your CareShield Life policy will replace your ElderShield policy. The ElderShield premiums you’ve paid will be factored in when computing your CareShield Life premiums.
How can I check if I have CareShield?
From 6 November 2021 onwards, you can check your personalised CareShield Life premiums here by logging in with your Singpass.
How will ElderShield be converted to CareShield?
If you were born between 1970 and 1979 (both inclusive), aren’t severely disabled, and are insured under ElderShield 400, you’ll be auto-enrolled in CareShield Life from 1 December 2021 onwards.
If you aren’t an existing ElderShield 400 policyholder, but are a Singaporean or Singapore PR born in 1979 or earlier, you can sign up for CareShield Life here from 6 November 2021.
Should I upgrade CareShield Life with a supplement plan?
Private insurance companies offer CareShield Life supplement plans that provide additional monthly disability cash payouts on top of CareShield Life’s basic benefit of S$600 per month.
With CareShield Life, your payouts start only when you require help with three ADLs. However, a supplement plan will reduce the claim criteria from three to one of the six ADLs, making it a lot easier for you to get help.
Monthly payouts from your supplement plan can even be as high as S$5,000, with most of that figure being add-ons to CareShield Life’s basic monthly payouts. These premiums can be made with cash or through MediSave from your own account, or your family members’ as long as they are within the additional withdrawal limit.
Thinking of increasing your CareShield Life coverage? We’ve got you covered! Check out our comparison of the best CareShield Life supplement plans here.
Protect your own wellness by starting your financial planning early. CareShield Life guarantees that you’ll be covered if you become severely disabled, and there’s plenty you can do with supplement plans for extra peace of mind.
If you still have any burning questions about CareShield Life, drop us an email at email@example.com!