SINGAPORE: Some members of the public will now be able to get an estimate of how much in premiums they might have to pay under CareShield Life, with the launch of an online calculator by the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Thursday (Dec 27).
CareShield Life is an enhanced version of ElderShield, the current long-term care insurance scheme for those with severe disability.
The scheme will be compulsory for Singapore residents born in 1980 or later, and will be launched in 2020.
In its press release on Thursday, MOH said that the online calculator will provide Singaporeans with information on their estimated premiums before and after applicable subsidies and incentives, for the initial years of the scheme from 2020 to 2025.
Users will be asked for their birth year, gender and current ElderShield coverage, as well as their per capita household income and housing type.
The tool can be found on the CareShield Life website.
It will be available for Singapore citizens and permanent residents born between 1946 and 1990, who have either been consistently on an ElderShield policy, or who are not covered by ElderShield.
Other groups of Singaporeans will be able to check their premium figures using other methods.
Those born in 1945 or earlier can call the Healthcare Hotline at 1800-222-3399 for more details on their estimated premiums, subsidies and incentives.
Their annual premiums will be higher, as older cohorts "have fewer years to spread their premium payments over", said MOH.
Meanwhile, those born in 1991 or later will be provided with their premium figures when they are enrolled in the CareShield Life scheme at age 30.
Those on less common ElderShield policy arrangements - such as those who have a paid-up policy, or those who opted out of ElderShield at the age of 40 but subsequently re-joined - will be able to find out more about their estimated premiums closer to 2021, when they are able to join the scheme.
Cohorts born in 1979 or earlier can choose to join CareShield Life in 2021 if they are not severely disabled, while Singaporeans currently insured on ElderShield can upgrade to CareShield Life.
The ElderShield premiums they have already paid will be taken into account when their CareShield Life premiums are computed.
The new scheme, which was designed based on the recommendations of an ElderShield Review Committee, had drawn criticism earlier this year over its gender-differentiated premiums which will see women paying higher premiums than men.
Several Members of Parliament had argued in July that this differentiation makes the scheme less inclusive.
However Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said that the ElderShield Review Committee had decided that applying gender-differentiated premiums would more accurately reflect the differences in risk between men and women, and result in a "more sustainable" scheme.