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CareShield Life to open to people born in 1979 or earlier with incentives of up to S$4,000

CareShield Life to open to people born in 1979 or earlier with incentives of up to S$4,000

An elderly man in a wheelchair in Singapore. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Long-term disability support scheme CareShield Life will soon be open to Singaporeans and permanent residents born in 1979 or earlier, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Oct 14).

The national scheme for disability insurance was launched in October last year and is already compulsory for those born in 1980 or later. It replaces the ElderShield scheme.

From Nov 6, eligible Singaporeans and permanent residents born in 1979 or earlier and who are not severely disabled can sign up for CareShield Life, said MOH.

For convenience, existing ElderShield 400 policyholders born between 1970 and 1979 will be auto-enrolled in CareShield Life from Dec 1.

No action is required on their part, and they will receive a CareShield Life welcome package with more information on their coverage and personalised premiums.

All other Singaporeans and permanent residents born in 1979 or earlier can sign up online.

MOH explained that auto-enrolment was not extended to this group because it comprises ElderShield 300 policyholders, uninsured people and older people who will face higher annual premiums compared to the auto-enrolment group.

"They should therefore weigh the costs and benefits, and make a conscious decision to opt into CareShield Life," said the ministry. People in this group can check their personalised premiums on the website.

To encourage enrolment, the Government will give participation incentives of up to S$2,500 to all Singaporeans born in 1979 or earlier who join CareShield Life by Dec 31, 2023.

Merdeka and Pioneer Generation citizens will receive additional participation incentives of S$1,500 if they join by the same date.

Existing ElderShield policyholders will continue to be covered under ElderShield if they choose not to upgrade to CareShield Life, added MOH.

HIGHER LIFETIME PAYOUTS

The CareShield Life and Long-term Care Bill was passed in Parliament in 2019 to provide long-term care for Singapore's ageing population.

Enrolment in CareShield Life is encouraged as it will provide better protection than ElderShield through higher and lifetime payouts, said the Health Ministry.

Payouts under CareShield Life increase annually until age 67 or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier.

The payout level in 2021 is currently S$612, said MOH, adding that this is higher than ElderShield's fixed payouts of S$300 or S$400 a month.

CareShield Life also provides payouts for life during the entire duration of severe disability, whereas ElderShield provides up to 60 or 72 months of payouts, said the ministry.

Unlike ElderShield, CareShield Life has premium support to ensure no one loses coverage due to an inability to pay, it added.

There are currently more than 740,000 policyholders in the mandatory cohorts enrolled in CareShield Life, said MOH.

ELDERSHIELD ADMINISTRATION

MOH also said that the Government will take over administration of ElderShield from private insurers Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income from Nov 1.

"With this, policyholders can benefit from improvements to the claims assessment process, and upgrade more smoothly to CareShield Life from Nov 6," it said.

There will be no change to ElderShield coverage, claim eligibility criteria or monthly payout quantum under Government administration, added MOH.

Until Oct 31, ElderShield policyholders should continue to approach their respective insurers.

From Nov 1, they can submit ElderShield enquiries via an online form or call the hotline at 1800 222 3399 during office hours.

For claims under ElderShield, policyholders can submit these through the Agency for Integrated Care eServices for Financing Schemes online portal.

Source: CNA/dv(gr)

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