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What is Careshield Life?

CareShield Life is a national long-term care insurance scheme designed to provide basic protection against long-term care costs in severe disabilities, from 2020. 

Who is it for?

ALL Singapore Resident born 1970 & after, they will automatically be covered under CareShield Life. If you are born after 1990 (aged below 30 in 2020), you will be automatically covered by CareShield Life when you turn 30.

For those that are already under ElderShield400 scheme, you can opt to switch to the new CareShield Life scheme in 2021.

What does it cover?

Once you are certified that you are unable to do 3 out of 6 “activities of daily living (ADL)” or self-care such as washing, toileting, being mobile, walking, feeding and transferring (say from bed to wheelchair), you will be eligible for a claim

I’m confused… so what is the difference between Eldershield and Careshield?

Careshield is version 2 of Eldershield, aka an improved version with better benefits.

ElderShield was introduced in 2002. Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents who joined ElderShield on or after 30 September 2007 (i.e. age 52 and older in 2018) will be under the ElderShield 400 scheme which provides a payout of $400 monthly for only 6 years. There is no more monthly payout if your severe disability goes beyond 6 years. 

CareShield Life, on the other hand, provides the following:

  1. Lifetime cash payouts
    1. For as long as you are severely disabled.
  2. Payouts increase over time
    1. Starting at $600 per month in 2020
    2. Payouts will increase until age 67, or when you make claims, whichever is earlier

Here’s a table of comparison:

What is the estimated monthly payout under Careshield?

Does better coverage mean more premiums? What if I cannot afford?

Fret not! There are Government Subsidies to make it affordable. 

  • The Government will provide means-tested premium subsidies of up to 30% to improve the affordability of your premiums.
  • Participation Incentives of up to $2,500 that will be spread over 10 years and can be used to offset your annual premiums, if you join CareShield Life between 2021 to 2023.
  • Additional Participation Incentives of $1,500 for Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation seniors.
  • Additional Premium Support for Singaporeans if you are unable to afford your premiums even after premium subsidies, so that you will not lose coverage under CareShield Life due to your inability to pay premiums.
  • The MediSave of your immediate family members can also be used to pay for your premiums.

If you are concerned that you still cannot afford CareShield Life premiums even after premium subsidies, use of MediSave and family support, you may be eligible for Additional Premium Support. The thing is, no one is supposed to lose their coverage due to financial difficulties.

Exactly how much do I need to pay for Careshield?

You can check your CareShield Life premiums via the Premium Calculator.

Why does Careshield start at age 30 when Eldershield starts only at age 40?

The rationale for starting the CareShield Life premium payment term at age 30, and ending at age 67, is that it allows a longer period for premium payments to be spread over compared to the current ElderShield scheme in which policyholders pay premiums from age 40 until age 65. With a longer duration of premium payment allows you to spread premium payment over more years, so as to reduce annual premiums payable. Consequently, policyholders will benefit from additional years of coverage starting from age 30.

Most Singaporeans would have started working by age 30. They would have worked for a few years. It is a good time to start planning for their long-term care needs. They would have started contributing to their MediSave, and should be able to cover their CareShield Life premiums without out-of-pocket expenses.

I’m currently on Eldershield. Does it make sense to switch?

In view that Careshield provides better protection for long term care (lifetime as compared to 6 years coverage under Eldershield), the Government do encourage Singaporeans in existing cohorts of Eldershield who are not severely disabled to consider joining CareShield Life.

Can I stay put with Eldershield?

You are allowed to stay on current Eldershield program if you wish.

If I’m on Eldershield currently, can I make the switch to Careshield?

If you are born in 1979 or earlier, you will be able to join CareShield Life from 2021, as long as you are not severely disabled. This means that those who have pre-existing medical conditions can also join. There is no maximum age for joining.

What are supplements offered by private insurers?

Currently, private insurers have not revealed any supplements to go with Careshield. They should be revealing more towards the end of the year. 
 No matter if you stay put with ElderShield or opt for Careshield, if you wish to have higher coverage (e.g. higher payouts, longer payout duration), you can consider purchasing supplements from any of the ElderShield/Careshield insurers. The supplement premiums can be paid using MediSave, up to a limit of $600 per calendar year per person insured.