Launched on 1 October 2020, CareShield Life is an insurance scheme which helps to cover the cost of long-term care. It replaces the previous ElderShield insurance scheme.
DISCLAIMER: This guide is for informational purposes only. It should not be taken as financial advice. If you are in need of such advice, please approach a trusted financial advisor as they will be able to give recommendations which consider your personal needs and situation.
What is long-term care?
According to Ministry of Health (MOH), intermediate and long term care (ILTC) services are typically required for persons who need further care after being discharged from an acute hospital as well as community-dwelling seniors who may be frail and need someone to watch over them or to help them with their daily needs. An example of long-term care is caregiving services which involve a care aide or trained nurse attending to a patient and assisting them with their daily activities.
How much are CareShield Life payouts?
It depends on when you make a successful CareShield Life claim. The payout amount will start at $600/month and increase as you continue to pay your annual premiums. However, they will remain constant as soon as you make a successful claim.
The following scenarios illustrate how this works:
You CareShield Life in 2020 at the age 30, however, you become severely disabled that same year. You make a successful claim and pay only 1 premium. Your payout will remain at $600/month as long as you continue to be severely disabled.
You join CareShield Life in 2020 at the age of 30. You become severely disabled in 2021 at the age of 31. You make a successful claim and stop paying premiums in 2021. Your payout will remain at $612 as long as you continue to be severely disabled.
You join CareShield Life in 2020 at the age of 30 and you finish paying all your premiums as of 2057, the year you turn 67. You become disabled some time after 2057, past the age of 67, and you make a successful claim that same year. Your payouts remain at $1200/month* as long as you continue to be severely disabled.
*This is an estimated figure which is based on the current annual increase of 2%. However, after 2025, the annual increase will be reviewed by an independent CareShield Life Council, thus, this number will likely change in the future.
DO NOTE: CareShield Life payouts support patients for the entire duration that they are severely disabled. Hence, if the patient is permanently disabled, they will receive payouts for the rest of their life. Thus, recipients may need to undergo annual reassessment to check if they are still eligible to receive payouts.
Am I eligible for CareShield Life payouts?
To be eligible for payouts, applicants must meet the following criteria:
They are a CareShield Life policyholder.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents who were born from 1980 onwards, will automatically become a CareShield Life policyholder by the end of 2020 or once they reach the age of 30, whichever is later.
To be specific, those born from 1980 to 1990 will be covered by CareShield Life by the end of 2020 while those born from 1991 onwards will be covered once they reach the age of 30. For these two groups of people, enrolment is compulsory.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents who were born before 1980 and are insured under the ElderShield 400 scheme will automatically become a CareShield Life policyholders in 2021 as long as they are not severely disabled yet. However, they can choose to opt out of the scheme and have their premiums refunded. This must be done before 31 December 2023.
You can head over to the CareShield Life website to check your policy.
They are deemed severely disabled.
The severity of disability is determined by the patient’s ability to do the 6 activities of daily living (ADLs):
If the patient is unable to do 3 out of 6 ADLs, they are deemed severely disabled and are then eligible to make a CareShield Life claim.
However, only MOH-accredited disability assessors can verify and certify the severity of someone’s disability. This is called a severe disability assessment.
This assessment can be conducted in either an assessor’s clinic or in the applicant’s home. As both have their own advantages and disadvantages, be sure to select the location which is more convenient based on your own circumstances.
Jaga-Me is an MOH-accredited disability assessor which conducts home-based disability assessments. This makes it easier for applicants who have difficulty moving or have tight schedules as they do not need to spend time and effort on travelling and waiting in line.
How much are CareShield Life premiums?
- Claim experience
- Changes in life expectancy
- Disability trends
CareShield Life premiums will need to be paid either until the policyholder is 67 years old (inclusive of the year they turn 67) or until a successful claim is made.
For policyholders who join CareShield Life at the age of 59 and above, they will need to pay CareShield Life premiums for either 10 years or until a successful claim is made.
Do have a look at Annex A of your CareShield Life Welcome Letter to check your premiums and subsidies for your very first policy year. In the future, you can log into careshieldlife.gov.sg/cshl-premium-checker via your SingPass to check your premiums and subsidies.
How can I pay for CareShield Life?
Your MediSave balance can be used to settle your CareShield Life premiums. If you do not have enough money in your MediSave account, your family members (for example, your spouse, children, parents, siblings and/or grandchildren) can help to cover the cost of your CareShield Life policy by either using their own MediSave balance or by topping up your MediSave account with cash.
There are also various subsidies and support measures you can tap on if you require more financial assistance (the government has assured Singaporeans that no one will lose their CareShield Life coverage due to financial difficulties).
These include subsidies and support measures like:
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents from lower- to middle-income households can avail of Premium Subsidies. These subsidies can help cover up to 30% of their CareShield Life premiums, however, this amount is subject to your household’s financial situation. You can refer to the table below for more information:
|Monthly Household Income Per Person|
|Subsidy Rates for Singapore Citizens*||$1200 or less||$1201 – $2000||$2001 – $2800|
*These subsidy rates are only valid for Singapore Citizens who live in properties which have an annual value (AV) of $13,000 or less (This is because properties are also considered financial assets).
If you live in a property which has an annual value of $13 001 to $21 000, your subsides will be 10% less than the values indicated in the table.
If you live in a property which has an annual value greater than $21 000 or you own multiple properties, you will not be eligible for subsidies.
If you are a permanent resident, you will only receive half of the amount indicated in the table.
|Birth Year||Transitional Subsidies In Each Year||Total Transitional Subsidy|
|1st Year (2020)||2nd Year (2021)||3rd Year (2022)||4th Year (2023)||5th Year (2024)||6th Year (2025)|
|1994||–||–||–||–||$30||End of Transitional Subsidy||$30|
|1980 – 1990||$70||$60||$50||$40||$30||$250|
CareShield Life policyholders who still cannot pay after premium subsides and MediSave, and are unable to reach out to their families for assistance, they can apply for Additional Premium Support.
If the CareShield Life policyholder is unable to apply by themselves the government will assist in the application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you will still be eligible for CareShield Life coverage as long as you are not severely disabled.
In 2021, ElderShield policyholders will be automatically enrolled under the CareShield Life insurance scheme as long as they are not severely disabled yet. However, they have the choice to opt out.
For those who are unsure of whether you should stick with ElderShield or switch to CareShield Life, we have created a comparison table to show you the advantages and disadvantages of both insurance schemes:
|ElderShield 300||ElderShield 400||CareShield Life|
|Monthly payouts||$300||$400||Starts at $600|
|Payout duration||5 years||6 years||For as long as you remain severely disabled|
*If you joined ElderShield 300 at age 40.
*If you joined ElderShield 400 at age 40.
*If you joined CareShield Life at age 30 (amount will increase annually).
|Premium Payment Starts||40 years old||40 years old||30 years old|
|Premium Payment Ends||65 years old||65 years old||67 years old|
|Fully payable through MediSave?||Yes|
|Government subsidies available?||No||Yes|
|First Severe Disability Assessment is free?||No||Yes|
Yes, you can choose to join Careshield Life in 2021 as long as you are not severely disabled yet.
The base premium and the duration of premium payment is subject to the age at which you make the switch.
However, as mentioned previously, if you switch to CareShield Life before the age of 59, you will pay premiums until you turn 67.
If you switch to CareShield Life at the age of 59 and above, you will pay premiums for the next 10 years.
To calculate your exact premium amount, please use this premium calculator.
Although CareShield Life payouts start at $600 and increase as one continues to pay their annual premiums, there may still be instances where the amount is still not enough to cover the cost of care. Possible situations include:
- Patients who do not have family members who can become primary caregivers and will thus need to hire a full-time caregiver or move into a long-term care institute like a nursing home.
- Patients who find themselves constantly in and out of the hospital.
In such situations, CareShield Life supplements can provide great financial support. In essence, supplements are add-ons which are offered by the following private insurers:
- Great Eastern
- NTUC Income
These supplements/add-ons can help to increase amount of your monthly payouts, increase the duration of your monthly payouts, provide extra monetary benefits, and lower the eligibility requirements for such payouts.
However, you will need to pay more premiums before you can enjoy that benefit.
What are the current CareShield Life supplements available?
As mentioned earlier, there are 3 private insurers – Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income – which offer CareShield Life supplements.
The table below compares the CareShield Life supplements offered by each insurers:
|GREAT CareShield Enhanced||GREAT CareShield Advantage||Aviva MyLongTermCare||Aviva MyLongTermCare Plus||NTUC Care Secure|
|Premium Term||Until age 65/80||Until age 68/99||Until age 67/84|
|Premium Waiver||When the insured can no longer do at least 1 ADL||When the insured can no longer do at least 1 ADL||When the insured can no longer do at least 2 ADLs.|
|Maximum Monthly Payout||$5000|
Insured can no longer do 2 ADLs (claim 50% of payouts)
Insured can no longer do 3 ADLs (claim 100% of payouts)
|Insured can no longer do 2 ADLs (claim 100% of payouts)||Insured can no longer do 3 ADLs (claim 100% of payouts)||Insured can no longer do 2 ADLs (claim 100% of payouts)|
|Initial Benefit||–||One lump sum of x3 of the monthly payout amount if the insured can no longer do 1 ADL|
One lump sum of x3 of the monthly payout amount if the insured can no longer do 2 ADLs
One lump sum of 6x of the monthly payout amount if the insured can no longer do 3 ADLs
|Rehabilitation Benefit||–||50% of the last monthly benefit if the insurer can no longer do 2 ADLs||–|
|Caregiver Relief||–||Additional 60% of the monthly benefit for up to 12 months.||–|
|Dependent Care||–||Additional 20% of the monthly benefit for up to 36 months if the insured has a child aged 21 or below||Additional 25% of the monthly benefit for up to 36 months if the insured has a spouse, a child, parents/parents-in-law|
|Death Benefit||–||300% of the last paid disability benefit or rehabilitation benefit||300% of the disability benefit|
The higher premiums are based on a number of factors such as life expectancy, the likelihood of developing disabilities and the expected duration of disability.
On average, women have a life expectancy of 85.2 years at birth while men have a life expectancy of 80.7 years at birth. This means that women tend to live 4.5 years longer than men.
Additionally, 3 in 5 women are expected to become severely disabled as compared to 2 in 5 men. Thus, the likelihood of women becoming severely disabled is higher than that of men.
Once you pair those two factors with the fact that women are expected to spend 7.8 years of their life requiring long-term care as compared to the expected 2.6 years for men, you will realise that women are likely to depend on CareShield payouts for a much longer duration and would thus require more money in total.
In order to account for this, women are expected to pay greater premiums as compared to men.