ElderShield is an insurance scheme which helps to cover the cost of long-term care. On 1 October 2020, it was replaced by CareShield Life.
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 the 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 the ElderShield payouts?
This depends on when you and/or your loved one joined the scheme.
You and/or your loved one are covered under ElderShield 300. Under this scheme, you and/or your loved one will be entitled to $300/month for up to 60 months (5 years) in the event of severe disability.
You and/or your loved one will be covered under ElderShield 400. Under this scheme, you and/or your loved one will be entitled to $400/month for up to 72 months (6 years) in the event of severe disability.
For both ElderShield 300 and 400, the payouts do not increase as you continue to pay your premiums.
Am I eligible to receive ElderShield payouts?
To be eligible for payouts, applicants must meet the following criteria.
- They have ElderShield coverage.
From 2002 to 2019, Singapore citizens and permanent residents with MediSave accounts were automatically enrolled under the scheme once they turned 40 years old. However, they could choose to opt out.
Coverage is administered by 3 government-appointed insurers:
- Great Eastern
- NTUC Income
Besides basic coverage, these insurers also offered supplements which provided extra benefits in exchange for higher premiums.
You can head to the CPF website to check your coverage.
- 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 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 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 the ElderShield premiums?
Once again, this depends on when you and/or your loved one joined the scheme.
You and/or your loved one will be covered under ElderShield 300. Under this scheme, you and/or your loved one will be entitled to $300/month for up to 60 months (5 years).
You and/or your loved one will be covered under ElderShield 400. Under this scheme, you and/or your loved one will be entitled to $400/month for up to 72 months (6 years).
For both ElderShield 300 and 400, the premium amount does not increase annually.
Frequently Asked Questions
Head over to cpf.gov.sg and log into your account.
You can log in via SingPass.
Once you have logged into your CPF account, go to My Messages.
Under My Messages, you will be able to see a notification which contains your ElderShield insurer’s information.
As mentioned earlier, 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 option to remain under ElderShield.
For those who are unsure of whether you should stick with ElderShield 300 / ElderShield 400 or switch CareShield Life, we have created a comparison table to show you the advantages and disadvantages of each insurance scheme:
|ElderShield 300||ElderShield 400||CareShield Life|
|Monthly payouts||$300||$400||Starts at $600|
|Payout duration||5 years (60 months)||6 years (72 months)||For as long as you remain severely disabled|
*If you joined ElderShield 300 at age 40.
*If you joined ElderShield 400 at age 40.
*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|
As long as you continue to pay the supplement premiums, you will still be able to hold on to your ElderShield supplements even after switching to Careshield Life.
This means that if you become severely disabled, you can claim both Careshield Life payouts and ElderShield supplements payouts.
However, please be aware that you can only withdraw a maximum of $600 from your MediSave balance to pay for ElderShield / Careshield Life supplements.
Thus, if you want to have both ElderShield supplements and Careshield Life supplements, you will likely need to use out-of-pocket funds to pay for a portion of the premiums.
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.