All You Need To Know About Careshield Life

What is Careshield Life?

There’s a new national long-term care insurance scheme rolling out from 1 October 2020 – CareShield Life. Under this scheme, you’ll be able to make cash withdrawals from your MediSave accounts for your long-term care needs. CareShield Life is essentially an upgrade from ElderShield, with better coverage to address the needs of our ageing population.
In the event you become severely disabled, you’ll get a monthly payout starting at $600. The amount of payout will increase over the years till you’re 67 or when you make a successful claim, whichever is earlier. This will ensure that the payout is enough to meet rising costs and inflation. For the first five years, both premiums and payouts will go up by 2% a year. The cash is then yours to keep! You can spend it on whatever you deem necessary, such as hiring a domestic helper.
To qualify for the payouts, you must be unable to perform three or more of the six activities of daily living (ADLs) which include: washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, mobility, and transferring. You’ll need to get a qualified healthcare worker such as a doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist to certify your disability status. You can do the first assessment for free, but if you are found to not need help with three ADLs and need to do a subsequent assessment, the cost will be born by you. However, if you are certified severely disabled in the subsequent assessment, the assessment fee will be reimbursed by CareShield Life.

Who will be enrolled in Careshield Life?

If you are a Singapore citizen born from 1980 onwards, you will be automatically enrolled in the scheme regardless of your health, disability, or financial status when you reach you 30th birthday. In 2020, premiums start at $206/year for men and $253/year for women. If you do not have sufficient funds in your Medisave accounts, you can opt to pay through a family member’s Medisave account. This applies even if you live overseas and do not intend to return to Singapore. Payouts will be made in cash and sent right to your doorstep. But what if you become severely disabled before/at the age of 30? Thankfully, that won’t be an issue as you will just need to pay the first premium and be eligible for payouts from then on.

Subsidies

Low-income to middle-income households will also get subsidies of up to 30 per cent of premiums, decided via means testing. If you still can’t afford the premiums, there’s no need to worry as the Government will provide you with additional help. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown on all you need to know about CareShield Life subsidies:

Permanent Means-Tested Subsidies

table of permanent subsidies
Image credit: The Straits Times

Traditional Subsidies (for those born in 1980-1994)

Image credit: The Straits Times

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Careshield Life vs Eldershield

Those on ElderShield, the predecessor of CareShield Life, can opt to upgrade their premiums to that of CareShield Life, where you’ll have at least 10 years to pay them off. Here’s how they compare:
comparison table careshield life vs eldershield
Image credit: The Straits Times
Also, If you wish to have higher coverage, such as a higher payout and longer payout duration, insureds of CareShield Life can purchase Supplements from insurers such as Aviva, NTUC Income, and Great Eastern. Supplement premiums can be paid using Medisave, up to a limit of $600 per year.

What's in it for you?

If you’re born before 1979, you won’t be left out either. You have the option to join CareShield Life from mid-2021, so keep your eyes peeled for news on that.
There are plenty of reasons to enroll in the scheme – not only is there a transitional subsidy of up to $250 for everyone who joins in the first five years, the Government will give up to $2,500 to encourage older people to join. Those in the Pioneer and Merdeka generations will get an additional $1,500, giving them a total of $4,000 – but only if they enroll in the first two years. So even if this doesn’t apply to you, remember to inform you parents/grandparents about it!
And there you have it, all you need to know about CareShield Life. Though we always hope for the best, there’s no saying what life will throw for us – it is heartening to know that should anything happen, our basic needs can be fulfilled with a scheme like CareShield Life.

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