What is CareShield Life? (Ultimate Guide for 2020)

CareShield Life is the newest addition to the family of healthcare plans in Singapore.

If you’re born in 1979 or earlier, go to this article: “ElderShield vs CareShield Life” instead.

If you’re born in 1980 or later, you must read through this guide and get acquainted with CareShield Life.

Why?

It’s compulsory for you to be included in the scheme.

So in this article, I’ll touch on the most important things such as what is it, the benefits and the premiums, etc.

So read on!


This page is part of the CareShield Life 2-Part Series:


The 3 Pressing Concerns for Singaporeans

Let’s do a quick catch up with the latest news.

1) 50% of healthy Singaporeans at age 65 expected to become severely disabled in their lifetime

That’s right.

According to the Ministry of Health and the Health Minister, Gan Kim Yong, 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans at 65 years old are expected to be severely disabled at some point in their life.

This figure is alarming, I’m sure.

It means that one of us (me or you) is expected to not have full mobility once in our lifetime if we’re healthy at 65 years old.

You may be thinking, “Is this true? I don’t see so many severely disabled people around.”

The Health Minister explains by saying that it’s because not all become severely disabled at the same time.

2) 3 in 10 who are severely disabled live with their disability for 10 years or more.

The Ministry of Health also noted that although the median duration for severe disability is 4 years, around 3 in 10 could remain in severe disability for 10 years or more.

This meant that we’ll need to have provisions for a longer period if we can’t take care of ourselves.

This could prove more costlier if the severe disability lasts for a lifetime.

3) Higher life expectancy at 83.2 Years

With the current medical and technological advancements, we are living longer.

In fact, Singaporeans have one of the world’s longest life expectancy at 83.2 years.

This translates to us having to prepare more resources for this “extended life”.

All in all, we want to be self-sufficient and not to rely or be a burden to our family members or people around us.

This is when CareShield Life comes in…

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What is CareShield Life?

Established in 2020, CareShield Life is a severe disability insurance scheme to provide for the cost of long-term care.

CareShield Life is the replacement for the older ElderShield.

Unlike ElderShield which was administered by the 3 insurance companies:

  • Aviva
  • Great Eastern (GE)
  • NTUC Income

… CareShield Life is administered by the Government along with Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) and Agency for Integrated Care (AIC).

EXTRA FACT
The Government will not be profiting from CareShield Life. The premiums that are collected will remain in the fund meant for the benefit of all policyowners and will not be transferred to any other government schemes.

A thing to note is that the while CareShield Life and MediShield Life (and its upgrade, the Integrated Shield Plan) are healthcare schemes initiated by the Government, they are not the same.

CareShield Life provides a monthly cash payout during severe disability whereas MediShield Life and the Integrated Shield Plan cover the cost of hospitalisation and surgeries.

Who are Covered Under CareShield Life?

As a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident (PR), you’ll be automatically enrolled once you reach 30 years old.

But as CareShield Life is a new initiative which will commence in 2020, those who are aged 30 to 40 will also be automatically covered.

For clarity’s sake, here’s a table to explain better:

Year of BirthCareShield Life Enrolment
1991 and afterAutomatically enrolled (upon reaching age 30)
1980 to 1990Automatically enrolled in 2020
1979 or earlierOption to enrol from mid-2021 (if not severely disabled)

Is CareShield Life compulsory?

The answer: Yes, it is compulsory for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents born in 1980 or later.

And… you’re not able to opt out.

Having said that, the Government will still support those who have difficulties in paying the premiums through subsidies and incentives.

What does CareShield Life Cover?

As mentioned, CareShield Life covers severe disability.

What constitutes to a severe disability then?

As long as you’re unable to perform at least 3 out of 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), you’re eligible to receive payouts.

These are the 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Walking or Moving Around
  • Transferring

And below are the definitions of the individual ADLs:

6 activities of daily living

Source: MOH

To be eligible for a claim, your own GP can’t certify you to be severely disabled, you need to be assessed by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor.

EXTRA FACT
The fee for the first assessment will be waived (even if the claim is unsuccessful).

How Much Can You Receive Under CareShield Life?

Once you’re assessed to be unable to perform at least 3 out of 6 ADLs, you’re entitled to receive the monthly cash payouts.

As long as you remain severely disabled, these payouts will last for a lifetime. However, payouts stop when you recover from the disability.

What are the monthly benefits?

Starting from 2020, the monthly payout will be at $600.

The monthly payout will increase until the age of 67, or when you make a successful claim, whichever is earlier. This also means that your payout will not increase during the “claiming period”.

The rate of increase in payouts (and subsequently, future payouts) is not guaranteed.

Reviews will be conducted along the way and these payouts could be adjusted in the future based on factors such as claims experience, long-term changes in disability and longevity trends.

But to give more certainty, the payouts will increase by 2% per year for the first 5 years.

Here are the estimated monthly payouts from 2020 to 2025:

YearEstimated Monthly Payouts
2020$600
2021$612
2022$624
2023$637
2024$649
2025$662

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Does CareShield Life Cover Pre-existing Conditions?

As long as you’re born in 1980 or later, you can still be enrolled into CareShield Life no matter what kind of conditions you have.

This means that if you have a minor or major condition, or are already severely disabled (3 out 6 ADLs can’t be done), you can still be enrolled and be eligible for the payouts.

EXTRA FACT
Those who are born in 1980 or later and are already severely disabled need to only contribute the first premium to join the scheme. After which, they are eligible for the monthly payouts as long as they remain severely disabled.

That being said, those who are born in 1979 or earlier have a different set of conditions.

The Premiums for CareShield Life

First off, the premiums for CareShield Life will be fully payable by MediSave.

Your immediate family members could also use their MediSave to pay for your premiums, or vice versa.

Premiums start from age 30 and ends at age 67 (not guaranteed; may be subjected to change), or until a claim is made.

As compared to ElderShield, the premium term is longer. This can be good in a way as it spreads the total premiums over a longer period to reduce the annual premium.

Like the payouts, the premiums for CareShield Life also increases. The reason for this is simply to support the increase in payouts.

Similarly, future premiums are not guaranteed and there’s no fixed rate of increase in premiums.

For the first 5 years, premiums will increase by 2% per year.

Having said that, as the joining age, gender, whether you’re from the old cohort may differ, etc, the starting premiums will vary.

As an illustration, here are the estimated premiums for those who turn 30 and 40 years old in 2020:

(assuming being a Singapore Citizen, having a Monthly Per Capita Household Income of $2,801, and above, and staying in a HDB)

For Men who are born in 1990:

CareShield Life premiums for Men born in 1990

For Women who are born in 1990:

CareShield Life premiums for Women born in 1990

For Men who are born in 1980:

CareShield Life premiums for Men born in 1980

For Women who are born in 1980:

CareShield Life premiums for Women born in 1980

CareShield Life Premium Calculator

The above premium illustrations are gotten from the premium calculator developed by MOH. It allows you to estimate the premiums for CareShield Life.

It shows the premiums before and after any government subsidies and incentives.

But do note that the premiums you see in the calculator are an estimation, for now. These premiums will only be confirmed once CareShield Life has commenced.

In any case, if you have difficulties paying the premiums, the government have various initiatives to help.

What’s Next?

CareShield Life offers the basic healthcare protection against severe disability.

Is it enough?

As with MediShield Life, there would be supplements on top of the basic CareShield Life to offer enhanced benefits. Just like the Integrated Shield Plan.

So far, there are no information available on these supplements.

However, you may be eligible for FREE interim cover if you’re aged 30-40 in 2020.

Abram Lim

With over 7 years of experience in the financial advisory industry, and previous stints in Citibank and UOB, Abram eagerly shares his knowledge by publishing research-backed articles. Learn more about Abram