Why do you need to plan for your future long-term care needs?
Singaporeans are living longer. However, this comes with the increased risk of becoming severely disabled, especially towards the end of life.
1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could become severely disabled in their lifetime, and may need long-term care. We need to plan for our future long-term care needs, but working out how much to save can be difficult given the uncertainty of long-term care costs. The median duration for which severely disabled Singapore residents could remain in disability is four years, but around 3 in 10 could remain in severe disability for 10 years or more.
We will need to plan ahead for our long-term care needs, without putting unnecessary burden on our families and caregivers.
What is severe disability?
“Severe disability” is the inability of an individual to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) independently, with or without mobility aids (e.g. walking aids, wheelchair). This means that the individual will require the physical assistance of another person for the ADL.
The ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the bath or shower) or wash by other means.
The ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other surgical or medical appliances.
The ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared and made available.
The ability to use the lavatory or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments or surgical appliances if appropriate.
Walking or Moving Around
The ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces.
The ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.
How can you pay for your long-term care costs?
You can tap on a mix of financing sources to support the costs of long-term care:
Long-term Care Financing Schemes and Subsidies
|Government Subsidies in Eligible Facilities|
|Home / day care services||Residential services e.g. nursing home care|
|Means-tested subsidy of up to 80%||Means-tested subsidy of up to 75%|
Click here for the full subsidy tables.
|Long-Term Care Financing Schemes|
*New in 2020*CareShield Life
The Government has accepted the recommendations of the ElderShield Review Committee to enhance the ElderShield scheme into the new “CareShield Life” scheme, to be introduced in 2020. CareShield Life will feature higher payouts that increase over time with no cap on payout duration, to provide better protection and assurance against the uncertainty of long-term care costs if you become severely disabled. Read more about CareShield Life here.
A long-term care insurance scheme targeted at severe disability which provides monthly payouts of $300 or $400 per month.
*New in 2020*ElderFund
ElderFund is a new assistance scheme for lower-income Singapore Citizens aged 30 and above, who are severely disabled and need additional financial support for long-term care. ElderFund will be launched in 2020.
*New in 2020*MediSave Withdrawals for Long-term Care
From 2020, severely disabled Singapore Residents1 aged 30 and above will be able to make monthly cash withdrawals of up to $200 per month per individual. Withdrawals can be made from their own or their spouse’s MediSave accounts for their long-term care needs.
Log in here to check your MediSave balance.
1Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.
Interim Disability Assistance Scheme (IDAPE)
Cash assistance of $150 or $250 per month for severely disabled Singaporeans who cannot join ElderShield in 2002 because of their age or pre-existing disabilities then.
Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
Provides means-tested subsidies for assistive devices, home healthcare items or transport to and from community-based care centres.
Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession (FDWLC)
Lowers the monthly concessionary Foreign Domestic Worker levy to $60 for a family who hires a domestic worker to care for a patient.
Foreign Domestic Worker Grant (FDWG)
Means-tested scheme which provides cash payout of $120 per month for a family to help offset the cost of hiring a foreign domestic worker to care for a disabled person who requires assistance with at least three out of six Activities of Daily Living.
Caregiver’s Training Grant (CTG)
Annual subsidy of $200 for caregivers to attend approved courses to better care for their loved ones.
Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme (PioneerDAS)
Lifelong cash assistance of $100 per month for disabled Pioneers who permanently require assistance with at least three out of six Activities of Daily Living.