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Resources and FAQs

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between ElderShield, MediShield Life, CPF LIFE and Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE)?

    ElderShield, MediShield Life, CPF LIFE and IDAPE are Government administered national schemes, but they serve different purposes. They complement each other in providing protection against different types of healthcare and retirement expenses.

    • ElderShield is a long-term care insurance scheme. It insures Singaporeans against the risks of requiring long-term care due to severe disability. It provides monthly cash payouts for as long as the policyholder remains severely disabled.
    • MediShield Life is a universal healthcare plan from birth. It insures Singaporeans against the risk of illness that result in large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments.
    • CPF LIFE is a life annuity scheme. It provides CPF members with a regular stream of monthly payouts in old age and during retirement, for as long as they live.
    • IDAPE is a government assistance scheme providing financial help to needy and disabled elderly Singaporeans who were not eligible to join ElderShield when it was launched in 2002 because they had exceeded the maximum entry age or had pre-existing disabilities.
  2. What are the likely causes of severe disability?

    Severe disability could have many causes. Examples include:

    • A sudden event such as stroke or spinal cord injuries
    • Progression of illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and other causes of dementia, multiple sclerosis, or chronic conditions such as diabetes
  3. Who is eligible to join ElderShield?

    Today, all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with MediSave accounts are auto-enrolled into ElderShield at the age of 40, and they can choose to opt out.

    For auto-enrolled policyholders, there will be no exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension. However, if you opt out and wish to opt back in later, you will be subject to a medical assessment, during which your applications may be rejected by the insurers if you have pre-existing medical conditions.

    Pre-existing severe disabilities are not covered. If you are severely disabled, you are advised to make a declaration when you receive your Welcome Letter for auto-enrolment from your ElderShield insurer. This is because those with pre-existing disabilities will not be eligible for claims. Any premiums already collected will be refunded.

    A small group of seniors who were not eligible for ElderShield when it was launched in 2002 (because they were aged 70 and above in 2002 or had pre-existing disabilities then) are eligible for the Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE).

  4. Am I covered by ElderShield or Supplements? How do I find out which insurer I am covered under?

    You can check for your ElderShield or Supplement coverage through the CPF Board’s website. The steps are as follows:

    • Go to www.cpf.gov.sg.
    • Login to “my CPF Online Services” using your NRIC and SingPass.
    • Select “My Messages”, and check under “Healthcare” section.

    If you are covered under ElderShield or Supplements, this section will let you know the ElderShield insurer you are covered under (i.e. Aviva, Great Eastern, or Income).*

    * If you are not covered under ElderShield, the CPF website will not reflect any information on ElderShield. Please note that your Supplement insurer may not be the same as your ElderShield insurer.

  5. If I am not covered by ElderShield but want to be, how can I receive coverage?

    If you are between the ages of 40 and 65, and wish to be covered by ElderShield, please approach any ElderShield insurer (i.e. Aviva, Great Eastern or Income) to request coverage. All three insurers offer the same premiums and payouts under ElderShield. You will be required to go through a medical assessment. Your application could be rejected by the insurer if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

  6. What are the benefits of the current ElderShield scheme?

    ElderShield is a basic long-term care insurance scheme targeted at severe disability, especially in old age. ElderShield provides monthly payouts of $300 or $400 per month, for up to 5 or 6 years. Your plan’s benefits depend on when you joined ElderShield.

    If you joined ElderShield after September 2007: If you joined ElderShield between September 2002 and August 2007
    Payout Amount $400 / month $300 / month
    Payout Duration Up to 72 months (6 years) Up to 60 months (5 years)

    ElderShield Supplements provide additional benefits.

  1. Is CareShield Life mandatory?

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation for CareShield Life to be universal and mandatory for all future cohorts (aged 30 to 40 years old upon scheme launch in 2020, and those who turn 30 thereafter). This will ensure that all Singaporeans, especially those who are more vulnerable (e.g. the lower-income and those with pre-existing severe disabilities), have basic protection for future long-term care needs. Including these groups will strengthen Singapore’s social compact and is consistent with our values as an inclusive and caring society. Many Singaporeans whom the Committee engaged in their focus groups discussions recognised its merit and supported this approach.

    A universal scheme allows those with pre-existing disabilities, who will otherwise not be able to enjoy coverage, to be included. If the scheme is optional, vulnerable groups like the low-income may also drop out of the scheme because of an inability to pay. The Committee has observed that some low-income members of the cohort lapse from the current ElderShield scheme as the years pass as they are not able to make their premium payments.

    Under CareShield Life, the Government will support Singaporeans who are unable to afford their premiums, so that no one will lose their coverage due to financial difficulties.

  2. Universal coverage for CareShield Life will apply to future cohorts, while existing cohorts will have the option to join CareShield Life. Am I part of the future cohort or existing cohort?

    Universal coverage of CareShield Life is extended to future cohorts aged 30 to 40 years old upon scheme launch in 2020 (born between 1980 to 1990), and those who turn 30 thereafter (born 1991 or later).

    Existing cohorts refer to those aged above 40 upon scheme launch (born 1979 or earlier). Healthy individuals in existing cohorts will be encouraged to participate in CareShield Life, but it will remain optional for them.

  3. Why is there a need to start CareShield Life at age 30?

    Starting at age 30 allows a longer period for premiums to be paid, compared to the current ElderShield scheme in which policyholders pay premiums from age 40 until age 65, and reduces the annual premiums payable.

    By the age of 30, most Singaporeans would have started working, with many who would have worked for a few years. They would have started contributing to their MediSave accounts, and should be able to cover their CareShield Life premiums without out-of-pocket expenses.

    Many participants at the ElderShield Review Committee’s focus group discussions also felt that they could start paying premiums after they have started working and achieved some financial stability, and suggested ages ranging from age 25 to age 35.

  4. With the recommendation to start CareShield Life coverage at age 30, would those aged between 30 and 40 be required to join CareShield Life?

    Universal coverage will apply to those aged 30 to 40 years old upon scheme launch in 2020 (born between 1980 to 1990), and those who turn 30 thereafter (born 1991 or later), to ensure that they have basic protection for their future long-term care needs. These cohorts would not have had the chance to be enrolled into the current ElderShield scheme.

  5. I am part of the future cohort. What do I need to do?

    You do not need to take any action now. Your CareShield Life policy will automatically commence. The Government will notify you of the exact policy commencement date. No action is required on your part. More details will be released closer to the implementation date.

  6. I am part of the future cohort and am currently disabled. Can I still benefit from CareShield Life?

    CareShield Life will cover all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents in the future cohorts, including those who have pre-existing severe disability. You will be able to benefit after you are enrolled into CareShield Life. More details will be released close to the implementation date.

  7. I am part of the future cohort and am terminally ill but not severely disabled. Can I be exempted from CareShield Life?

    As CareShield Life is universal for all future cohorts, there are no exemptions. As long as you are covered by CareShield Life, you can still receive payouts in the event of severe disability.

    The Government will support Singaporeans who are unable to afford their premiums, so that no one will lose their coverage due to financial difficulties.

  8. I am part of the future cohort. Why should I pay for the inclusion of those with pre-existing disabilities into CareShield Life?

    Including those with pre-existing severe disabilities will strengthen collective responsibility and is fundamental to the inclusive and caring society Singaporeans seek to build. Less than 0.1% of Singaporeans aged 30 – 40 are estimated to have pre-existing severe disability. Hence, the cost of covering those with pre-existing severe disability amongst future cohorts does not have a significant impact on premiums.

  9. Will universal coverage to be extended to existing cohorts?

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation for healthy individuals in existing cohorts (born 1979 or earlier) to be encouraged to participate in CareShield Life, but it will remain optional for them.

    The Government is reviewing the coverage options and studying the premium design and corresponding support package for the existing cohorts. More details will be shared when ready.

  10. Why is universal coverage not extended to existing cohorts? Does this mean that those with pre-existing severe disabilities cannot join the scheme?

    The ElderShield Review Committee had taken into consideration that existing cohorts of Singaporeans (born 1979 or earlier) had previously decided on their participation in the current optional scheme; some could have bought other plans. The ElderShield Review Committee also took into account that existing cohorts would likely face higher entry premiums as they have fewer years to distribute their premium payment. The prevalence of those who are already severely disabled in the older cohorts is also much higher, which would make it harder to cover everyone while still keeping premiums affordable. Hence, the ElderShield Review Committee has not recommended universal coverage for existing cohorts, but they would be encouraged to join the scheme.

    As coverage will remain optional for those in existing cohorts, existing cohort members who are already severely disabled will not be able to join CareShield Life. These Singaporeans will be assisted through other Government schemes.

  11. With the new CareShield Life, what will happen to my current ElderShield and Supplement plans?

    Your current ElderShield and Supplement plans will continue to protect you. You will continue to pay the same premiums and enjoy the same benefits for as long as you are covered. If you are healthy and wish to join CareShield Life, you may choose to do so from 2021 onwards. The Government will share more details on measures to encourage existing policyholders to join CareShield Life.

  12. Should I join CareShield Life if I already have an existing Supplement plan that provides similar coverage, e.g. lifetime payouts?

    The Government is studying the premium design and corresponding support package for existing cohorts to join CareShield Life. The Government will also work with insurers to review the design of Supplements, taking into account CareShield Life’s features. More details will be ready soon.

    Meanwhile, existing policyholders’ Supplement plans will continue to protect them. They will continue to pay the same premiums and enjoy the same benefits for as long as they are covered.

  13. Will existing cohorts be able to join or upgrade to CareShield Life? How about those with pre-existing medical conditions and pre-existing disabilities?

    Singaporeans in existing cohorts (born 1979 or earlier) who are not disabled will be able to join CareShield Life. The Government is also considering other measures to support the needs of those who are already disabled.

    The Government is studying the premium design and corresponding support package for the existing cohorts. More details will be shared when ready.

  14. The current ElderShield scheme has a maximum entry age of 64 years old. Can Singaporeans who are older join CareShield Life?

    The Government supports the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation that there be no maximum entry age for CareShield Life for existing cohorts (born 1979 or earlier). The Government is studying the premium design and corresponding support package for existing cohorts, and will share more details when ready.

  15. The ElderShield Review Committee suggested that existing cohorts be auto-enrolled onto CareShield Life. Which groups will be auto-enrolled?

    The Government is studying the Committee’s suggestion of auto-enrolment and will release more details when ready.

  16. When will CareShield Life be implemented? Which are the cohorts that will be affected by universal coverage?

    The Government targets to launch CareShield Life in 2020. Universal coverage of CareShield Life is extended to future cohorts turning 30 to 40 upon scheme launch in 2020 (born in 1980 to 1990), and those who turn 30 thereafter (born 1991 or later).

  17. Why call the enhanced scheme “CareShield Life”?

    The Government agrees with the ElderShield Review Committee that the new name will better signal the intent of the scheme to provide lifetime protection for long-term care. The Government is therefore supportive of the recommendation to name the enhanced scheme “CareShield Life”.

    The current ElderShield scheme will continue to be known as “ElderShield”.

  1. How did the ElderShield Review Committee decide on the starting payout of $600 per month?

    Long-term care costs vary depending on one’s care needs and arrangements. How one finances these costs also vary, depending on one’s financial resources.

    In deciding the enhanced payouts, the ElderShield Review Committee also took into account other sources of long-term care financing, such as existing Government subsidies, Government assistance schemes, community support, personal savings, family support and Government-funded safety nets such as MediFund or ComCare. Together with CareShield Life payouts, these financing sources will better enable Singaporeans to afford their basic long-term care costs. The ElderShield Review Committee also took into account a range of long-term care costs in not only the residential setting, but also the home and community care setting.

    Singaporeans who wish to have additional coverage may consider supplementing their basic CareShield Life insurance with Supplements from the private insurers.

  2. What will be the rate of payout increase and will increases happen annually? Why is the rate of increase in payouts not guaranteed?

    Payouts are assumed to increase at a rate of 2% per year, with a corresponding adjustment in premiums. This is in line with general inflation, and allows CareShield Life to protect against the increase in long-term care costs over time. Assuming a 2% per year increase in payouts, a 30-year-old who joins the scheme upon launch can get $1,200 per month if he gets severely disabled at age 67 or older.

    To provide greater assurance to Singaporeans, for the first five years of scheme implementation, payouts and premiums will both increase by 2% per year.

    The rate of premium and payout increases will have to be reviewed regularly based on actuarial principles, taking into account factors like changes in claims experience and longevity. This is important to keep the fund sustainable.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation that an independent council be set up to regularly review these trends and advise the Government on premium and payout adjustments in accordance with an actuarially sound adjustment framework. Actual future payouts will vary depending on the regular adjustments.

  3. Why do CareShield Life payouts stop increasing once policyholders stop paying premiums e.g. when they make a claim or turn 67? Why not allow payouts to increase after 67/during their claim period as well?

    Payout increases will need to be supported by premium adjustments, to keep the scheme sustainable. Those who wish to have payouts that increase for life may opt to purchase Supplements. Insurers may also wish to take note of the CareShield Life features when designing Supplements.

    CareShield Life payouts should also not be seen in isolation, but complements existing Government subsidies, Government assistance schemes, community support, personal savings and family support, to better enable Singaporeans to afford their basic long-term care costs.

    For Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their care even after Government subsidies, CareShield Life payouts and personal savings, there are Government-funded safety nets such as MediFund or ComCare which can provide assistance

  4. Why did the ElderShield Review Committee recommend to retain the current claims criteria of being unable to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

    Singaporeans with mild or moderate disabilities who need long-term care can tap on various means-tested Government subsidies and assistance schemes to complement their personal savings and family support. Government-funded safety nets such as MediFund or ComCare will provide assistance to Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their care even after Government subsidies and other means of support. The Government will continue to look at ways to support the needs of Singaporeans with less severe disabilities.

    CareShield Life is targeted at severe disability to keep the premiums affordable. Singaporeans who wish to cover themselves for less severe disabilities could purchase additional Supplements from private insurers, and the premiums for these Supplements can be paid using MediSave up to a limit.

    If you wish to find out more about long-term care services, specific Government subsidies for long-term care services and other Government assistance schemes for long term care that older Singaporeans (age 65 and above) may tap on, you may reach out to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) through the Singapore Silver Pages (www.silverpages.sg), Singapore Silver Line (1800-650-6060) or speak to a Care Consultant at AICare Links located at the public hospitals and Maxwell. For a list of AICare Link locations, visit www.silverpages.sg/AICarelink.

  1. Why was the premium payment term extended to age 67? Will the premium payment end age go up further based on the prevailing re-employment age?

    Starting the CareShield Life premium payment duration at age 30, and ending at age 67, lengthens the premium payment duration and reduces annual premiums, making CareShield Life premiums more affordable.

    The premium payment end age will be set taking into account any changes to the re-employment age in future. Ample notice will be given to cohorts who are affected by any changes to the premium payment end age.

  2. Why not extend premium payment for life, like MediShield Life?

    The Government agrees with the ElderShield Review Committee’s assessment that lengthening the premium payment duration by bringing down the start age to age 30 and extending the end age to 67 is sufficient to improve CareShield Life premium affordability, while still keeping premium payment largely during one’s working years.

  3. What will be the CareShield Life premiums when a 30-year-old today reaches 67 years old? Is the increase fixed at 2% a year?

    For future cohorts, starting premiums vary by joining age and gender. Premiums are designed to increase regularly to support the regular increase in payouts. The schedule of premium increases is not fixed, and will be regularly reviewed by an independent council to ensure the sustainability of the scheme.

    As an illustration, for a 30-year-old who joins the CareShield Life scheme upon scheme launch, his premiums would increase from $17/month to $36/month when he reaches 67 years old, assuming a non-guaranteed 2% premium increase per annum. His payouts would have correspondingly increased from $600/month at scheme launch to around $1,200/month. Actual future premiums and payouts will vary depending on the adjustment each year.

    However, to provide greater assurance to Singaporeans, for the first five years of scheme implementation, payouts and premiums will both increase by 2% per year.

  4. How often will the premiums increase? Is there a maximum increase in premiums in a single year? Can premiums go down?

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation for annual increases in CareShield Life payouts to help protect the value of CareShield Life payouts over time, which should be supported by annual increases in CareShield Life premiums. To provide greater assurance to Singaporeans, for the first five years of scheme implementation, payouts and premiums will both increase by 2% per year.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation that an independent council be set up to regularly review these trends and advise the Government on CareShield Life premium and payout adjustments in accordance with an actuarially sound adjustment framework. The Government will consider affordability of premiums when reviewing the council’s advice on premium adjustments.

  5. What Government subsidies or incentives are available to help Singaporeans with their CareShield Life premiums? Will there be transitional subsidies, like MediShield Life?

    To ensure that CareShield Life premiums are affordable, the Government has committed to provide several premium support measures when the scheme is launched:

    • Permanent means-tested subsidies of up to 30% of premiums of CareShield Life, for Singapore Residents. The detailed subsidy rates are in the table below.
    • Transitional subsidies for the first 5 years from launch of CareShield Life for Singapore Citizens in the future cohorts (born 1980 or later), to ease their transition into the scheme.
    • Additional Premium Support for Singaporeans who are unable to pay their CareShield Life premiums even after premium subsidies, so that no one will lose coverage under CareShield Life due to their inability to pay premiums.
    Premium subsidies for Singapore Citizens (born 1980 or later)
    Type of premium subsidy Monthly per capita household income (PCHI) groups
    Monthly PCHI $1,100 or less Monthly PCHI $1,101 - $1,800 Monthly PCHI $1,801 - $2,600 Monthly PCHI $2,601 or above
    Permanent subsidies* 30% of premium 25% of premium 20% of premium N.A.
    Transitional subsidies $70 in 2020, $60 in 2021, $50 in 2022, $40 in 2023 and $30 in 2024

    * Permanent means-tested premium subsidies are applicable to Singapore Citizens living in properties with an Annual Value (AV) of $13,000 or less. Permanent Residents will receive half of the applicable permanent means-tested premium subsidies for Singapore Citizens.

  6. What will happen to my premiums that I paid should I pass away before claiming? Will the monies be returned to my family?

    There is no death benefit for the CareShield Life scheme. As such, there will be no payouts upon policyholders’ passing, similar to other insurance schemes which do not have a death benefit.

  7. Why are premiums for females higher although their payouts are the same as males?

    Gender-differentiated premiums more accurately reflect the difference in life expectancy and likelihood and duration of severe disability, between men and women. As women have higher life expectancies, the likelihood that they become disabled and stay in disability longer is also higher.

  8. What happens if I do not pay premiums I owe?

    With universal coverage under the CareShield Life scheme, policyholders are responsible for paying their premiums, as part of our overall collective responsibility in meeting our healthcare needs.

    With Government support in the form of permanent means-tested premium subsidies and Additional Premium Support, no one will lose CareShield Life coverage due to financial difficulties.

    However, policyholders would need to be responsible for paying their CareShield Life premiums, as part of our overall collective responsibility in meeting our healthcare needs. Premium defaults, if not fully settled, would lead to a bad debt for the scheme, and would need to be shouldered by other policyholders in the form of higher premiums. Suitable premium recovery measures and penalties may be enforced for the small minority who are able to pay, but wilfully default on their premiums.

  9. How will Singaporeans’ eligibility for CareShield Life permanent means-tested premium subsidies be assessed?

    Permanent means-tested premium subsidies will depend on Singaporeans’ household per capita income, the annual value of his or her residence, and the number of properties owned. Lower- and lower-middle-income Singaporeans who own no more than 1 property, and live in residences with annual values up to $21,000 will be eligible for permanent means-tested premium subsidies.

  10. What is Additional Premium Support and who can qualify?

    Additional Premium Support is designed to help those who cannot afford CareShield Life premiums even after premium subsidies, MediSave and have no family support to rely on.

    No one will lose coverage due to financial difficulties.

  11. I am currently receiving Additional Premium Support under MediShield Life. Would I be given Additional Premium Support under CareShield Life? Do I need to apply again?

    Additional Premium Support is designed to help needy Singaporeans who cannot afford to pay their premiums, even after premium subsidies and have no family support to rely on. If you are unable to pay your CareShield Life premiums, the Government will assess your financial circumstances if you are eligible for Additional Premium Support. Similar to MediShield Life, no one will lose their CareShield Life coverage due to financial difficulties.

  12. What is the difference in treatment between Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents for CareShield Life premium subsidies?

    For permanent means-tested premium subsidies, Permanent Residents will receive half the permanent means-tested premium subsidy rates applicable to Singapore Citizens, in line with MediShield Life.

    Only Singapore Citizens will receive transitional subsidies.

  13. I am part of the future cohort (born 1980 or later). What are my premiums when I enrol in CareShield Life?

    The indicative detailed annual premium schedules for those born 1980 to 1990 are in Annex E of the ElderShield Review Committee report available for download here.

  14. I am part of the existing cohort (born 1979 or earlier). What are my premiums when I enrol in CareShield Life?

    The Government will develop measures and incentives, including permanent subsidies and Additional Premium Support, to encourage and facilitate existing cohorts (born 1979 or earlier) of Singaporeans to join CareShield Life. As this is a diverse group, factors such as their current enrolment or non-participation in ElderShield, age and premiums, would have to be taken into consideration. For those who are unable to or decide not to join the scheme, the Government will consider other appropriate forms of support to help them with their long-term care needs.

  1. Will the Government administer both CareShield Life and the current ElderShield schemes? Which agencies are going to be administer them?

    The Government agrees with the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation that the Government administer CareShield Life.

    The Government will be working with the Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) and Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to implement CareShield Life. These agencies have a good record in implementing insurance and long-term care support schemes.

    The Government is still reviewing the administration of the current ElderShield scheme, and will share more information when ready. Meanwhile, Singaporeans’ current ElderShield and Supplement policies will continue to protect them.

  2. Will the Government be more lenient in its underwriting and claims processes compared to the insurers if it administers the scheme?

    CareShield Life will still be targeted at severe disability, i.e. no change from today’s criteria for the current ElderShield schemes. However, as a single administrator, the Government will achieve better consistency in the implementation of underwriting and claims processes across policyholders.

  1. What are Supplements?

    ElderShield policyholders who wish to have higher coverage (e.g. higher payouts, longer payout duration) can consider purchasing Supplements from any of the ElderShield insurers. Supplement premiums can be paid using MediSave, up to a limit of $600 per calendar year per person insured.

    Premiums for Supplements range widely and are commensurate with the type of benefits they offer. Singaporeans may refer to individual Supplement plans here for more information.

    You can check for your Supplement coverage through the CPF Board’s website. The steps are as follows:

    • Go to www.cpf.gov.sg.
    • Login to “my CPF Online Services” using your NRIC and SingPass.
    • Select “My Messages”, and check under “Healthcare” section.

    If you are covered under ElderShield or Supplements, this section will let you know the insurer your Supplement is under (i.e. Aviva, Great Eastern, or Income).*

    * If you are not covered under ElderShield, the CPF website will not reflect any information on ElderShield. Please note that your Supplement insurer may not be the same as your ElderShield insurer.

  2. I am part of the future cohort (born 1980 or later). If I buy private insurance products/Supplements similar to CareShield Life, can I be exempted from universal coverage?

    CareShield Life is designed to provide basic coverage for all Singaporeans. Private insurance can still play a complementary role by providing additional benefits above and beyond such basic coverage. Current Supplements provide cash payouts beyond what basic ElderShield provides.

  3. What happens if I stop paying for my Supplement if I join CareShield Life?

    Generally, Supplement plans will lapse if policyholders stop paying premiums. Please refer to your specific Supplement policy documents or consult your insurer for more information.

  4. When should I buy Supplements? Where can I seek advice on which to buy?

    You may consider whether the benefits of the current ElderShield scheme suits your long-term care preferences. If you wish to have additional coverage or benefits on top of the ElderShield scheme, you may consider purchasing a Supplement plan.

    You may refer to here for a comparison of Supplement plans offered by private insurers (Aviva, Great Eastern, or Income).

    You may also wish to speak to a financial advisor from one of the private insurers who can share more about their Supplement plans.

  1. Who is eligible for ElderShield claims?

    If you are covered by ElderShield, you will be eligible for claims if you are as assessed to be severely disabled. This means that you must be unable to perform three or more of the following Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

    • Washing – the ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the bath or shower) or wash by other means.
    • Dressing – 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.
    • Feeding – the ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared and made available.
    • Toileting – the ability to use the lavatory or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments or surgical appliances if appropriate.
    • Mobility – the ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces.
    • Transferring – the ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.
  2. How do I make a claim under ElderShield?

    You may obtain a copy of the claim form and list of appointed assessors from the insurer's website. Please fill up the claim form and have your condition assessed by an appointed assessor. The assessor will complete the assessment form and return it to your insurer for processing. You can also contact your ElderShield insurer for details and advice:

    • Aviva (Hotline no: 6827-7788)
    • Great Eastern (Hotline no: 1800-248-2888)
    • Income (Hotline no: 6332-1133)

    The claim forms and lists of appointed assessors can be found here.

  3. Can I see my own doctor or therapist to be assessed for ElderShield claims?

    Currently, in order to be assessed for ElderShield claims, you will need to see an appointed ElderShield assessor, who will complete the ElderShield disability assessment for you. If you are staying in a nursing home, you may approach your nursing home for assistance to submit the Resident Assessment Form in place of the ElderShield assessment.

  4. Do I have to bear the cost of ElderShield disability assessment? Who can I approach if I have financial difficulties paying for the assessment fee?

    Currently, if your claim is successful, your insurer will reimburse the ElderShield disability assessment fee in full to you. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will have to pay for the cost of the ElderShield disability assessment.

    It costs $50 for each ElderShield disability assessment if you visit an appointed assessor at the clinic. If you prefer to have the ElderShield disability assessment done at your homes, you can arrange for a any of the appointed assessors to go to their homes to do the assessment. Such house calls will cost $150 per ElderShield disability assessment.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation to waive the first assessment fee regardless of whether the claim is successful, and to increase the assessment fees in recognition that salary norms have increased over time, for CareShield Life. The Government will update on the implementation details when ready.

  5. How will cognitive impairments be better recognised under the revised disability assessment framework? Does this mean someone with dementia will automatically qualify for CareShield Life?

    The ElderShield disability assessment today focuses on evaluating an individual’s ability to physically perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

    While it states that an individual’s cognitive capacity should be taken into consideration when assessing ADL ability, it is not clear how assessors should do so consistently.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation to modify the current disability assessment framework so that the impact of cognitive impairments on functional ability can be explicitly taken into account, for CareShield Life. The Government will study how to operationalise the change and update on the implementation details when ready.

    Policyholders with dementia or other cognitive impairments will still need to undergo a disability assessment in order to qualify for CareShield Life claims, as their functional abilities may be affected in varying degrees by their cognitive impairment.

  6. If my GP / my nursing home has assessed that I am disabled, why do I still need to visit an accredited GP for assessment? Can the pool of assessors be expanded to include any Singapore-registered doctor, therapist or nurse?

    Currently, in order to be assessed for ElderShield claims, you will need to see an appointed ElderShield assessor, who will complete the ElderShield disability assessment for you. If you are staying in a nursing home, you may approach your nursing home for assistance to submit the Resident Assessment Form in place of the ElderShield assessment.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation to expand the pool of assessors from doctors today to other certified healthcare professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Nurses, for CareShield Life. This will allow policyholders receiving care from long-term care providers to be assessed more easily. The Government will study how to operationalise the change and update on the implementation details when ready.

    However, even with the expanded pool of assessors, the Government needs to ensure that robust mechanisms are in place to ensure that disability assessments are conducted with a high degree of rigour and consistency, through regular audits. This is to prevent fraudulent claims, which have an impact on premiums for everyone.

  7. I am receiving other disability assistance schemes such as Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PG-DAS) or Foreign Domestic Worker Grant (FDWG). Why can’t I qualify for ElderShield claims?

    The ElderShield claims criterion is stricter given that ElderShield is intended for severe disability, whereas the other schemes such as PG-DAS and FDWG are meant for moderate disability. This means that individuals should demonstrate that they require significantly more assistance for the three Activities of Daily Living before qualifying for ElderShield payouts. Nonetheless, the Government recognises that it is possible to establish some equivalence across select disability assessment tools, and is currently studying how this can be done without compromising the robustness of the ElderShield claims assessment process.

  8. What kind of other functional assessment tools will be considered for ElderShield/ CareShield Life assessments?

    Currently, in order to be assessed for ElderShield claims, you will need to see an appointed ElderShield assessor, who will complete the ElderShield assessment for you. If you are staying in a nursing home, you may approach your nursing home for assistance to submit the Resident Assessment Form in place of the ElderShield assessment.

    The Government is supportive of the ElderShield Review Committee’s recommendation to recognise functional assessment tools which are well-recognised and commonly used in the healthcare and long-term care sectors, for example the Resident Assessment Form, the Modified Barthel Index and the Functional Independence Measure, for CareShield Life. To ensure that gatekeeping remains robust, these tools should be sufficiently detailed, such that an appropriate threshold for admitting claims can be mapped to the ElderShield claims criterion of severe disability.

    The Government will study how to operationalise the change and update on the implementation details when ready.

  9. My family member is not able to sign on the ElderShield claim form to authorise his claim as he is mentally/physically incapacitated. What should I do?

    The current ElderShield scheme is currently administered by private insurers, who require that in the event a claimant lacks mental capacity to provide consent, the claimant’s appointed donee(s)/deputy(s), or caregiver if a donee(s)/deputy(s) has not been appointed, must complete and sign a legal declaration stating that the information provided in the claim form is true and to consent to the insurer’s Privacy Statement. The donee/deputy/caregiver must also submit a separate doctor’s memo together with the claim to indicate that your family member lacks mental capacity, including the relevant medical reason(s).

    For other reasons your family member is unable to authorise his claim form, you may consult your family member’s ElderShield insurer for more details.

  1. What is long-term care? How do I access long-term care services? How do I know how much subsidies I will receive for the service I use?

    Long-term care is the personal and medical care needed if you become disabled due to age or adverse health conditions. It includes a range of services which you may choose depending on your care needs and support available, either at home or institutions like nursing homes.

    If you have long-term care needs assessed by qualified healthcare professionals, medical social workers and/or administrative staff at public hospitals and/or Government-funded long-term care service providers can assist you with your referral to long-term care services. They can also assist with your application for Government subsidies for long-term care services, and advise on the subsidy quantum you are eligible for.

    You can also contact the Agency for Integrated Care through the Singapore Silver Line (1800-650-6060) or Singapore Silver Pages (www.silverpages.sg) to find out more about long-term care services.

  2. Why is ElderShield/ CareShield Life necessary? Why not allow Singaporeans to rely on their savings to pay for their long-term care needs?

    The need for long-term care will rise as Singapore’s population ages. 1 in 2 Singaporeans who are healthy at age 65 is expected to become severely disabled by the end of their lives.

    Variation in the duration of severe disability and the accompanying costs of long-term care, coupled with shrinking family sizes in Singapore, makes it increasingly challenging to rely solely on personal and family savings to pay for one’s long-term care needs. The median duration for which severely disabled individuals could remain in disability is around 4 years, but 3 in 10 could remain in severe disability for 10 years or more.

    Long-term care insurance schemes like ElderShield and CareShield Life help Singaporeans to pool their risks together within their cohort so that each Singaporean within that cohort has basic financial protection against the uncertainty and variability of the cost of long-term care. They complement other long-term care financing sources, such as Government subsidies, Government assistance schemes, community support, personal savings and family support.

  3. How much should I set aside for my long term care needs?

    Long-term care costs will vary across individuals due to differing care needs and arrangements.

    Individuals will also have different financing sources. For instance, if you have higher income, you will qualify for a lower level of subsidies for their care, and will need to draw more from other financing sources. If you have higher income, you can also consider supplementing your basic ElderShield/CareShield Life insurance with private savings or Supplements from the private insurers.

    You are strongly encouraged to plan early and consider your future income and long term care arrangement preferences, and how much will be needed to finance these arrangements.

  4. Where can I seek advice on financial planning for old age or seek financial assistance for long term care needs?

    For an overview of options for long term care financing and services, you may visit the website here for more information.

    If you wish to find out more about long term care services, specific Government subsidies for long-term care services and other Government assistance schemes for long term care that older Singaporeans (age 65 and above) may tap on, you may reach out to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) through the Singapore Silver Pages (www.silverpages.sg), Singapore Silver Line (1800-650-6060) or speak to a Care Consultant at AICare Links located at the public hospitals and Maxwell. For a list of AICare Link locations, visit www.silverpages.sg/AICareLink.

    For Government support schemes specifically for younger, disabled Singaporeans and their caregivers (age 65 and below), you may refer to them on SG Enable’s website (www.sgenable.sg) or speak to SG Enable at 1800-8585-885.

    For more information on retirement planning, Singaporeans can visit the following websites:

    • CPF Board’s website (www.cpf.gov.sg) to learn about CPF schemes.
    • Are You Ready? outreach website (www.areyouready.sg) to understand how CPF savings can support Singaporeans through the key stages of their life and learn how they can work towards a better retirement.
    • InTouch with CPF (www.cpf-intouch.sg) to read the CPF Board’s quarterly magazine for interesting financial tips.

Last Updated on 27 May 2018