Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang

MP for Nee Soon GRC

Question No. 92

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current number of ElderShield premium payers; (b) to date, what is the number of people who have received ElderShield payouts; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider setting up a coordinating office to help elders with ElderShield matters such as that of signing up, paying premiums and getting payouts.

Written Answer

1.     ElderShield is an insurance scheme that provides basic protection against the costs of long-term care arising from severe old-age disability.  Depending on the policyholder’s plan, the scheme provides cash payouts of either $300 a month for up to five years, or $400 a month for up to six years.

2.     As at end 2015, there were 1.2 million ElderShield policyholders, or about 65% of the resident population aged 40 to 83.  Those aged 84 and above would not have qualified for ElderShield as they had exceeded maximum entry age when ElderShield was introduced in 2002.  Instead, they can apply for financial assistance under the government-funded Interim Disability Assistance Program for the Elderly (IDAPE) if they meet the income and disability criteria.

3.     Since ElderShield was launched in 2002 till end-2015, there have been about 12,500 successful claims, with around $90 million paid out.

4.     Today, to ensure participation in the scheme is made as easy as possible, all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with Medisave accounts are automatically covered under ElderShield at the age of 40, unless they choose to opt-out.  As the scheme is operated by three MOH-appointed insurers (Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income), the insurers will send premium notice letters once a year, before policy renewal.  Premiums are usually paid via direct deduction from the policyholder or their family member’s Medisave account.  For those without Medisave account when they reach 40 years old, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board will send an invitation letter to them to invite them to open a CPF account, so that they could be automatically covered under ElderShield.  The insurers are also responsible for responding to queries on premiums and supporting the policyholder through the claims process.

5.     MOH will continue to review the processes for ElderShield sign-up, premium payment and claims, including working with other organizations such as the Pioneer Generation Office, to help Singaporeans with ElderShield processes and their long term care needs. 

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