Singapore

CareShield Life to include those born in 1979 or earlier from Nov 6

ElderShield 400 policyholders born in 1970-1979 and not severely disabled will be auto-enrolled from Dec 1

From Nov 6, eligible Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) born in 1979 or earlier can join CareShield Life, the long-term care insurance scheme, to provide basic financial protection against severe disability.

ElderShield 400 policyholders who were born in 1970 to 1979 will be enrolled automatically and do not need to take action, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a news release yesterday. All others will have to sign up via the CareShield Life website.

CareShield Life - which offers better and longer payouts than ElderShield, which has been around since 2002 - is mandatory for all Singaporeans born in 1980 or later.

These cohorts are automatically covered under the scheme from Oct 1 last year, or when they turn 30, whichever is later.

More than 740,000 policyholders are currently among the mandatory cohorts on board the scheme.

With one in two Singaporeans aged 65 expected to become severely disabled in his lifetime, the Government in 2018 accepted the recommendations of the ElderShield Review Committee to introduce CareShield Life.

Going forward, all Singapore citizens and PRs born in 1979 or earlier can choose to join the scheme if they are not severely disabled, said MOH.

To make joining CareShield Life more convenient, those born in 1970 to 1979 who are insured under ElderShield 400 and are not severely disabled will be auto-enrolled into CareShield Life from Dec 1.

They will receive a welcome package with more information on their coverage and personalised premiums.

Those not in the auto-enrolment group - all other citizens and PRs born in 1979 or earlier who are not severely disabled - can sign up at careshieldlife.gov.sg

HIGHER PREMIUMS

The ministry said auto-enrolment was not extended to them because they consist of ElderShield 300 policyholders, uninsured individuals and older individuals who will face higher annual premiums compared with the auto-enrolment group.

"They should therefore weigh the costs and benefits and make a conscious decision to opt into CareShield Life," it said, adding that they can check their premiums on the website before submitting their application.

Existing ElderShield policyholders will continue to be covered under ElderShield if they choose not to upgrade from ElderShield to CareShield Life.

To encourage individuals to join CareShield Life, the Government will provide participation incentives of up to $2,500 to citizens born in 1979 or earlier who join CareShield Life by Dec 31, 2023. Additional incentives of $1,500 will be provided to Merdeka and Pioneer generation citizens who join the scheme by this date.

From Nov 1, the Government will take over administration of the ElderShield scheme from private insurers. There will be no change to policyholders' ElderShield coverage, claim eligibility criteria or monthly payout quantum.

MEDICAL & HEALTH