Medical emergencies are something we cannot avoid, especially as we get older and our health starts to deteriorate. Worrying about whether you have enough money to pay for medical costs, however, is something that you can avoid with CareShield Life Supplements.
CareShield Life Supplements are plans which can cover additional medical costs on top of the existing CareShield Life scheme. We will explain what CareShield Life supplements are and explain the different options available so you can make an informed choice about which plan is best for you.
What does CareShield Life cover?
CareShield Life was launched on 1 October 2020 as an extension of the existing ElderShield scheme. CareShield Life provides basic long-term medical insurance for persons who cannot perform at least three of six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) on their own. These include washing, feeding, dressing, walking around, using the washroom, and transferring between a bed to an upright chair. If you are a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) who meets these conditions, you will be eligible to claim monthly payouts under CareShield Life.
Monthly payouts will begin once you make a successful claim or once you turn 67, whichever comes first. The payouts start at $600 a month and increase 2% a year from 2020 to 2025. Payouts will be in cash so that your caregiver can decide whether to use the money for alternative care arrangements like home care or staying in a nursing home. You will be covered for the rest of your life when you finish paying your premiums, which will happen when you turn 67 or 10 years after you have been enrolled in the scheme, whichever comes later.
If you were born after 1980, you will be covered by CareShield Life when you turn 30 years old regardless of any pre-existing health conditions. If you were born in 1979 or earlier, you can sign up for CareShield Life from the end of 2021 if you do not have pre-existing physical conditions. If you were born between 1970 and 1979 and are enrolled in ElderShield 400 you will automatically be enrolled in the CareShield Life scheme as well. CareShield Life is good for covering basic caregiving costs but may not be able to cover higher-cost payments, like in the event that you may require hospitalisation.
What are CareShield Life Supplements?
CareShield Life Supplements are add-ons that can help to cover costs that go beyond the scope of the basic CareShield Life plan. According to a study by AARP in 2016, caregivers may spend two-thirds of their income on caregiving expenses. Out-of-pocket costs can become a financial strain for caregivers when the people they care for need more intensive medical care. Hence, CareShield Life Supplements can be more effective in covering the costs of moderate and severe conditions.
CareShield Life Supplements provide higher monthly payouts which can help to relieve higher medical costs. The premiums can also be deducted using MediSave up to $600 per year. Depending on the plan you choose, CareShield Life Supplements can also offer various benefits, like dependent and caregiver relief benefits. With CareShield Life Supplements, you do not have to worry about your medical costs impacting your caregivers or other family members.
Comparing different CareShield Life Supplements
Next, we will compare some CareShield Life Supplements available to see what benefits they provide and which groups of people each plan is best for.
Singlife’s CareShield Standard & CareShield Plus
Under Singlife, you can choose between their CareShield Standard and CareShield Plus supplements. Both plans offer lifetime monthly benefits that range from $200 to $5,000 a month on top of CareShield Life’s payout. You can choose between fixed payouts and increasing payouts at a fixed rate of 2% and 3% per year until the end of the premium term or when a claim is made, whichever comes earlier.
There are many additional benefits you can enjoy under Singlife’s scheme, including lump sum and rehabilitation benefits. Under the lump sum benefit, you will receive a one-time benefit that is three times the amount of your first monthly benefit when you’re severely disabled. Your disability payout will begin once you’re unable to perform at least 3 out of 6 activities of daily living (ADLs) for Singlife CareShield Standard, and at least 2 out of 6 ADLs if you choose Singlife CareShield Plus. You can also apply for a waiver of premiums as long as you cannot perform at least 1 ADL.
Best for: People whose conditions may change in severity and want flexible payout options. Even if you are gradually able to do more ADLs, it may not mean that you can return to regular work activities. The lump sum benefits and rehabilitation benefits ensure that you continue receiving financial support even if you no longer meet the exact conditions to receive benefits under CareShield Life. This scheme’s benefits can provide an extended form of financial support during recovery while you work towards being able to support yourself financially.
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NTUC Income Care Secure
NTUC Income Care Secure provides you with monthly disability benefits from $1,200 to $5,000, in increments of $100, depending on the severity of your physical condition and the monthly disability benefit level you choose.
If you are unable to perform at least 2 out of 6 ADLs, you can receive three times the monthly benefit, and if you can’t perform at least 3 out of 6 ADLs, you can receive six times the monthly benefit.
In addition, you are also entitled to support benefits up to 600% of the disability benefit, and you will also be entitled to 300% of the disability benefit in the event that you pass away, provided that you were already receiving the disability benefit.
If you become disabled and have at least one dependant, the dependant is entitled to a benefit that is 25% of the disability benefit you receive. This amount will be paid to the dependant every month for up to 36 months in your lifetime.
You can download the application form on NTUC’s website.
Best for: People with family members who want to make sure their dependants’ financial needs will be well taken care of. With a severe health condition, one might worry about the needs of their dependant family members during and after their lifetime. The dependant benefits and death benefits that NTUC CareSecure gives out can help to meet the financial needs of family members who might still be financially dependent on you and give you peace of mind.
Great Eastern’s GREAT CareShield
With Great Eastern’s GREAT CareShield supplement, you can receive a monthly benefit of $300 to $5,000, in increments of $100.
In addition, as soon as you cannot perform at least 1 of 6 ADLs, you can receive monthly payouts and a lump sum Initial Benefit of up to $15,000. You will also receive a waiver of your future premiums.
Additionally, should you be unable to perform at least 2 ADLs, you will also receive extra monthly payouts of Caregiver Benefit (60% of monthly benefit) and Dependent Care Benefit (30% of monthly benefit).
Great CareShield premiums are level premiums. This means that premiums are guaranteed to remain the same throughout the contract, and is based on your age at your last birthday upon enrolling in the plan.
The premiums can be paid by cash, MediSave, or your family members’ MediSave. The amount payable by MediSave can go up to $600 a calendar year per insured person. Your premiums will also be waived as long as you cannot perform at least one ADL.
Best for: People who want an immediate source of payouts when their condition becomes worse. The Initial Benefit payouts can provide a quick source of financial relief when your condition suddenly deteriorates. The Initial Benefit can also be claimed twice which allows for lasting financial support if you find that you do not have enough to pay for lasting medical care. Premiums will also be waived even if you do not yet meet the conditions for CareShield Life, allowing you to start receiving financial support right away.
How do I sign up for CareShield Life Supplements?
Only Singaporean citizens and PRs who are already enrolled under a CareShield Life plan can apply for CareShield Life Supplements. To check if you are enrolled in a CareShield Life Supplement, you can log on to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) website using your SingPass account details. More information about each plan can be found on the respective providers’ websites.
We hope that this article has helped you make more informed decisions on which plan would best suit your needs. If you would like to learn more about the different financial schemes available, check out our financial guide for caregivers and the elderly.
Besides financial needs, it can also be helpful to learn about the different care services available, especially for your elderly loved one. Even those with family members to care for them could use an additional helping hand sometimes to avoid caregiver burnout.
Our Care Pros can step in and help with a variety of care services, including rehabilitation, personal, nursing, and medical care, available from one-hour to round-the-clock care so you only pay for the hours you need. With Homage, you don’t need to worry about your day-to-day needs or expenses — we’ve got your back!
- Care Secure. (n.d.). NTUC Income. Retrieved March 17, 2021, from https://www.income.com.sg/health-and-personal-accident/care-secure
- CareShield Life. (n.d.). Ministry of Health. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://www.careshieldlife.gov.sg/home.html
- CareShield Life | Supplements. (n.d.). Ministry of Health. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.careshieldlife.gov.sg/supplements.html
- Great Eastern. (n.d.). Great CareShield: Disability coverage supported with payouts, up to a lifetime [Brochure]. https://www.greateasternlife.com/content/dam/great-eastern/sg/homepage/personal-insurance/our-products/health-insurance/great-careshield/great-careshield-product-brochure.pdf
- MyLongTermCare and MyLongTermCare Plus. Singlife with Aviva. https://singlife.com/en/insurance/life-and-health/my-long-term-care-and-my-long-term-care-plus
- Rainville, C., Skufca, L., & Mehegan, L. (2016, November). Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016 Report. AARP. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00138.001