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 where 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.
NTUC Care Secure
NTUC Care Secure provides you with monthly disability benefits of up to $5,000, depending on the severity of your physical condition and the monthly disability benefit level you choose.
If your condition is considered moderate (i.e. unable to perform two or more ADLs independently), you will receive 100% of the benefit. If your condition is considered severe (i.e. unable to perform two or more ADLs independently), you will receive 100% of the benefit less the CareShield Life benefit that already applies to you.
In addition, you are also entitled to support benefits that are 300% of disability benefits for moderate conditions and 600% of disability benefits for those with severe conditions.
If you 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 during the lifetime of the person who is enrolled in Care Secure.
If you pass away during the term of your policy and while receiving monthly payments, NTUC will pay a death benefit that is 300% of your disability benefit. 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 dependant on you and give you peace of mind.
Under Aviva, you can choose between MyLongTermCare and MyLongTermCare Plus. Both plans offer lifetime monthly benefits that can 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 Aviva’s scheme including lump sum and rehabilitation benefit. Under the lump sum benefit, you will receive a one-time benefit that is three times the amount of your monthly benefit. If your condition has improved but you still cannot perform at least 2 ADLs, you are eligible for a rehabilitation benefit under MyLongTermCare, which is 50% of your last monthly payment. You can also apply for the 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. Aviva’s benefits can accommodate people whose health conditions may change in severity over time. 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. Aviva’s benefits can provide an extended form of financial support during recovery while you work towards being able to support yourself financially.
Great Eastern’s Great CareShield
Great Eastern offers Great CareShield Enhanced and Great CareShield Advantage. With Great Eastern, you can receive up to $5,000 in monthly benefit.
In addition, as soon as you cannot perform at least one of the six ADLs, Great Eastern CareShield Advantage’s Initial Benefit can provide you with a lump sum payout of three times the monthly benefit. This Initial Benefit payout can be claimed again upon full recovery to cover future instances when your physical condition worsens again.
Under Great CareShield Advantage you can receive 50% of your monthly payout when you are unable to perform two ADLs, and 100% of your monthly payout when you cannot perform three or more ADLs.
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. (2020, September 29). Aviva Singapore. https://www.aviva.com.sg/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