CareShield Life, ElderShield 400 and ElderShield 300 are long-term care insurance schemes launched by the Singapore government to financially support Singaporeans in the event of severe disability. Eligible insured individuals will receive monthly cash payouts to offset medical and caregiving costs while retaining the flexibility to decide on preferred care arrangements.
All Singaporeans and permanent residents born in and after 1980 are automatically enrolled into CareShield Life, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
However, those born before 1980 are likely covered by ElderShield, unless you have opted out before, did not have a MediSave account, or had a severe disability at the point of enrolment. For this group of individuals, if you do not currently have a severe disability*, you have the option to switch from ElderShield to CareShield Life (join CareShield Life if you are not already on ElderShield).
But should you do so? And how can you make the switch? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of the different schemes to make an informed decision.
*Individuals are considered to be severely disabled if they are unable to perform at least 3 activities of daily living (ADLs) independently. This includes washing, feeding, dressing, toileting, mobility, and transferring.
What is ElderShield?
Launched in September 2002, ElderShield aims to provide financial assistance to individuals with severe disabilities.
Until 2019, all Singapore citizens and permanent residents with MediSave accounts are automatically enrolled in ElderShield at the age of 40 unless they opt out, are born on 30 September 1932 or before, or are severely disabled before enrolment.
There are 2 ElderShield plans. Those who joined ElderShield between September 2002 and August 2007 are covered under ElderShield 300, while those who joined between September 2007 to December 2019 are covered under ElderShield 400. Those who turn 40 in 2020 and after will be enrolled into CareShield Life instead.
Individuals covered by ElderShield will receive a fixed monthly payout should they develop a severe disability and are unable to perform 3 or more activities of daily living independently. The payouts for the two schemes are as follows:
- ElderShield 300: $300 per month for up to 60 months
- ElderShield 400: $400 per month, for up to 72 months
ElderShield premiums are determined by the age at which you join the scheme. The older you join, the higher your annual premiums as you will be paying premiums for fewer years.
Here’s a peek into how the premium amount and number of premium payments vary based on the age you join ElderShield.
|Annual premiums, inclusive of 7% GST (payable till age 65)|
|Scheme / Premium||ElderShield 400||ElderShield 300|
|Entry age||Number of premium payments||Male||Female||Male||Female|
The premium you pay remains fixed over the years. You stop paying premiums when you reach age 65, or when you make a successful claim, whichever is earlier. Premiums are fully payable by MediSave.
What is CareShield Life?
CareShield Life is launched on 1 October 2020 and replaces ElderShield.
If you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident born in 1980 or after, you will be automatically enrolled in CareShield Life once you turn 30 or from 1 October 2020.
Participating in CareShield Life is optional for those born in 1979 or earlier.
Individuals who are born between 1970 and 1979, covered under ElderShield 400, and are not severely disabled will automatically be enrolled into CareShield Life. If you fall within this group but wish to remain on ElderShield, you will need to opt-out by 31 December 2023.
Those born in 1969 and earlier will have to opt in if they wish to be covered under CareShield Life, and must not be severely disabled at the point of enrolment.
Do note that if you choose to upgrade to CareShield Life, the ElderShield premiums that you have already paid will be taken into consideration when determining your CareShield Life premiums. Existing ElderShield supplements also work for CareShield Life and will not need to be terminated.
Those insured by CareShield Life will receive a fixed monthly payout if they develop a severe disability and are unable to perform 3 or more activities of daily living independently.
This monthly payout starts at $600/month in 2020 and increases annually until age 67 or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier. Once a successful claim is made, payouts remain fixed for the duration of your severe disability.
As monthly payouts are higher for CareShield compared to ElderShield, premiums are higher as well. Premium starts at $206 for men and $253 for women, and increases by approximately 2% yearly. You stop paying premiums when you reach 67 years old or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier.
To make premiums more affordable, the government provides subsidies and incentives to those who need them. This includes:
- Means-tested premium subsidies: Up to 30% premium subsidies for lower and middle-income groups
- Transitional subsidies: Up to $250 spread over 2020 to 2025 to reduce annual payment for those born in 1980 or later
- Participation incentives: Up to $4,000 over 10 years to reduce annual payments for those born in 1979 or before who join CareShield Life by 31 December 2023
- Additional Premium Support: For those who are unable to afford premiums after premium subsidies and family support
For a more personalised CareShield premium calculation, use the CareShield Life Premium Checker to view your premiums and subsidies for the current year, and estimations for the upcoming years.
What are the differences between CareShield and ElderShield?
Here are some key differences between CareShield Life, ElderShield 400 and ElderShield 300.
|CareShield Life||ElderShield 400||ElderShield 300|
|Monthly payouts||From $600 per month in 2020||$400 per month||$300 per month|
|Payout duration||For the entire duration of disability||Up to 72 months (6 years)||Up to 60 months (5 years)|
|Payout increment||Increases by approx. 2% per annum until age 67 or when a claim is made, whichever is earlier||Fixed payout|
|Payout criteria||Unable to perform 3 out of 6 activities of daily living independently|
|Annual premiums||Assuming entry age of 30, premiums start at $206 for men and $253 for women in 2020|
Premium increases by approx. 2% annually
|Assuming entry age of 40, premiums start from $152 for men and $194 for women|
Premium is fixed
|Assuming entry age of 40, premiums start from $175 for men and $218 for women|
Premium is fixed
|Entry age||30 years old||40 years old|
|Premium duration||Payable till 67 years old, or for a period of 10 years for those who join at age 59 or older||Payable till 65 years old|
|Payment method||Fully payable by MediSave|
|Subsidies for premium||Yes||No|
|Coverage||For those born 1979 or earlier: Optional, and those with existing severe disability are not eligible to enrol|
For those born on or after 1980: Mandatory, and covered regardless of pre-existing severe disability
Those with pre-existing severe disability are not eligible to enrol
Why should you switch from ElderShield to CareShield Life?
In terms of coverage, CareShield Life provides higher monthly payouts for life. However, it does come at a greater cost. Those who can afford the premium should consider joining CareShield Life to enjoy greater coverage. If you are concerned about the cost of premiums, check if you are eligible for government subsidies and incentives with the CareShield Life Premium Checker.
Costs for long-term care can add up quickly. Having an insurance scheme with comprehensive coverage and payouts that can help to support your living and care needs can be a huge relief when the time comes.
How to switch from ElderShield to CareShield Life?
If you are born in 1969 or earlier, currently covered by ElderShield, and are not severely disabled, you can choose to opt into CareShield Life.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can make the switch:
1. Review your existing policy
Before making any changes, the first step is to check and review your current policy. To do this, you will need to go to the CareShield Life website and click login. You will be prompted to log in with Singpass. Once you have logged in, you will be able to see details of your current policy. This includes the policy start date, claim benefits, premium payable, payment status, and payer information.
Now that you have more information about your existing policy, you can compare it against your estimated CareShield Life Premium and coverage, and make an informed decision on whether to make the switch.
2. Apply to join CareShield Life
If you have decided to join or make the switch to CareShield Life, click on “Application to join CareShield Life” on the left navigation bar. You will arrive at an e-Service page with the information you need to know about the CareShield Life application.
Once you have read the information and agree with the terms and conditions, check the “I have read and accepted the information and terms and Conditions above.” and click next.
3. Verify your particulars
You will be brought to a page with fields that are pre-filled with your particulars. Review your particulars and make sure that the information is accurate before clicking next. If the information is incorrect, call 1800 222 3399 for assistance.
4. Self-declaration on Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Next, you will need to declare if you (or the applicant, if you are applying on behalf of another person) are able to perform all six ADLs independently. It is important to be truthful in your declaration. Making a false declaration is a punishable offence.
What are Activities of Daily Living?
From feeding to going to the washroom, Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) refer to self-care tasks for basic functional living.
If your loved one needs assistance with ADLs, Homage offers a wide range of home-based care services that can be helpful. Download the Homage mobile app and schedule a free consultation with the Homage Care Advisory Team today!
5. Review premium information
You will be presented with the estimated monthly premium payable and cash payouts in the upcoming years, taking into consideration government subsidies you are eligible for at the point of application. These personalised estimates can help you better plan for your future.
For those there is a base premium and an annual catch-up component, so calculations can be complicated. Those interested in understanding the different components can click on “View breakdown of your estimated CareShield Life Premiums” for more details.
6. Select the premium payer
CareShield Life premiums are fully payable by MediSave and can be paid by the applicant or a family member (i.e. spouse, parents, children, siblings, or grandchildren).
If a family member is paying the premium, you will need the family member’s NRIC number. He/she will need to acknowledge this using the Change Premium Payer e-service after logging in to the CareShield Life website. Alternatively, family members can also help by topping up your MediSave account with cash.
7. Confirmation and acknowledgement
In the next step, you will be presented with a summary of all the information you have provided in the previous steps. Review and ensure all information is accurate before submitting the application.
Once submitted, you will be informed of your application submission date and time and transaction number. The application will take approximately 7 working days to process. You will be notified of the application outcome once it’s ready, but can also track the progress by clicking on “My Transactions” on the navigation panel on the left.
Now that you are better informed about the differences between CareShield Life and ElderShield and the switching process, we hope that you will be able to make an informed decision for a better future.
We hope that this guide has helped you to understand the key differences between ElderShield and CareShield Life, including why you might want to consider switching to the new CareShield Life scheme. Whether you need personal home care for yourself or respite care if you look after an elderly loved one, you may book a care session by downloading the Homage mobile app or filling in the form below.
Provide the best care to your loved one today!