SINGAPORE – As of November 6, qualified 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 born in 1970 to 1979 are automatically enrolled and do not need to take any action, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release on Thursday (October 14).
Everyone else will need to sign up through 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 by the scheme from 1 October 2020, 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 65-year-old Singaporeans expected to become severely disabled in their lifetime, in 2018 the government 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 participate in the scheme if they are not severely disabled, MOH said.
To make it easier to participate in CareShield Life, those born in 1970 to 1979 who are insured under the ElderShield 400 and are not severely disabled will automatically be enrolled in CareShield Life from 1 December.
They receive a welcome pack with more information about their coverage and personal prizes.
Those who are not in the automatic enrollment group – all other citizens and PRs born in 1979 or earlier who are not severely disabled – can enroll in the scheme at careshieldlife.gov.sg
The ministry said automatic enrollment was not extended to include them because they consist of ElderShield 300 policyholders, uninsured persons and elderly people who will be subject to higher annual premiums compared to the automatic enrollment group.
“They should therefore weigh the costs and benefits and make a conscious decision to sign up for CareShield Life,” it said, adding that they can check their personal premiums on the site before submitting their application to participate.
Existing ElderShield policyholders will continue to be covered by ElderShield if they choose not to upgrade from ElderShield to CareShield Life.
To encourage individuals to participate in CareShield Life, the government will provide participation incentives of up to $ 2,500 to all citizens born in 1979 or earlier who join CareShield Life by December 31, 2023.
Additional incentives of $ 1,500 will be given to Merdeka and Pioneer citizens who join the scheme before that date.
From 1 November, the government will take over the administration of the ElderShield scheme from private insurance companies.
There is no change in policyholders’ ElderShield coverage, eligibility requirements or monthly payout amount.
From November 1, ElderShield policyholders can submit requests or inquiries to ElderShield via Write to us (careshieldlife.gov.sg/writetous) or call the hotline at 1800-222-3399 / + 65 6222 3399 (abroad) from Monday to Friday , 8.00 at 17.30.
You can submit a claim for ElderShield via the portal for the eServices for Financing Schemes portal (Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)) at https://efinance.aic.sg or contact AIC on 1800 650 6060 / + 65 6650 6060 (abroad ).
From now until October 31, ElderShield policyholders should continue to contact their respective insurance companies regarding ElderShield issues.
Contact information for insurance companies can be found at https://careshieldlife.gov.sg/eldershield/insurer