This article was first published on 14 October 2020 and updated on 19 January 2021 to provide for more information
By now, most of us would be familiar with CareShield Life, which is the national disability income insurance scheme that came into force on 1 October 2020.
Essentially, CareShield Life provides lifelong monthly payouts for claimants who cannot perform 3 of 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
In 2020, the monthly payout amount is $600 per month, and is set to rise by 2% each year so long as no claims are made. As of 2021, claim payout has increased to $612 per month.
Like its hospitalisation insurance cousin, MediShield Life, supplements to CareShield Life can be bought from private insurers to provide enhanced benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about buying CareShield Life supplement plan and what are the additional benefits you can receive.
What Are CareShield Supplements?
CareShield Life Supplement plans are policies offered by participating private insurers that provide complementary benefits to the basic CareShield Life payouts. These include 1) higher monthly payouts 2), lower bar for making claims (such as an inability to perform 2 ADLs, instead of 3 stipulated by CareShield Life) and 3) additional lump-sum financial support for policyholders if they are considered as severely disabled.
To purchase a CareShield Life Supplement plan, you must first have a CareShield Life policyholder. Currently, there are three insurers who offer CareShield Life Supplement plans, namely, Aviva (MyLongTermCare & MyLongTermCare Plus), NTUC Income (Care Secure), and Great Eastern (GREAT CareShield)
Additional premiums for a CareShield Life Supplement plan can be paid either in cash, or using funds from your MediSave account or that of your family members (spouse, parents, children, siblings, or grandchildren). Every calendar year, you can only use a maximum of $600 from MediSave per person insured and the balance premiums would then need to be paid for in cash.
Overview Of CareShield Life Supplement Plans Available In The Market
As mentioned earlier, there are currently three private insurers that offer CareShield Life Supplement plans, which also were the insurers who offered ElderShield and ElderShield Supplement plans.
Here’s a brief overview of the plans offered by Aviva, Income and Great Eastern. You can speak to an authorised representative of the respective insurers for more information.
Aviva (MyLongTermCare, MyLongTermCare Plus)
With Aviva MyLongTermCare and MyLongTermCare Plus, you can choose to receive between $200 to $5,000 (in $100 increments) per month on top of CareShield Life payouts, with the choice of fixed or increasing payouts (at 2% or 3% per annum) until the end of the premium term, or when a claim is made, whichever is earlier. Do note that your premiums will also increase by 2% or 3% each year if you choose for increasing payouts.
For MyLongTermCare Plus, the claim criterion is the inability to perform at least 2 of 6 ADLs. The plan also provides for a lump sum payout of 3 times your first monthly benefit when you’re severely disabled, as well as payouts for things like rehabilitation, caregivers, dependant care, and death benefits.
According to Aviva, a 35-year-old male who buys MyLongTermCare Plus with a fixed $1,000 monthly benefit and who chooses to pay till the policy anniversary after his 97th birthday will pay an annual premium of $548.91. This means the entire sum can be paid from his MediSave each year.
NTUC Income (Care Secure)
For NTUC Income Care Secure, the plan defines severe disability as the inability to perform at least 2 of 6 ADLs, and provides additional monthly payouts of between $1,200 to $5,000 (in $100 increments).
Those with dependants can also receive a dependant benefit for up to 36 months. There is also an initial lump sum payout of up to 6 times the monthly disability benefit as well as a death benefit. Visit the Income website or refer to their brochure for more information.
Great Eastern (GREAT CareShield Advantage, GREAT CareShield Enhanced)
Great Eastern GREAT CareShield Advantage and GREAT CareShield Enhanced: Upon inability to perform 2 of 6 ADLs, you then receive up to $5,000 in monthly payouts, in addition to anything you receive from CareShield Life. Your premiums are waived for the duration of the disability upon the inability to perform at least 1 ADL.
Additionally, for GREAT CareShield Advantage, you will receive an initial lump sum payout of 3 times your monthly benefit, as soon as you cannot perform 1 of 6 ADLs.
According to Great Eastern, a 30-year-old male who buys GREAT CareShield Advantage with a $2,500 monthly benefit and who chooses a premium payment term of up to 80 years old will pay an annual premium of $1,107, of which $600 can come from our MediSave.
Visit the Great Eastern website for more information.
Checking If You Are Covered Under An ElderShield/CareShield Life Supplement Plan
For ElderShield policyholders who previously bought an ElderShield Supplement plan, your ElderShield Supplement plan would continue to be valid and in-force, so long as you continue to pay your premiums – even if you opt for CareShield Life in the future.
You can claim the respective benefits from your CareShield Life policy, as well as your ElderShield Supplement plan if you meet the respective claims criteria. The Ministry of Health has stated that the administration of ElderShield Supplement plans will remain with the private insurers, even after the government takes over the administration of ElderShield in end-2021.
You can check whether you have an active Supplement plan, and which insurer are you covered under by logging into the CPF website using your SingPass and clicking on MyMessages -> Healthcare -> ElderShield. You will then need to contact your insurer to find out the exact details of your exact policy and benefits.
At the time of writing, the details on how to check one’s CareShield Life Supplement plan details are not yet released.
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