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CareShield Life - How to supplement your disability coverage

Rising medical costs and care needs for the long term may mean you need additional support beyond what is provided by CareShield Life.
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Supplement your disability coverage

As Singaporeans live longer, the risk of disability rises along with the need for long-term care services. According to a study by the National Council of Social Service, about one in 30 Singaporeans aged 18 to 49 has some form of disability.

These concerns are addressed by CareShield Life, a compulsory national long-term care insurance scheme for all Singapore residents born in 1980 or later, that began on Oct 1 last year, which provides basic financial support for those who become severely disabled.

It is a fallacy to think that young people are immune to the risks of disability. “It is possible for young people to suffer from mild and moderate disability. This is especially so if they suffer from upper limb disability due to an accident, trauma or stroke which can result in an inability to dress themselves,” says Dr Raymond Ong, medical director at Doctor Anywhere.

Rising medical costs, inflation and long-term care costs further increase the need for coverage beyond what is provided by CareShield Life. This need can be met with resources such as Great Eastern's GREAT CareShield disability insurance plans.

The basics of CareShield Life and potential long-term care costs

CareShield Life caters for severe long-term disability. It pays out a fixed monthly amount starting from $600 in 2020 for the duration of the disability, even if it is for the rest of the person's life.

A person who cannot perform three of the six activities of daily living (ADLs) without assistance qualifies for the payout. The six activities are:

These ADLs highlight several potential long-term care services that a person may need. Some estimated costs include:

  • Domestic helper: $1,000 per month1
  • Rehabilitation: $425 per session2
  • Daycare centre: $20 per hour3
  • Nursing home: $2,300 per month4

Nursing homes are the most expensive component of long-term care, according to a Straits Times report in 2017.

GREAT CareShield: Enhanced or Advantage

Great Eastern’s GREAT CareShield, which is available in two plan types: Enhanced or Advantage, supplement CareShield Life and provide support to those with mild, moderate or severe disabilities.

Mild disability refers to the inability to perform one ADL, moderate disability means the inability to perform two ADLs, and severe disability refers to the inability to perform at least three ADLs — and where significant assistance is required from another person in performing the ADLs, in all such conditions.

Customers can choose between GREAT CareShield Enhanced or GREAT CareShield Advantage.

Table of coverage

Both plans provide monthly payouts if a person is unable to perform at least two ADLs due to unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Depending on the plan type, you can get up to $5,000 if you select the GREAT CareShield Advantage plan.

Additional coverage for the inability to perform one ADL

The GREAT CareShield Advantage plan also has an additional benefit compared with the Enhanced plan. Under the Advantage plan, if a person is unable to perform at least one ADL, he/she will receive an Initial Benefit5, which may be payable again upon full recovery, and depending on certain conditions, provide them with coverage for subsequent episodes of mild disability.

Both plans have a lifetime policy term, and premiums are waived for as long as a person is unable to perform at least one ADL.

Get a head start with GREAT CareShield Advantage

GREAT CareShield illustration

The main benefits of GREAT CareShield Advantage are:

  • Up to $15,000 payout on every occurrence of mild disability5
  • Up to lifetime payouts for moderate disability
  • Premiums payable in part or full by MediSave

GREAT CareShield kicks in earlier than CareShield Life because it makes monthly payouts when there is an inability to perform two of the six ADLs, as opposed to the national CareShield Life scheme, which makes payouts when a person is unable to perform three ADLs.

Premiums do not increase with age8 as the premium price is fixed at the age that the customer buys the policy. So buying the plan earlier means premiums will be lower.

GREAT CareShield premiums can be paid using your own or a family member’s MediSave funds — such as those of a spouse, parent, child, sibling or grandchild — up to a limit of $600 per calendar year for each insured person. The remaining amount will be paid in cash.

Customers can buy GREAT CareShield plans through Great Eastern’s online platform and its financial representatives and enjoy 20 per cent off first-year premiums. For example, if your annual premium payable is $750, you save $150 (20 per cent of the original amount), bringing your annual premium to $600, which can be fully paid for via your MediSave account.

Sign up now and get 20% off premiums!

Notes & Disclaimers:
1 Dollars and Sense, [2020 Edition] How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Maid In Singapore?, March 20, 2020, https://dollarsandsense.sg/2019-edition-much-cost-hire-maid-singapore/
2 Singapore General Hospital, Rehabilitation Centre, https://www.sgh.com.sg/patient-care/specialties-services/Rehabilitation-Centre
Homage, https://www.homage.sg
4 MoneySmart, Nursing Homes in Singapore – How Much Does It Cost?, July 23, 2019, https://blog.moneysmart.sg/family/nursing-homes-singapore/
Subject to Deferment Period and for Advantage Plan type only, and "mild disability" is the inability to perform one Activity of Daily Living (ADL). The Initial Benefit is a lump sum payment equivalent to three times of the Monthly Benefit. In the event the Life Assured fully recovers from the disability, the Initial Benefit may be paid again for subsequent episodes of mild disability. However, it is not payable if such subsequent disabilities arise from or are related to the cause of disability(ies) for which there was a previous claim for Initial Benefit.
All payouts under this row of benefit are subject to the Deferment Period. Payouts are payable for as long as the life assured suffers from the applicable number of disabilities, up to the life assured’s lifetime.
Subject to Deferment Period, and for as long as he continues to suffer from the disability.
8 Premium rates are not guaranteed and they may be adjusted from time to time based on future experience.

All ages specified refer to age last birthday. Figures illustrated are rounded down to the nearest dollar. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Terms and Conditions apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

This is only product information provided by us. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying health insurance products that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs. If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd