ElderShield is a special insurance scheme that has been specifically designed for the disabled providing them with basic financial protection because they will need long-term care, especially in old age. In the event of severe disability, ElderShield policyholders will be given a monthly cash disbursement for a period of time, depending on the plan. The benefits that a person will receive completely depend on which scheme he has joined. But first, an individual has to go through an ElderShield assessment which is approved by a doctor before choosing any plan.
ElderShield was first introduced by the Ministry of Health in September 2002 as a severe disability insurance scheme. This insurance scheme for the disabled offers basic financial protection to those who need long-term care, especially in their old age. Under this scheme, an insurance company will be responsible for providing a monthly cash payout for up to 72 months to support pay out-of-pocket overheads for the care of severely disabled individuals.
ElderShield was offered to authorized Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) who had a MediSave Account when they turned 40 years old in 2019 or earlier. When it was announced, it used to provide an amount of $300/month as a payout for up to 5 years upon severe disability. It was afterward appraised in 2007 to provide better payouts of $400/month for up to 6 years.
ElderShield is presently managed by three private insurers appointed by the Ministry of Health. They are:
- Aviva Ltd
- Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd
- NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Ltd
The insurers are also permitted to offer ElderShield Supplements and make arrangements for ElderShield assessment also.
WHAT ARE ELDERSHIELD SUPPLEMENTS?
Those who wish to have higher coverage like higher payouts or longer payout periods; they can consider purchasing ElderShield Supplements from any of the above mentioned approved insurers. They supplement ElderShield by offering supplementary benefits at different pricing levels. You can make the payment of premiums for ElderShield Supplements using MediSave. If you do not have sufficient Medisave savings, you can also make payments using the Medisave Accounts of your spouse, parents, children, or grandchildren. You may also make cash payments.
But before we discuss ElderShield in detail, let’s first understand severe disability.
WHAT IS “SEVERE DISABILITY”?
It refers to the incompetence of an individual to perform at least three of the six activities of daily living (ADLs). Some of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are:
- Walking or moving around
If you or your loved one meets the above criteria, you may wish to consider submitting a claim.
FIND OUT IF YOU ARE COVERED UNDER ELDERSHIELD
Until 2019, all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who have MediSave Accounts were automatically registered in ElderShield at the age of 40, unless they withdraw from the scheme. Coverage was made available by one of the three private insurers fixed by the Ministry of Health: Aviva, Great Eastern, or Income.
From 2020, there will be no new auto-enrolment into ElderShield at age 40. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who turn 40 in 2020 will be registered into CareShield Life on 1st Oct 2020 or when they turn 30, whichever is later. Soon, the Government will also be acquiring the administration of ElderShield from the insurance companies at the end of 2021. More information will be made accessible to all ElderShield policyholders at the end of 2021.
Those who were born on 30 September 1932 or before, or those who had a pre-existing disability as of 30 September 2002, they would have failed to join ElderShield in 2002. As a substitute, they may be entitled to get assistance under the Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE) if they become severely disabled.
CAN YOU CHOOSE OR SWITCH YOUR ELDERSHIELD INSURER?
As already mentioned, there are 3 ElderShield insurers: Aviva Ltd, Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd and NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Ltd. All 3 of them are offering similar premiums and disbursements under ElderShield. You will be allocated to any one of the 3 insurers. If you want to change to any of the other insurers, you can easily do so, but within the 90-day opt-out period with no penalty. If you switch to another insurer after the 90-day period, you will lose already paid premiums and the second insurer will consider you as a new applicant. You may then need to go through a medical assessment again so that the second insurer accepts your application.
CHECK IF YOU ARE COVERED UNDER ELDERSHIELD OR NOT
To discover which ElderShield plan is ideal for you or you are covered under, you should contact experts who know detailed information on ElderShield insurance for severe disability. If you are not sure who your ElderShield insurer is, you may check it through CPF Board’s website. Follow the below steps:
- Go to http://www.cpf.gov.sg/.
- Log in to “my CPF Online Services” through your NRIC and SingPass.
- Select “My Messages” and look under “Healthcare”.
If you are covered under ElderShield, this segment will inform you about the ElderShield insurer under which you are covered. If you are not covered under ElderShield, you will not obtain any information on the website.
BENEFITS OF ELDERSHIELD
There are mainly 3 key benefits for ElderShield. These include:
- Lifetime coverage: You will be covered for a lifetime under ElderShield. You can claim at any age, even if you have already completed paying all your premiums at age 65.
- Monthly cash payouts: In case of severe disability, you will be eligible for receiving monthly cash payments for up to 5 to 6 years, depending on the insurance plan. Cash payouts offer you and your caregiver the flexibility to decide on the type of care arrangements you wish to obtain such as home care or nursing home care.
- Worldwide coverage: ElderShield comprises worldwide coverage which means you will remain covered and even make claims irrespective of your location. No matter where you are residing, you will keep getting your payouts.
How Can You Make an ElderShield Claim?
If you wish to make a claim, just follow these steps:
Step 1: Download the following documents
- Claimant’s Statement: Complete this form to find out more details.
- Clinical Abstract Application: This form gives your consent to get your medical information on your behalf from the hospital.
Step 2: Book an appointment with an appointed Assessor
- You will need to go through an ElderShield assessment by one of the appointed Assessors on your severe disability to obtain the Assessor’s Statement. You can book a house call or clinic appointment.
- You must bring your completed documents on the appointment day and also available medical reports or discharge summary if any.
- The Assessor’s Statement and all the related documents will be sent to the Acacia Medical Clinic directly.
Once we will be given the documents, we will continue to process the claim.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE ACACIA MEDICAL CLINIC?
Acacia Medical Clinic offers personalized healthcare services, vaccination, health screening, and corporate healthcare to both residents and non-residents at The Interlace Condo in Singapore. Our additional personalized services consist of housecalls Eldershield and IDAPE and lasting power of attorney (LPA) for disability assistance schemes.
Dr. Benjamin is an appointed Eldershield and IDAPE assessor and provides housecalls for Eldershield / IDAPE assessments for Disability Assistance Scheme. He is also a certified Lasting Power of Attorney certificate issuer. Dr. Tan enjoys the diversity and continuity of care. He knows your family’s medical needs and serves your entire family by offering services that intend to keep everyone in good health.