ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme that aims to provide basic financial protection against the expenditures related to care and recovery following a severe disability. On the other hand, The Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE) is an assistance scheme for seniors who were not eligible for ElderShield at the time as they were too old or had pre-existing disabilities. In this article, we have shared some commonly asked questions for both ElderShield and IDAPE.
Q: What are the benefits of ElderShield?
If the insurer is severely disabled and he/she has completed deferent period, then ElderShield provides a monthly cash payout of $400 for a maximum of 72 months. It helps to pay any additional expenses incurred and reduces some financial burden the Insured may have. This amount can be used to pay for suitable care either at home or at a hospital or any care center. You will keep receiving this payment for subsequent severe disabilities for 72 months.
Q: Who is eligible to join ElderShield?
All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are automatically covered under ElderShield at the age of 40. There is an automatic enrollment procedure that requires no application or medical assessment. Those residents who are below 65 years of age and think that they will be eligible for ElderShield, or anyone who has previously declined the coverage, can apply for the coverage by completing and returning the Application form. The applicants making a new application are subject to a medical assessment.
Q: What does “severely disabled” mean In ElderShield?
A person is classified as severely disabled in ElderShield when he/she is not able to perform at least 3 out of 6 routine tasks consistently, even though they are using special equipment or constant assistance. The list of tasks includes:
- Washing: The ability to take a bath or shower which includes getting into and out of the bath or shower or wash by other means.
- Dressing: The ability to put on, take off, secure, and unfasten all clothes and, as suitable, any braces, artificial limbs, or other surgical or medical pieces of equipment.
- Feeding: The ability to feed themselves after it has been ready and served.
- Toileting: The ability to use the lavatory or take care of bowel and bladder functions by using protective undergarments or surgical utilizations if appropriate.
- Mobility: The ability to walk indoors from one room to the other on leveled surfaces.
- Transferring: The ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.
These are some of the common tasks that we could easily perform by ourselves, but those who are disabled are not able to do them without any assistance.
Q: Can an Individual join ElderShield if he/she has a Pre-existing Disability?
Pre-existing Disability means suffering from a severe disability which can be further defined as the inability to perform at least 3 of the 6 Activities of Daily Living. This condition should be before your ElderShield Policy Commencement Date. For individuals who are auto-covered, severe disability caused especially by accidents that happen during the 90-day opt-out period shall not be considered as a Pre-existing Disability.
As with any insurance plan, an individual with a Pre-existing Disability may not be entitled to insurance coverage. If you have a Pre-existing Disability, you have to fill in the Health Declaration Form so that the premium will not be deducted from your Medisave Account.
Q: How to make a claim?
To make a claim, an individual has to complete the claim form. Also, he/she has to get their disability condition evaluated by an Appointed ElderShield Assessor. The assessor will complete the Assessor’s Statement and submit it to the insurance company for processing. Once an individual has been certified as disabled and the 90-day deferment period has passed, the person will get his/her insurance payout through cheque or direct credit into the bank account. An existing copy of the Claim Form and a list of Appointed Assessors are available at Acacia Medical Clinic.
Q: Why do people need to wait for 90 days after the lodgment of their claim before they could get their payouts if they become severely disabled?
ElderShield payouts start once the documentation is complete and the 90-day ‘deferment period’ is over. The deferment period makes certain that ElderShield funds are used to cover long term nursing and care expenses caused due to disabling illness or injury. Without this period, ElderShield insurers would have to cover outlays for non-severe or temporary disabilities, driving up premium costs for all policyholders.
Q: Do you have to bear the cost of the assessment?
If your claim for severe disability insurance is accepted, then the insurance company will reimburse the full cost of your assessment. If your claim is not accepted, then you have to bear all the expenses of the assessment.
The appointed ElderShield Assessors charge $100* per assessment at their clinic. If you need an in-home visit from an assessor, the fee will be higher than that.
Q: Is it possible that an individual can see his/her own doctor or specialist for the assessment?
Yes, there is a provision where you can use your own doctor only if they are already on the Panel of Appointed ElderShield Assessors. The idea behind creating this panel and appointing only a few assessors is to conduct the assessments appropriately to reduce false claims and ensure consistency in the claims assessment. The insurance company always encourages individuals to bring in relevant medical records for their disability assessment.
Q: How does an individual is qualified for IDAPE?
To be eligible for IDAPE, the care recipient must fulfill the following criteria:
- An individual must be born before 30 September 1932; OR between 1 October 1932 and 30 September 1962 (both dates inclusive), with pre-existing disabilities as of 30 September 2002.
- Must be a Singapore Citizen.
- Should live in Singapore
- Requires assistance with activities of daily living as certified by a MOH-accredited severe disability IDAPE assessor.
Q: What is the additional guidance for care recipients without mental capacity?
Here is the additional guidance for a care recipient who lacks the mental capacity to provide consent:
- The care recipient’s donee may give consent to the care recipient’s behalf. If the care recipient does not have any donee or deputy, then the caregiver may take the charge on the care recipient’s behalf.
Important Note: Donee/deputy must be chosen following the Mental Capacity Act (Cap 177) and has the power to take decisions on behalf of the care recipient concerning the care recipient’s property and other affairs.
For successful applications without a donee/deputy, the caregiver or another family member has 12 months (1 year) time to get a court order appointing him/her as a deputy. If they failed to do that, the payouts will be suspended.
- You have to submit the following additional supporting documents such as doctor’s certification that the care recipient lacks mental ability OR court order of deputy appointment OR latest medical report asserting that the care recipient lacks mental capacity. A copy of bank book or statement IF you are selecting an account that belongs to a deputy or trustee of the care recipient.
Q: How an existing IDAPE payment account can be changed?
To change your existing IDAPE payment account:
- You have to log in with your SingPass on eFASS and navigate to “Manage My Schemes” > “Change in Scheme Details”.
- If you are changing the nominated bank account and you are doing it on behalf of a care recipient who lacks the mental ability, then you have to submit a Mental Incapacity Certification.
- If you are nominating a care center or a nursing home to receive the payouts, then you have to approach the nursing home or care center to help you submit the Change in Application Details Form to AIC.
- Make sure you keep a copy of the application documents for your own reference.
Q: Will cognitive impairment comes under the disability assessment framework? Does someone with dementia will automatically qualify for IDAPE?
Under the new framework and revised training program, assessors will be directed more explicitly on the aspects to deliberate if an individual is alleged to be cognitively impaired. Assessors will therefore be better prepared to take into consideration the impact of cognitive impairment on an individual’s functional capabilities, which will result in cognitively impaired individuals with higher care requirements being able to more consistently qualify for IDAPE.
Individuals with dementia or other cognitive problems will still need to go through a disability assessment to qualify for IDAPE. This is because experts believe that their functional abilities may be affected in varying degrees by their cognitive impairment.
Q: If someone’s IDAPE payout had stopped due to recovery, can he/she later reapply if they become severely disabled again?
Yes, one can reapply and receive IDAPE payouts again if they are assessed and found to fulfill all eligibility criteria.
Q: Will Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) be eligible for IDAPE?
The priority of IDAPE is to give support to Singapore Citizens living in Singapore. PRs will not be eligible for IDAPE.
Q: Do Singaporeans residing in a foreign country qualify for IDAPE payouts?
The priority of IDAPE is to offer support for Singapore Citizens living in Singapore. Singaporeans residing overseas will not qualify for IDAPE.