The Eldershield disability insurance scheme, which was initiated by the Singapore government in 2002, will undergo changes in September 2007. Before this, the programme provided a monthly payout of $300 for up to 60 months (5 years) to severely disabled elderly persons who, due to accidents or illnesses, became incapable of simple daily activities.
From September 2007, the scheme will be reformed with the following changes:
- An additional insurer, Aviva Limited, has been appointed as a third provider in addition to the existing ones, Great Eastern Life Assurance and NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative.
- Two tiers of benefits are created : Basic and Supplements. The Basic tier will pay $400 for up to 6 years (up from the existing $300 / 5 years). The Supplements tier allows additional coverage that may include higher payouts, longer payout periods and varied terms of disability definitions. The terms and premiums for these additional benefits will be market-driven by insurers.
All Singaporeans turning 40 from Sep 2007 will be automatically signed up for the new Eldershield unless they opt out or have existing disabilities.
With the increased benefits, the premiums for the new Basic tier scheme starts from $164 (male) and $204 (female) per year for 40-year-olds. These are increases of 15% and 12% compared to the previous basic premiums of $142 (male) and $182 (female) respectively.
Like previously, Medisave can be used to pay for the Basic tier premium and up to $600 per year per insured can be used to pay for the Supplements.
Existing Eldershield policyholders can choose to remain in the old scheme, or upgrade to the new Basic scheme and/or Supplements.
Eldershield Website Pages of the Three Appointed Insurers
- Aviva Life Insurance & Investments: http://www.aviva-singapore.com.sg/ElderShield/index.html
- Great Eastern Life (GE Life): http://www.eldershield.com/eshield/jsp/index.jsp
- NTUC Income: http://www.income.com.sg/insurance/eldershield