Bankbazaar Singapore – January 31, 2018
Singapore: The ElderShield review committee has recommended that the critical disability insurance programme for individuals requiring prolonged care should be made mandatory for everyone.
In a report published this week, the committee put forward four changes to the government-supported protection plan. Apart from the making the insurance policy universal, other suggestions include lowering the age criteria to make the scheme more affordable, making the scheme a priority for social safety, and making the process of claims easier.
ElderShield is offered through three private insurance companies at the moment, NTUC Income, Great Eastern, and Aviva. The coverage automatically kicks in for all Singaporeans at the age of 40. Individuals become eligible to receive benefits of the insurance plan when they are deemed incapable of doing at least three of the six daily life activities specified by the authorities.
At present, there is an option to opt out of ElderShield. This is what the committee wants removed.
The recommendations were made after collecting information from more than 800 Singapore citizens which included caregivers, industry professionals, academics, and financial advisors. They are aimed at refining the insurance scheme with changes in the society.
In its update, the committee said that Singapore needs to think ahead about the long-term requirements as families get smaller and the number of older people increases. The need for long-term healthcare is also set to rise in the coming years. A significant number of healthy Singaporeans aged 65 are vulnerable to critical disability later on in their lives.
Stressing on the importance of the insurance programme in Singapore’s efforts to nurture a healthy society, the committee added that the government should provide financial support to people of lower income levels to help them access the coverage.