Finance & Compliance

CareShield Life: Compulsory Long-Term Healthcare Kicks in for Singapore

Katie Ash

Jan 3, 2024

Planning for your employees' well-being goes beyond just salaries and bonuses. As Singapore's population ages, long-term care needs become a growing concern. Here's where CareShield Life steps in, offering a safety net for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) who require long-term care due to severe disability.

What is CareShield Life in Singapore?

Think of CareShield Life as a long-term care insurance plan. It provides financial support through monthly payouts if an insured individual becomes severely disabled and needs long-term assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing, or eating. This ensures financial security for your employees facing such situations and helps ease the burden on their families.

Every Singapore citizen or permanent resident born in 1980 or later will be automatically enrolled in the scheme from today, or on the day they turn 30, regardless of whether any pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities exist. Enrollment is mandatory in this age group, as a universal health initiative of Singapore.

For Singaporeans born before 1980, enrollment is optional, and will only be opened towards the end of 2021. For this group, there will be exclusions on anyone who is already severely disabled. However, this group may still be covered under the ElderShield scheme.

CareShield Life Claim Payout: How Much Can You Get?

Currently, it's S$649 per month. The ElderShield programme provided monthly payouts of S$400 for up to a period of 72 months (6 years). Enrollment was automatic from the age of 40, unless an individual opted out.

CareShield Life offers higher payouts, starting at S$600 per month in 2020, and increasing annually (by 2% until 2025 when reassessed) until a claim is made or the individual reaches the age of 67.

Payouts will continue for life, or as long as the person remains severely disabled.

CareShield Life Premiums: How Much Does it Cost?

A self-assessment to check the premium you will be paying under CareShield Life is available here:

The premiums currently start at $206 annually for males and $253 annually for females, assuming the starting age in 2020 of 30 years old.

The government will provide $250 in transitional subsidies for anyone who is eligible to enroll in the scheme between 2020 - 2024. Additional subsidies have been announced and will be based on monthly per capita household income.

Source: CNA

CareShield Life premiums can be paid for from an individual’s MediSave account. The Singapore government has also announced subsidies and support measures.

How Does MediSave Work?

Both employers and employees contribute a portion of their monthly salary to MediSave. The contribution rates and maximum balance limits vary by age. Think of MediSave as your first line of defense for covering hospital bills.

CareShield Life vs ElderShield: What's the Difference?

“CareShield Life and ElderShield are key pillars of Singapore’s social safety net for our long-term care needs should any of us become severely disabled, including in our old age.”

Ms Jeanette Wong, Chairperson of The CareShield Life Council

ElderShield was the previous long-term care insurance scheme in Singapore. CareShield Life offers several improvements:

  • Lifetime Coverage: CareShield Life provides coverage for life, as long as all premiums are paid. ElderShield coverage ended at age 65.
  • Higher Payouts: The potential payout from CareShield Life is higher than ElderShield.
  • Automatic Enrollment: All Singaporeans and PRs born in 1980 and later are automatically enrolled in CareShield Life from age 30 onwards. ElderShield required manual enrollment.
Source: CPF

Who is Considered "Severely Disabled" for CareShield Life Claims?

Severely disabled qualifies as the inability to perform three of the six activities of daily life (ADL). These are:

  • Eating/Drinking
  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Functional Mobility — transferring oneself from one place to another
  • Mobility — walking on flat surfaces

Can I Switch from ElderShield to CareShield Life?

Already on ElderShield? Consider switching to CareShield Life! It offers higher payouts that last a lifetime, unlike ElderShield's coverage which ends at 65. However, switching means your ElderShield plan will be canceled. But with CareShield Life, you'll gain long-term financial support if you ever need help with daily activities due to severe disability.

If you’re considering switch from ElderShield to CareShield Life, check the FAQs provided by MOH here:


By offering financial support for long-term care needs, CareShield Life provides peace of mind for your employees and their families. Understanding CareShield Life, along with MediSave and Medishield Life, empowers you to create a comprehensive healthcare benefits package for your employees. Remember, a healthy and secure workforce is a happy and productive workforce!

“As our population ages, we want to ensure that Singaporeans continue to have accessible and affordable long-term care. With CareShield Life, severely disabled Singaporeans can be assured that they will receive financial support for life. They will also have another avenue to fund their long-term care needs, by tapping on their MediSave savings under MediSave Care. Together with ElderFund, which provides discretionary government assistance to lower-income, severely disabled Singapore Citizens, these schemes will collectively enhance support for long-term care costs.”

Mr Gan Kim Yong, Singapore Minister for Health

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