10 schemes help CareShield Life: 260k households earn below $2k?

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10 long-term care schemes to help the low payouts under CareShield Life?

I refer to the article “Easing the costs of long-term care needs” (Straits Times, Jun 5).

It states that “There are at least 10 schemes for long-term care, many administered by the Agency for Integrated Care.

From 2020, all Singaporeans who turn 30 will be automatically covered by CareShield Life, which offers lifetime cash payouts of at least $600 a month (albeit with higher premiums) when a successful claim is made, instead of $400 a month for six years under ElderShield.

“The amount itself may not be enough for many people but, for lower-income families, the Government does provide a lot of subsidies. You have to look at it in totality”

With regard to “Should they become severely disabled and opt for nursing home care that costs $2,400 a month for instance, they can get a 60 per cent government subsidy of $1,400, use their CareShield Life to pay $600 and co-pay the remaining $400 with their savings” – what if even though you can qualify for the subsidy of 60 per cent, but you cannot afford the balance $400 – too bad for you, is it?

  • “OTHER FINANCING SOURCES FOR LONG-TERM CARE

  • Apart from ElderShield (and CareShield Life from 2020), Singapore’s long-term care needs are supported by a combination of government and community assistance, as well as personal and family savings.”As to “Around two-thirds of households qualify for means-tested government subsidies of up to 75 per cent and 80 per cent for nursing home care and home-and centre-based services respectively” – what if even though you can qualify for the maximum subsidies of 75 and 80 per cent, but you cannot afford the balance 25 or 20 per cent – too bad for you, is it?”Current government assistance schemes include:
  • SENIORS’ MOBILITY AND ENABLING FUND

  • This provides means-tested subsidies to defray the costs of assistive devices, home health items or transport. It is administered by the Agency For Integrated Care (AIC).
  • ENHANCEMENT FOR ACTIVE SENIORS PROGRAMME

  • This provides means-tested subsidies to make HDB flats elder-friendly. It is administered by the Housing and Development Board.
  • FOREIGN DOMESTIC WORKER (FDW) GRANT AND FDW LEVY CONCESSION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

  • Administered by AIC, these help to defray the costs of informal care at home” – since as I understand it – some of these schemes only help you to defray (part of?) the costs – what if you cannot afford the balance – too bad for you, is it?
  • “PIONEER GENERATION DISABILITY ASSISTANCE SCHEME

  • Severely disabled Pioneers can get a cash payout of $100 a month for life. It is administered by AIC” – is $100 a month enough to take care of your long-term care needs?
  • “SILVER SUPPORT SCHEME

  • This provides a quarterly cash supplement to the bottom 20 per cent of elderly Singaporeans who had low incomes through life and have little or no family support. Those who qualify will receive the supplement automatically. There is no need to apply” – is $100 to $250 a month enough to take care of your long-term care needs?
  • “CAREGIVERS TRAINING GRANT

  • This offers an annual $200 subsidy to help defray the costs of attending caregiving courses. It is administered by AIC.
  • INTERIM DISABILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME FOR THE ELDERLY

  • Severely disabled seniors who did not qualify for ElderShield when it was launched in 2002, as they were too old or had existing disabilities then, can tap this to pay for their medical bills, nursing costs or domestic help. Administered by AIC, it provides means-tested cash payouts of $150 or $250 a month for up to six years”  is $100 to $250 a month enough to take care of your long-term care needs?
  • Let’s look at how many low-income households there are in Singapore.
  • Out of the total number of 1,289,900 households in 2017 – there were 259,000 households with no working persons (152.208 households, of which 107,062 were solely non-working persons over age 60), 27,088 earning less than $1,000 including employee CPF contribution, and 79,974 earning less than $2,000.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong
Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.