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ElderShield, CareShield Life & MediShield Life: What Are The Differences?

ElderShield, CareShield Life & MediShield Life: What Are The Differences?

Last Updated on by Tree of Wealth

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What is CareShield Life?

CareShield Life (终身护保) is a disability insurance scheme for Singaporean residents that will be launched in 1st October 2020. If you are born 1980 or later, it is compulsory for you. You will be automatically enrolled and will start paying premiums for it.

If you are above 40, you will either be automatically enrolled into it or given a choice to opt in, provided that you are currently not disabled.

How it works is that in the event of severe disability, CareShield Life provides monthly cash payouts for the rest of your life. CareShield Life premiums are affordable. No one will lose coverage due to inability to pay.

CareShield Life is an improved version of the previous ElderShield plan. To know more about the difference between CareShield and ElderShield, skip to the last section.

Who is covered under CareShield Life?

All residents can receive coverage by CareShield Life, but eligibility conditions vary.

Residents born between 1980 and 1990 (30 to 40 years old in 2020): Automatically covered under CareShield Life. If you’re younger than that, you are automatically covered by CareShield Life when you turn 30.

Residents born between 1970 and 1980, are insured under ElderShield and are currently not severely disabled: Automatically covered by CareShield Life once it gets launched from mid-2021. For this group of people, there is an option to not participate. If you choose to opt out, you can get your premiums refunded.

Residents born earlier than 1970: You can opt to manually join CareShield Life from mid-2021 if you’re not currently severely disabled.

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Those Above 40 in 2020

This article is rather intended for Singaporeans who are above 40 years old. They have a choice if they want to stay enrolled, manually opt in, or opt out totally. So let’s compare and understand what the significant differences between the two schemes are.

Both CareShield Life & ElderShield are disability insurance schemes

Both CareShield Life and ElderShield Life are disability insurance schemes aimed to provide payouts if or when you become severely disabled. Both plans are fully payable by MediSave.

They both use the government’s definition of severe disability. Essentially, it’s the inability to do at least 3 out of 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These ADLs are: washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, walking or moving around and transferring.

FYI: Just knowing that you qualify isn’t enough. You need to be certified by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to be able to claim for payouts.

So, now we know how they are similar. What about the differences?

Differences between CareShield Life & ElderShield (2020)


CareShield Life

Monthly Cash Payouts

$300 or $400

From $600

Payout Duration

5 or 6 years

For life


Fixed Increases with time until age 67 or when a claim is made.
Annual premiums Under ElderShield 400

$174.96 per year (Male)
$217.76 per year (Female)

Depends on entry age (see MOH premium calculator)

Premium term

Age 40 to 65

Age 30 to 67


Private Insurers Government
Enrollment Automatically enrolled (but you can opt out)

Optional for those born in 1979 or earlier. Compulsory for those born in 1980 or later.

Cover pre-existing conditions

Maybe Yes, for those born in 1980 or later
Subsidies and Incentives No


Definition of “severely disabled”

The government defines “severely disabled” as the inability to conduct 3 out of 6 activities of daily living (ADL), namely washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, walking or moving around and transferring, such as from a bed to a chair and vice versa. You need to be certified by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to facilitate your claim.

Interested to learn more?

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What is MediShield Life?

MediShield Life is a compulsory insurance policy that covers all Singaporeans and PRs for life. It also covers pre-existing conditions, but does not cover pre- and post- hospitalisation costs. There are also caps on the payouts.

What are Integrated Shield Plans?

Integrated Shield Plan is an optional add-on to your MediShield Life plan offered by private insurance companies to supplement MediShield Life. The coverage ranges from private hospitals to public hospitals and from Class A to Class C wards. You can easily check if you have an IP under CPF online services.

IPs used to ensure that you would not need to pay an upfront deductible when you get hospitalised. However, after the ruling changed on March 8, 2018, integrated shield plans will no longer cover the 10% co-insurance (the insured pays 10% percentage of the expenses).

Rather, a 5% co-insurance will be borne by the insured regardless even if the insured buys a rider that covers both coinsurance and deductible.

When you have a private integrated shield plan without a rider, the insured will need to pay 10% of the bill, together with the deductibles. “Deductible” is the amount paid by the policyholder before the insurance company provides payouts:

  • C Ward: $1,500
  • B2 Ward: $2,000
  • B1 Ward: $2,500
  • A and Private Ward: $3,500

In a scenario where you incur a $10,000 bill for a standard room in a private hospital, and you have a private IP (no rider), you will need to pay an upfront deductible of $3,500 and co-pay 10% of the remaining $6,500. In total, you pay $4,200.

If you have an integrated shield plan with rider, you pay 5% of the remaining $6,500 (cap of $3,000), which is $3,825.

Interested to learn more?

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Read More: Best Hospitalisation Insurance Singapore 2022: Comparison of Integrated Shield Plans

Differences between MediShield Life & CareShield Life

MediShield Life

CareShield Life


Health Care, Hospital Stay & Treatment Long Term Disability Care

Payable By CPF MediSave?

Yes Yes
Upgrades Via Integrated Shield Plan by private insurers, payable by Medisave

Supplementary Plan by private insurers, payable by Medisave.

Supplementary Benefits Only one rider can be attached to an existing main Integrated Shield Plan (By Insurer)

Supplementary Plan can be attached to CareShield Life, can have more than 1

Supplementary Benefits Payable by

Cash Only

Medisave ($600 limit) & Cash (for higher payout)

Premium Term

Lifetime Lifetime and Limited Premium Term
Payout mode Hospital Health Care Bills Coverage

Monthly Income


When it comes to CareShield Life and MediShield Life, the function and purposes are different.

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