Government assumes management of 1.3 million ElderShield policyholders comes 2021

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The Ministry of Health announces the introduction of a new national disability insurance scheme following the government’s assumption of ElderShield management from private insurance firms by 2021. The move is to facilitate the upgrading of 1.3 million policyholders’ coverage to CareShield Life.

“In the event that the actual claims experience turns out better than expected, there will continue to be premium rebates for ElderShield policyholders,” MOH said.

CareShield, an enhanced version of the ElderShield scheme, is set to be implemented in 2020 and is mandatory for all Singapore residents born in 1980 or later. Those born in 1979 or earlier have the option to join CareShield Life in 2021 if they are not severely disabled. On the other hand, those who choose not to upgrade to CareShield Life will remain covered by their existing policies.

“They will benefit from improvements to the claims assessment process that will be implemented for CareShield Life, such as an enhanced assessment framework that takes into account cognitive impairments.”

ElderShield Supplements holders will not be affected by the transfer of administration and will continue to be served by their existing insurers.

In this move, “ElderShield insurers will transfer to the Government the liabilities and corresponding assets backing these liabilities for all policies under the ElderShield scheme.” Valuation has reached the amount of roughly S$2.9 billion.

“Actuarial consultants and audit and legal firms, appointed by the Government, have verified that the valuation and transfer terms are fair and in accordance to standard industry practice.”

According to ElderShield Review Committee chairman Chaly Mah, the committee welcomes the move. “We had earlier noted in our report that there is value for all ElderShield and CareShield Life policyholders to be serviced by the same administrator to ensure consistency in policy administration,” he said.

“Looking ahead, I encourage the private insurers to work with the Government to ensure a smooth transfer.”

Existing ElderShield policyholders are not required to take any action at this point, MOH authorities said. “From now until the transfer is completed in 2021, existing ElderShield insurers will continue to issue new ElderShield policies and serve ElderShield policies.

“MOH will work with the insurers to ensure a smooth transition, and more information will be provided to each ElderShield policyholder closer to the date of transfer.”