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Best CareShield Life Supplements: Should You Upsize Your CareShield Life With Singlife, Great Eastern or NTUC Income?

profileJoel Koh

At the risk of sounding too privileged when I say this, I sometimes face this dilemma when ordering a meal at a fast-food restaurant.

My finger will hover over the touchscreen as I calculate in my mind whether this upsize is worth it by asking myself these questions:

Will the food be enough? Will I be full with the main meal? Will this affect my ability to retire early?

Source: Giphy

But trivial #firstworldproblems aside, I’m here to discuss a more serious issue and answer some questions you might have about CareShield Life.

Is the basic coverage from CareShield Life enough?

Should you ‘upsize’ your CareShield Life coverage with supplements that can raise your payouts by up to five times?

Which of the supplements from Singlife, Great Eastern or NTUC Income is best for you?

As always, we got you!

Disclaimer: The Information provided by Seedly does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any insurance product(s). It does not take into account the specific objectives or particular needs of any person. We strongly advise you to seek advice from a licensed insurance professional before purchasing any insurance products and/or services.


TL;DR: CareShield Life Supplements Comparison: Singlife vs Great Eastern vs NTUC Income

DetailsSinglife CareShield PlusGE Great CareShieldNTUC Income Care Secure
Monthly Benefit Amount$200 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
$300 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
$1,200 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
Monthly Benefit:
Inability to perform 3 out of 6 ADLs payout
Pays out in addition to Careshield LifePays out in addition to Careshield LifeMonthly payout is INCLUSIVE of CareShield Life payout, reducing overall payout amount
Monthly Benefit Payout Criteria & Amount100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs50% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 1 ADLs

100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs
100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs
Premium Waiver (Future premiums are waived)
Inability to do
at least 1 ADL
Inability to do
at least 1 ADL
Inability to do
at least 2 ADLs
Initial Lump Sum Payout
(One-off payout in the event of disability)
300% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs300% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 1 ADLs300% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs

600% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 3 ADLs
Additional Caregiver Relief Benefit60% of monthly benefit for up to 12 months with inability to do at least 2 ADLs*

This will reset when the policyholder has recovered
60% of monthly benefit for up to 12 months with inability to do at least 2 ADLs-
Additional Dependent Payout
(On top of monthly benefit)
20% of monthly benefit for up to 36 months if you have a dependent (below age 22 ALB)30% of monthly benefit for up to 48 months if you have a dependent (below age 22 ALB)25% of monthly benefit for up to 36 months if you have a dependent:

-Your child or children*
(below age 22 ALB)
-Your husband or wife
-Parents (biological parents, step-parents, or parents who legally adopted you)
-Your parents-in-law
Additional Death Benefit
(On top of monthly benefit)
300% of monthly benefit-300% of monthly benefit
Escalating Payout OptionsChoice of fixed payouts or escalating payouts at fixed rates of 2% or 3% p.a. until the end of premium term, or when a claim is made, whichever is earlierNo option
Policy CoverageLifetime monthly payouts if you remain severely disabled
Entry Age30 - 64
Premium Period(i) Up to age 98
OR
(ii) Up to age 67 or 20 years from entry
age, whichever is later
Up to age 67
OR
Up to age 95
Up to age 67
OR
Up to age 84
DiscountLifetime 20% premium discount if you sign up after October 2020Lifetime 20% premium discount (till 31 Dec 2022)-

*Child refers to the policyholder’s biological child or stepchild, or legally adopted child, who has not reached the age of 21 years on the claim date.


Before we take about the CareShield Life supplements, here’s a quick recap of the CareShield Life scheme, which launched on 1 October 2020:

What is CareShield Life?

 

CareShield Life is a mandatory long term care Government insurance policy that offers a lifetime cash payout when you become severely disabled.

Severe disability is defined by the Ministry of Health (MOH) as being unable to perform at least three out of the six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) as assessed by a MOH-accredited severe disability assessor.

All in all, you can consider it to be the successor to ElderShield.

But, do note that, unfortunately, if you suffer from a major disability that robs you of the ability to perform one or two out of the six ADLs, you will not receive any payouts from CareShield Life.

CareShield Life Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Criteria

These ADLs include:

Source: MOH

If you do not have to claim for this insurance policy, these payouts will increase over time.

These payouts start from $600 a month in 2020 and will increase by twoĀ per cent per annum (p.a.) for the first five years (until 2025) or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier.

After 2025, future payouts will vary depending on the regular adjustments.

As for premiums, they start from $210.12 per year for a 30-year-old male and $259.08 for a 30-year-old female in 2021 and will increase two per cent p.a. every year till 2025.

After the year 2025, the premium costs will be reviewed by an independent CareShield Life Council.

You can find out how much you need to pay for CareShield Life premiums before and after any Government subsidies using this Premium Calculator.

Also, the premiums are fully payable via MediSave, withĀ Government subsidies available if you need help paying for the premiums.

If you think that this coverage is not enough, you can consider CareShield Life supplements.

What Are CareShield Life Supplements? Is it Worth it To Get The CareShield Life Supplement?

CareShield Life supplements are policies that supplement the coverage of the basic CareShield Life policy.

But, note that you will need to be an existing policyholder under CareShield Life to purchase a supplement policy.

In general, these supplement policies will make it easier for you to make claims as most of them reduce the ADL claim criteria from three out of six ADLs down to even oneĀ out of six ADLs.

Also, the monthly payouts from the supplement policies can go up to $5,000, and most are add-ons to the basic CareShield Life monthly payouts.

In other words, after receiving the $600 per month basic payout from the basic CareShield Life policy, you will receive an additional monthly payout from the supplement policy you have bought.

Premiums can be paid using cash or your own or your family members’ (i.e. spouse, parents, children, siblings or grandchildren) MedisaveĀ within the Additional Withdrawal Limit (AWL).

However, the amount you can use to pay the premiums for the supplement policy is capped at $600 per calendar year per person insured.

Also, note that the premiums and payouts are level throughout the policy term save for Singlife’s offering, which has an escalating payout option where the payout will increase over time.

But, you will need to pay more for this perk.

In other words, the policies will cover you for life, regardless of your payment term. The premium will also remain the same as you age.

Currently, three private insurers are offering CareShield supplements.

Here is a comparison of their offerings:

CareShield Life Supplements Comparison: Singlife vs Great Eastern vs NTUC Income

DetailsSinglife CareShield PlusGE Great CareShieldNTUC Income Care Secure
Monthly Benefit Amount$200 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
$300 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
$1,200 - $5,000
(in multiples of $100)
Monthly Benefit:
Inability to perform 3 out of 6 ADLs payout
Pays out in addition to Careshield LifePays out in addition to Careshield LifeMonthly payout is INCLUSIVE of CareShield Life payout, reducing overall payout amount
Monthly Benefit Payout Criteria & Amount100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs50% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 1 ADLs

100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs
100% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs
Premium Waiver (Future premiums are waived)
Inability to do
at least 1 ADL
Inability to do
at least 1 ADL
Inability to do
at least 2 ADLs
Initial Lump Sum Payout
(One-off payout in the event of disability)
300% of monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs300% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 1 ADLs300% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 2 ADLs

600% of first monthly benefit with inability to do at least 3 ADLs
Additional Caregiver Relief Benefit60% of monthly benefit for up to 12 months with inability to do at least 2 ADLs*

This will reset when the policyholder has recovered
60% of monthly benefit for up to 12 months with inability to do at least 2 ADLs-
Additional Dependent Payout
(On top of monthly benefit)
20% of monthly benefit for up to 36 months if you have a dependent (below age 22 ALB)30% of monthly benefit for up to 48 months if you have a dependent (below age 22 ALB)25% of monthly benefit for up to 36 months if you have a dependent:

-Your child or children*
(below age 22 ALB)
-Your husband or wife
-Parents (biological parents, step-parents, or parents who legally adopted you)
-Your parents-in-law
Additional Death Benefit
(On top of monthly benefit)
300% of monthly benefit-300% of monthly benefit
Escalating Payout OptionsChoice of fixed payouts or escalating payouts at fixed rates of 2% or 3% p.a. until the end of premium term, or when a claim is made, whichever is earlierNo option
Policy CoverageLifetime monthly payouts if you remain severely disabled
Entry Age30 - 64
Premium Period(i) Up to age 98
OR
(ii) Up to age 67 or 20 years from entry
age, whichever is later
Up to age 67
OR
Up to age 95
Up to age 67
OR
Up to age 84
DiscountLifetime 20% premium discount if you sign up after October 2020Lifetime 20% premium discount (till 31 Dec 2022)-

CareShield Life Supplements: Singlife vs Great Eastern vs NTUC Income Premium Comparison

To help you get a general idea of what you will be paying for premiums, let’s look at these two tables below.

For CareShield Life supplement policy premiums, you can withdraw up to $600 per calendar year per person insured from your Medisave.

As such, the firstĀ table shows you the max monthly payout you can get from the supplement plans by paying premiums with just your Medisave and zero cash top-up.

In other words, the policy’s premiums will costĀ ā‰¤$600 a year.

Zero Cash Topup

GenderMaleFemale
PlanSinglife CareShield Plus (excludes basic CareShield Life payout)GE GREAT CareShield (excludes basic CareShield Life payout)NTUC Income Care Secure*Singlife CareShield Plus
(excludes basic CareShield Life payout)
GE GREAT CareShield
(excludes basic CareShield Life payout)
NTUC Income Care Secure*
Premium TermUp to age 98
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
Up to age 95
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
Up to age 84
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
Up to age 98
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
Up to age 95
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
Up to age 84
Max Monthly Payout Using Medisave & No Cash
30 years old$1,500$1,500$1,300 (3 ADLs)

$1,900 (2 ADLs)
$1,200$1,100$1,000 (3 ADLs)

$1,600 (2 ADLs)
35 years old$1,300$1,300$1,100 (3 ADLs)

$1,700 (2 ADLs)
$1,000$900$900 (3 ADLs)

$1,500 (2 ADLs)
40 years old$1,000$1,000$900 (3 ADLs)

$1,500 (2 ADLs)
$800$800$700 (3 ADLs)

$1,300 (2 ADLs)

Source: Singlife | Great Eastern | NTUC Income

*For NTUCā€™s Income Care Secure, the monthly payout amount is determined like this.

Let’s say you were a 30-year-old male covered by NTUC’s Income Care Secure. If you cannot perform three ADLs, you get $1,300Ā from NTUC Income and the basic monthly payout of $600 from CareShield Life.

However, if you cannot carry out just two ADLs (i.e. no basic CareShield Life payout), NTUC Income will pay out the full monthly benefit of $1,900.

$1,500 Monthly Payout

Alternatively, if you are looking to get a $1,500 monthly payout from the CareShield Life supplement plans without the basic CareShield Life payout, you will have to pay this amount in premiums:

 GenderMaleFemale
AgeSinglife CareShield Plus

Premium Term: Up to age 98
GE GREAT CareShield

Premium Term: Up to age 95
NTUC Income Care Secure*

Premium Term:
Up to age 84
Singlife CareShield Plus

Premium Term: Up to age 98
GE GREAT CareShield

Premium Term: Up to age 95
NTUC Income Care Secure*

Premium Term:
Up to age 84
Premium Cost (Can Use Medisave & Cash)30$573.95/year
(No cash needed)
$573.95/year
(No cash needed)
$671.30/year$702.35/year$765.59/year$939.80/year
35$683.09/year$683.09/year$845.90/year$839.74/year$915.33/year$1,179.70/year
40$829.46/year$829.46/year$1070.50/year$1,116.92/year$1,116.92/year$1,498.70/year

Source: Singlife | Great Eastern | NTUC Income

*For NTUCā€™s Income Care Secure, the monthly payout amount you see does not include the basic CareShield Life $600 monthly payout when you are unable to perform three ADLs.

In the event that you cannot carry outĀ just two ADLs (i.e. no basic CareShield Life payout), you will get a higher $2,100 monthly payout ($1,500 NTUC Income + $600 CareShield Life) from NTUC Care Secure for the same premium paid compared to just a $1,500 monthly payoutĀ for SinglifeĀ and Great Eastern.

A few things to take note of:

  • The Premiums displayed for Great Eastern and SinglifeĀ take into account the lifetime 20 per centĀ discount.
  • But, Great Eastern’s promotion is only valid from now till 31 December 2022, while the Singlife promotion currently has no end date
  • Prices for premiums are inclusive of seven per cent GST

How to Choose?

Based on the above table, and in my opinion, let’s look at the Pros and Cons of each offering to help you make your decision.

Singlife Careshield Plus Review

Here are the Pros and Cons of the Singlife policy.

Pros

  • Waiver of premiums when you are unable to perform one out of six ADLs
  • Lifetime 20 per cent discount on premiums
  • Option to choose escalating payout benefit
  • But, you will have to pay more (escalating premiums)Ā for the escalating payout benefit
  • Additional death benefit
  • You get more value for your premiums compared to Great Eastern’s offerings when using Medisave only or cash and MedisaveĀ if you are female under the age of 40

Cons

  • Additional benefits are just slightly behind Great Eastern’s offering
  • Premiums are generally less cost-competitive compared to NTUC Income for policyholders who cannot carry out two ADLs

Another thing that sets the Singlife supplement policy apart is the Guaranteed Issuance Option (GIO) which allows you to increase the monthly benefits by up to 50 per cent, with no medical underwriting during the seven Singlife-defined life stage events.

The events are:

  • Purchases a property
  • Marries, divorces or is widowed
  • Becomes a parent by having a newborn child, or legally adopts a child below 19 age next birthday (ANB)
  • Salary increases by 50 per cent or more from the application
  • Completes a skills development course of at least six months
  • Purchases a new Individual Life insurance policy or a Supplementary Benefit from Singlife Ltd with full underwriting at standard terms
  • Spouse suffers a severe disability (unable to perform at least three of the six ADL) or dies

This option allows the policyholder to increase the policy’s monthly benefit by paying more premiums.

The total monthly benefit that can be increased under this option is limited to 50% of the policy initial monthly benefit as agreed at policy inception or when this option is exercised, whichever is lower.

This option is extended to standard life only. Please refer to the product summary for more details.

Great Eastern GREAT CareShield Review

Next up, we have the newly launched Great Eastern GREAT CareShield.

Here are the policy’s Pros and Cons.

Pros

  • Lifetime 20 per cent discount on premiums if you sign up before 31 December 2022
  • Great Eastern’s offerings also cost about the same as Singlife, unless you are a female under 40
  • The only policy where you start receiving up to a lifetime of monthly payouts when you cannot carry out any one ADL (at 50% of the monthly benefit which increases to 100% when you cannot carry out any two or more ADLs).
  • Future premiums areĀ waived once the policyholder cannot carry out even one ADL. That means your Medisave can then be repurposed for other matters
  • Additional benefits are better than SinglifeĀ and NTUC’s offerings
    • E.g. Initial lump sum benefit pays out if you cannot carry out one ADL
    • The dependent benefit has the highest quantum and pays out longer

Cons

  • No additional death benefit
  • Premiums are generally less cost-competitive compared to NTUC Income for policyholders who cannot carry out two ADLs

For more information, please visitĀ Great Eastern GREAT CareShield!

NTUC Income Care Secure Review

Last but not least, we have NTUC’s Income Care Secure supplement policy and its Pros and Cons.

Pros

  • NTUC’s Income Care Secure premiums are generally the most cost-effective if the policyholder cannot carry out just two ADLs
  • The maximum payment term of 84 years is shorter than Singlife and Great Eastern.
    • This means you pay less over the long term compared to Singlife and Great Eastern if the policyholder cannot carry out two or more ADLs at an older age (e.g. male aged 90) after the payment term ends
    • But a caveat, if a policyholder cannot carry out two or more ADLs at age 84 and the policy pays out, the Singlife and Great Eastern policies will be cheaper
  • Initial lump-sum payout of 300 per cent of the first monthly benefit with the inability to do at least two ADLs
  • Initial lump-sum payout 600 per cent of the first monthly benefit with the inability to do at least three ADLs
  • Lump-sum payout 300 per cent of the monthly benefit in the event of your death during the disability payout period (inability to do at least two ADLs)
  • 25 per cent payout for up to 36 months if you have a dependent with the inability to do at least two ADLs
  • Dependents are defined by NTUC Income as:
    • Your child or children (below age 22 ALB)
    • Your husband or wife
    • Parents (biological parents, step-parents, or parents who legally adopted you)
    • Your parents-in-law

Cons

  • The premium waiver is only given if you cannot perform at least two ADLs compared to an inability to perform one ADLĀ for the other policies
  • The monthly benefit paid out if you cannot perform at least three ADLs is inclusive of the basicCareShield Life payout, which reduces the payout amount from NTUC Income

How to Buy

If you are interested to find out more and compare premium prices, you may contact a trusted licensed financial adviser or head on over to their websites for a quote.

With Great Eastern and NTUC Income, you can get a full quote on their website as you can adjust the age, policy term and monthly benefit amount.

Source: Great Eastern
Source: NTUC Income

But for Singlife, you can only adjust the age and policy term.

Source: Singlife

To adjust the monthly benefit amount and monthly payout structure, you must pass your information over to Singlife. They will then get a financial adviser representative to contact you.

What Will Happen to my ElderShield Supplement After Joining CareShield Life?

If you have an existing ElderShield Supplement policy, fret not.

According to the Ministry of Health:

Your ElderShield Supplement policy will stay in-force as long as you continue to pay premiums and do not terminate your coverage. You would also be able to claim from both your ElderShield Supplement policy and CareShield Life as long as you fulfil the respective claim criteria.

ElderShield Supplements will continue to be administered by the private insurers, even after the Government takes over the administration of ElderShield from end-2021.

Do I Really Need A CareShield Life Supplement Policies?

Still not sure if you should get a CareShield Life Supplement policy?

Why not ask the friendly community on Seedly with your details anonymously and see what they think?

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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