Ways to reduce CareShield Life costs

The CareShield Life plan is a national level insurance plan to provide the severely disabled with higher cash payouts of at least $600 per month for life.

While the idea of this safety net for everyone is laudable, the concern is that with rising healthcare costs and Singaporeans living longer, the premiums - which we must keep paying until 67 - may just keep going higher.

This may be a strain, especially as we get older and the amounts in our CPF accounts are greatly reduced.

I would like to suggest some ideas to help reduce long-term costs, through prevention and motivation.

•Prevention: We should encourage all Singaporeans to make healthier lifestyle choices so they are less likely to become severely disabled. Research shows that drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are major killers. With exercise and healthy eating, we can add vibrancy to our years.

•Motivation: Like the no-claims bonus used by for-profit motor insurers that motivates drivers to stay safe, CareShield Life should include similar discounts to nudge people towards better health. I suggest a 15 per cent discount for not smoking, another 15 per cent off for not taking drugs, a further 15 per cent discount for not drinking and an overall 50 per cent discount for not doing all three. Plus, a certificate of recognition for making wise choices. This is also a form of equity for those who take good care of their health and are annoyed that they should be helping to pay for those who choose to live recklessly.

Adelyn Poh Bee Chin (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2018, with the headline 'Ways to reduce CareShield Life costs'. Print Edition | Subscribe