Mr Chin Kee Thou asked why he needed to continue to pay for the ElderShield premium for this year, although his 65th birthday was in November last year ("Query on ElderShield premium"; Forum Online, Aug 23).
ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care, especially during old age.
Depending on the plan that the policyholder is under, it provides a monthly cash payout of either $300 a month for up to 60 months, or $400 a month for up to 72 months, to help pay for the care of a severely disabled policyholder.
From 2002, Singapore citizens and permanent residents with Medisave accounts are automatically covered under ElderShield, unless they opt out. It is offered by three insurers - Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income.
ElderShield premiums are payable on an annual basis until the age of 65.
Mr Chin's premium schedule had stated that his premiums needed to be paid until the "65th last birthday". This means that the last ElderShield premium payment will be when the policyholder is 65 years old, as of the policy renewal date.
Hence, in Mr Chin's case, even though he will turn 66 in November this year, as at his policy renewal date, Sept 30 this year, he is still 65 years old.
He would, therefore, need to make another premium payment upon renewal. Thereafter, he will be covered under ElderShield for the rest of his life, with no further premium payment required.
Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Ministry of Health