The stress of caring for disabled family members has long been a source of concern for Singapore society, with periodic reports of family members unable to cope resorting to extreme measures. A new government-run long-term care plan covering disabled people in their adult years will go some way to alleviate at least the financial worries. The CareShield Life plan will launch in 2020 and cover all Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 40 and below from that year. People will start paying annual premiums using Medisave from the ages of 30 to 67, of $206 for men and $253 for women in 2020. Premiums go up 2 per cent a year for the first five years. Future increases will have to be determined.
CareShield Life is clearly superior to ElderShield, the long-term disability plan launched in 2002 which covers Singaporeans and permanent residents once they turn 40. The new plan is mandatory, which means younger, healthier people can't opt out, ensuring a more sustainable risk pool. It offers better protection - higher payouts of $600 a month, for as long as needed, compared to $400 for six years for ElderShield. Premiums are higher, but can be paid fully from Medisave.