To ensure that more Singaporeans are better financially prepared for their later years and long-term care needs, major insurers Prudential Singapore (“Prudential”) and NTUC Income (“Income”) have joined hands to advocate early financial planning for life’s uncertainties.
Prudential and Income are working together to close protection gaps, particularly in the area of long-term care, which is critical as its cost continues to rise and Singaporeans are living longer .
Through the partnership, Care Secure, a CareShield Life supplement plan, is now available through Prudential’s extensive network of financial consultants. This is in addition to Income’s own multi-channel distribution network comprising financial advisors, service branches islandwide, and its online purchase platform.
CareShield Life is a long-term care insurance scheme introduced by the government in October 2020 to provide basic financial support to help Singaporeans cover their personal and medical care expenses should they become severely disabled, especially during old age.
Income is currently one of only three private insurers providing plans to supplement CareShield Life. Income’s Care Secure is designed to enhance CareShield Life coverage by offering policyholders additional coverage and financial support to cope with any living disabilities in their lifetime, a risk that increases as we age.
Commenting on the Prudential x Income – Care Secure partnership, Prudential’s Chief Distribution Officer, Ben Tan, said: “We are pleased that our partnership with Income allows us to protect even more Singaporeans against rising medical costs, and raise awareness about the importance of early planning for long-term care, through our 5,000-strong agency force. As Singaporeans are living longer, the risk of disability associated with their health is real. It is crucial that they also have the necessary financial protection when unexpected events occur and there is a need for long-term care services.”
Fabian Ng, Income’s General Manager for Consumer Business, said, “We are very glad to be working with Prudential, a fellow industry service and advisory provider, who is equally passionate about improving access to insurance and giving customers more solutions to meet their individual needs. Working with like-minded partners amplifies Income’s endeavours to promote better financial planning and preparedness amongst Singaporeans, particularly in the area of long-term care. Together, we look forward to closing protection gaps and empowering more Singaporeans with better financial security well into their later years, even in difficult times.”
Increasing health risks with rising life expectancy
Singaporeans have one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 83.9 years. As Singaporeans live longer, they need to ensure that they are sufficiently protected against health risks and increased medical costs associated with ageing.
Studies show that 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could become severely disabled in their lifetime, and may need long-term care1. The median duration that Singaporeans could remain in severe disability is four years, and about 3 in 10 could remain in severe disability for 10 years or more. By 2030, it is estimated 47 per cent of Singapore’s ageing population will have 1 or 2 Activities of Daily Living (“ADLs”) limitation(s), while 53 per cent will have 3 or more.
With Care Secure, customers will be able to receive their lifetime monthly disability payout if they are unable to perform two or more ADLs such as walking or moving around, and feeding (please refer to page 3 for a full list of ADLs). This is compared to the basic CareShield Life plan, which requires customers to be unable to perform at least three ADLs.
It also includes a ‘Dependant Benefit’, a feature which provides additional cash payout for up to 36 months to support any dependants that the insured may have.
Early planning for long-term care is crucial
Healthcare and nursing home costs have also been increasing over the years. In 2021, the
general cost of nursing homes was around S$1,200 to S$3,500 monthly, before government
subsidies. With inflation increasing and healthcare costs rising, caregivers and loved ones might face even greater financial stress.
It is thus crucial for individuals to be sufficiently prepared to cope with future care needs by planning early. Purchasing long-term care plans at a younger age means paying lower premiums, having a lower risk of being excluded from coverage, and being protected for longer against disability. There is also a longer runway to reach one’s financial goals.
Care Secure: key benefits
- Lifetime monthly disability benefit: Care Secure provides a lifetime monthly payout of up to $5,000 if customers are moderately or severely disabled. This benefit payout depends on the customer’s disability status8 and the monthly disability benefit level10 the customer chooses. This disability benefit will be activated if customers are unable to perform at least two of the ADLs. In addition, future premium payments for this policy will be waived in the event of disability8. (please refer to the image below for a full list of ADLs)
- Support benefit: receive a support benefit of up to 600 per cent of the disability benefit.
- Dependant benefit: if customers become disabled8 and have at least one dependant, customers will receive 25 per cent of the disability benefit as dependant benefit every month for up to 36 months in the customer’s lifetime. This ensures their dependants12 will be taken care of and provided for.
- Death benefit: Care Secure will pay 300 per cent of the disability benefit in the event of a customer’s death and on the condition that the customer was already receiving the disability benefit. The policy terminates thereafter.
- Pay premiums using MediSave: customers enjoy the flexibility to use up to S$600 from their MediSave account (per insured per calendar year) to pay for Care Secure premiums.
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