Health Financial Schemes in Singapore - Which Applies to Me?

Health Financial Schemes in Singapore - Which Applies to Me?

08 Apr 2020
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If you are a caregiver or someone planning for your future healthcare needs, estimating the care costs can be daunting if you or your care recipient develop chronic or long-term conditions along the way. 

Fortunately, there are comprehensive government health financial schemes to defray medical/long-term care expenses for Singaporeans, especially the vulnerable groups such as seniors and the needy. 

From MediShield Life to the recently launched ElderFund, learn how some of these schemes can help you better manage your medical/long-term care expenses.

MediShield Life

MediShield Life - Large Hospital Bills/Costly Outpatient Treatments

What It Is: A national basic health insurance scheme 

What It Is For: To protect all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents against large hospital bills and costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy.

Who Is Eligible: All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, regardless of age or health condition.

Where Can You Use It: At approved hospitals or medical institutions to cover expenses for your inpatient treatment or certain approved outpatient treatments. MediShield Life benefits are sized for subsidised bills at public hospitals, such as the ‘B2’ and ‘C’ wards at such hospitals. 

If you opt for ‘B1’, ‘A’ wards or private hospitals, you’re still covered by MediShield Life, but these non-subsidised bills will be prorated before the claims under MediShield Life are computed. Hence, MediShield Life will cover only a small portion of unsubsidised bills.  

How To Claim: Talk to the medical staff handling hospital admission or outpatient treatment. The medical institution will process and submit the claim for you. 

Total Amount Claimable: MediShield Life payout is computed by the claim limits, deductible and co-insurance to your hospital bill. You may find more information on MediShield Life benefits and claims here

Exclusions: MediShield Life consists of standard exclusions like cosmetic surgeries, non-injury related dental works, intentional self-injuries, etc. You can view the full list of exclusions here.

ElderShield - Disability Payouts for those at the age of 40 and above

What It Is: A basic long-term care insurance scheme targeted at severe disability, especially in old age.

What is It For: To provide basic financial protection to those who need long-term care.

Who Is Eligible: All Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents with MediSave accounts aged 40 and above, will automatically be enrolled in ElderShield unless they opt out of the scheme. You will be eligible for the insurance payouts if you are assessed by an MOH-accredited assessor to be severely disabled; being unable to perform at least three of the following activities of daily living (ADLs):

  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Walking or Moving Around
  • Transferring (e.g. from a chair to bed)

How To Claim: Arrange for a disability assessment with an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, and submit an ElderShield Claim Form from the insurer (Aviva, Great Eastern, or Income) you are covered under to the assessor. The list of MOH accredited severe disability assessors can be found here.

Total Amount Claimable:

  •  S$400 per month for up to 72 months for those who joined ElderShield 400 after September 2007
  • S$300 per month for up to 60 months for those who joined ElderShield 300 between September 2002 and August 2007

MediFund

MediFund – Government-Funded Safety Net 

What It Is: An endowment fund that acts as a safety net for Singaporeans. 

What is It For: To help needy patients with their medical bills after government subsidies and other means of payments, including MediShield Life and MediSave.  

Who Is Eligible: Singaporean patients who face financial difficulties with their subsidised treatments received at MediFund-approved institutions. 

Where Can You Use It: Any MediFund approved healthcare institutions, such as polyclinics and public hospitals. 

How To Apply: Approach a medical social worker at the approved healthcare institution to apply for the scheme. The application will be assessed by the institution’s MediFund Committee. 

Total Assistance Amount: This depends on the patient’s financial, health, and social circumstances.

ElderFund – For Severely Disabled Singaporeans with Low Income

What It Is: A new discretionary assistance scheme launched on 31 January 2020.

What is It For: To provide cash assistance for those with financial difficulties and unable to benefit from CareShield Life, ElderShield and Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE) for their long-term care needs.

Who Is Eligible: All Singapore Citizen residing in Singapore, aged 30 and above, with household monthly income per person of S$1,200 or less* and MediSave balance of less than S$10,000, unable to perform at least three ADLs as certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, and are not eligible or benefitting from:

How To Claim: Arrange for a disability assessment with an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor and submit an online application via the eFASS platform (refer to the guide for more information.) If you are unable to submit your application using the eFASS, please email us at [email protected], or walk in to any of our AIC Links to request for a hardcopy application form.

We strongly encourage online applications as there is a shorter waiting time for application approval.

Total Amount Claimable: Up to S$250 cash per month for as long as you remain eligible.

*Application will be considered on a case-by-case basis for applicants who do not meet the guiding financial criteria and have difficulty fulfilling their long term care needs.

MediSave Care – Cash Withdrawals for the Severely Disabled aged 30 and above

What It Is: A long-term care scheme for the severely disabled, launched on 1 October 2020.

What Is It For: To support the long-term care needs of severely disabled Singaporeans or Permanent Residents with monthly cash withdrawals of up to $200. 

Who Is Eligible: Singaporeans or Permanent Residents aged 30 and above, who’re unable to perform at least three ADLs as certified by an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor and with at least S$5,000 in their own, or their spouse’s, MediSave Account*.

How To Apply: Arrange for a disability assessment with an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, and submit an online application via the eFASS application portal (refer to the guide for more information.) If you are unable to submit your application using the portal, please email us at [email protected], or walk in to any of our AIC Links to request for a hardcopy application form.

Online applications would be strongly encouraged due to a shorter waiting time for application approval. 

Total Amount Claimable:
Withdrawal amounts are dependent on the care recipient and/or their spouse’s MediSave Account balance as shown in the table below:

MediSave Balance1 Monthly Withdrawal Quantum
$20,000 and above $200
$15,000 and above $150
$15,000 and above $100
$10,000 and above $50
Below $5,000 Nil

1MediSave balance at point of monthly withdrawal

*A minimum of $5,000 will need to be set aside in an individual’s MediSave Account to ensure sufficient MediSave for other medical expenses.

CareShield Life – A Disability Insurance Scheme

What It Is: A long-term care insurance scheme for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents, launched on 1 October 2020. CareShield Life policyholders who are/become severely disabled are eligible to make claims to the Agency for Integrated Care.

What Is It For: To provide basic financial protection in the form of cash payouts for individuals, should they become severely disabled and need care for a prolonged duration.  

Who Is Eligible: All Singaporeans or Permanent Residents, born in 1980 or later, will be automatically covered under CareShield Life, or when they turn 30. (Those born in 1979 or earlier can choose to join CareShield Life from end-2021, if they are not severely disabled.)

You will be eligible for the payouts if you’re insured under CareShield Life and unable to perform at least three ADLs, as assessed by an MOH-accredited assessor.

How To Claim: Arrange for a disability assessment with an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor, and submit an online application via the eFASS platform (refer to the guide for more information.) If you are unable to submit your application using the eFASS, please email us at [email protected], or walk in to any of our AIC Links to request for a hardcopy application form.

Online applications would be strongly encouraged due to a shorter waiting time for application approval. 

Total Amount Claimable: Payouts start at S$600 per month in 2020 and increase annually until age 67, or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier.