Committee moots proposal for government running of Eldershield

For providing better care to people, the Singapore government is studying the possibility of taking over the running of Eldershield after getting a proposal from the committee tasked with reviewing the national insurance scheme.

ElderShield Review Committee, in a statement, said, “We are of the view that there is merit in studying the value and feasibility of government administration of ElderShield, while retaining private insurers’ participation in the provision of long-term care insurance.”

Even health experts have welcomed the move, suggesting that premiums might be lower with an expanded risk pool across the nation.

Singaporeans automatically come under national insurance scheme ElderShield when they reach the age of 40.
Singaporeans automatically come under national insurance scheme ElderShield when they reach the age of 40. Photo courtesy:

The contention of the committee is that the government will also be better positioned to contain healthcare costs, which may potentially spiral because of the demands of long-term care amid a rapidly ageing population.

Singaporeans automatically come under ElderShield when they reach the age of 40. They are assigned to one of three private insurers administering the scheme — Aviva, Great Eastern or NTUC Income.

This insurance scheme provides payouts of up to SGD400 a month for up to six years, to help with nursing and long-term care needs should a person suffer from severe disabilities.

The ElderShield Review Committee has also set up a Claims Assessment Sub-Committee to look into ways to improve the ElderShield claims process.

In a statement, the committee said, “It has been set up to look into improving the ElderShield claims process and to make it easier to navigate for severely disabled patients, caregivers and long-term care providers. This is one of the key areas of review that arose from the Committee’s engagement with the public and stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health (MOH) said that it will study the proposal carefully before sharing its findings with the review committee.

It added, “MOH agrees there is merit in looking into the ElderShield Review Committee’s request to study the value and feasibility of having the Government administer ElderShield.”

The ElderShield review was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally last year.