Turning 30 is more than just a milestone in your life.

By 2020, this age will have significant meaning to your healthcare as you will be automatically enrolled in Singapore's CareShield Life health insurance plan.


The compulsory government-run scheme, which replaces the optional ElderShield coverage from private insurers, comes with a higher premium and it will also stretch longer till you turn 67.

But in turn, CareShield Life also comes with a wider coverage scope, which includes a monthly payout that starts from $600 for as long as you need in the event of disability.

In contrast, ElderShield's $400 monthly payout is only valid for six years.

Between the new CareShield Life and ElderShield, there are a few more significant differences which we've captured here in a snapshot.


CareShield Life

ElderShield 400

Who it applies to

Those born from 1980 and after

Compulsory to enrol for CareShield Life

Those born on 1979 and before

Optional to enrol for CareShield Life

Annual premium

From $200 (men), $250 (women)

Premium increase to be advised (for 2020 to 2025, pegged at 2%)

$175 (men), $218 (women)

Top-up of premium difference to switch to CashShield Life

Payout amount

Starts from $600 per month, for as long as required

Payout increase to be advised (for 2020 to 2025, pegged at 2%)

$400 per month, up to six years

Pay with Medisave



Government subsidy



Claim eligibility

Need assistance with three of the following daily living activities:

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Bathing
  • Walking
  • Transferring

Need assistance with three of the following daily living activities:

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Bathing
  • Walking
  • Transferring

That's basically the tl;dr version. Just like you, we also have a few questions about this and dug a bit deeper to answer those questions.

What if I'm above 40 and covered under ElderShield 400?

For now, nothing changes. You will be covered by your ElderShield plan for as long as you're on it.

From 2020 onwards, you have a choice of continuing with your current ElderShield plan or to opt-in for CareShield Life. The latter, however, requires you to top up the difference in premium between ElderShield and CareShield.

CareShield Life's premium starts at $200 (for men) and $250 (for women) from the age of 30. This premium, however, will increase with your age. As such, the difference in the premium update is still unknown for policyholders at the age of 40.

CareShield Life 1979

Wait, the CareShield Life annual premium will increase over time?

Yes, you can expect the premiums to increase based on your age. For the first five years when the scheme begins, the increase is pegged at 2% per year.

Similar to the premium increase, the payout increase is also pegged at 2% for the first five years when the CareShield Life scheme starts.

After which, the amount will be decided by an appointed council at a later date.

On the bright side, the premiums can be fully paid by your Medisave account. On top of that, government subsidies will also kick in to reduce the premium cost.

Is CareShield Life compulsory if I'm between 30 to 40 years old by 2020?

Yes, you will be automatically enrolled in CareShield Life if you fall under this age range.

Cashshield Life 1980

In essence, if you are born in 1980 or later, you will automatically join the new scheme in 2020 or when you turn 30.

Those born in 1979 or earlier will have the option to join the new scheme.

Why should I make the switch from ElderShield 400 to CareShield Life?

You'll have to think of this in the long run. It's true that your ElderShield 400 is a fixed annual premium ($175 for men and $218 for women) and only requires you to pay for 26 years till you turn 65, which amounts to at least $4,550 for the whole duration.

It's undeniable that CashShield Life premium amount will be higher as you will be paying over a longer period, with an increasing premium. At this point there's no telling what the premium increase for each year is going to be.

But heaven forbid that you need to make a disability claim. Consider this: with ElderShield, your payout amount is at $400 per month and only applies for six years. The CareShield Life scheme, however, has a payout starting from $600 per month and for as long as you need. This payout will increase as your age increases too.

Increased payout? Forever?

A quick point to note: while the payout is forever, it stops increasing once you've stopped paying for your premium when you reach 67 years old or make a claim.

The government has advised that there are supplements that work in tandem with your CashShield Life payout. In the event that the payout is locked due to a claim, these supplements can continue to increase the payout separately.

Our advice? Have a chat with your insurer to ask about these new supplements for CareShield Life.

If I pass away without making a claim, what happens to the premium I've paid?

Nothing. You won't get any of it back nor will it be handed over to your living relatives as there's no death benefit for the CashShield Life scheme.

In short, this scheme is really meant to cover you in the event that you need assistance with at least three of the daily life activities listed below. 

CareShield daily activities

Sounds like there's a lot to digest

You're right, we've only scratched the surface and highlighted the main points you need to be aware of. You can read up on the CareShield Life scheme and go through its lengthy FAQ to get all the answers you need.

But the one thing that we can tell you is this - CareShield Life on its own covers only the bare minimum. Given that health cost, especially for elderly care, is rising, you'll need more than a basic plan to cover all your bases.

Always ensure that you have some supplement plans pegged with the upcoming CareShield Life scheme. If you need some help with that, GoBear is here to assist.

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