, Singapore

Singapore risks protection gap for older population

Prudential and Income are working together to close protection gaps, particularly in the area of long-term care.

Singaporeans have the highest life expectancy in the world according to statistics by the World Bank released and with increasing medical costs, they are at risk of being insufficiently protected, according to Prudential Singapore.

In fact, according to the Ministry of Health, one in two healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could become severely disabled in their lifetime, and may need long-term care.

The median duration that Singaporeans could remain in severe disability is four years, and about three in 10 could remain in severe disability for 10 years or more. By 2030, it is estimated 47% of Singapore’s aging population will have one or two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) limitations, whilst 53% will have three or more.

“Singaporeans have one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 83.93 years. As Singaporeans live longer, they need to ensure that they are sufficiently protected against health risks and increased medical costs associated with aging,” Prudential Singapore said

To help bridge the protection gap for Singapore’s older population insurance giants Prudential Singapore and NTUC Income have teamed up to advocate early financial planning for life’s uncertainties with Care Secure, a CareShield Life supplement plan by Income, now made available through Prudential’s extensive network of financial consultants.

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.

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. 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 that provides additional cash payout for up to 36 months to support any dependants that the insured may have.

“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,” Prudential Singapore said.

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