ElderShield Review Committee to consult public to improve scheme
Peg ElderShield payouts to inflation or review it every three years to ensure the payouts keep pace with rising costs.
And make the payouts last until the end of the beneficiary's life, instead of the current maximum of six years.
That was one idea mooted by the People's Action Party (PAP) Seniors Group in March this year.
The ElderShield Review Committee wants all ideas, yours included, as it reviews the disability insurance scheme.
To facilitate this, the committee will be hosting a series of public consultation sessions to find out how people think the scheme can be improved.
The sessions will be held from January to June next year.
The committee is looking at opinions on the right level of ElderShield coverage and benefits, and discussing how premiums can be kept affordable even if benefits go up.
The 14-member committee will also be looking at how it can make it easier to sign on to ElderShield and make claims.
ElderShield is an insurance scheme for those who have severe disabilities, meaning they cannot carry out daily activities such as eating, dressing or taking a bath on their own.
Currently, the scheme provides payouts of up to $400 a month for up to six years.
It covered 1.2 million people aged 40 to 83 for severe disability as of last December.
"ElderShield is an important component of the long-term care financing landscape, and complements personal savings, government subsidies, and various financial assistance schemes," said Mr Chaly Mah, who is chairman of the Singapore Accountancy Commission and also heads the committee.
"As we consider possible enhancements to ElderShield, we should also bear in mind that better coverage and benefits will come with higher premiums."
Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat also wrote about reviewing the scheme on Facebook, saying: "As we enhance the benefits, we will need to carefully evaluate how to balance these with the impact on costs, and how we can provide more support for lower-income Singaporeans to enable them to afford the premiums and participate in the scheme."
The first public consultation session will be held on Jan 11 at 7pm at the YMCA of Singapore.
The next two sessions will be held on Feb 18 and March 23.
For details of upcoming sessions, the public can visit the ElderShield website at www.eldershield.sg.
Those who wish to sign up for the sessions can also do so on the website.
They can also e-mail the Health Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 6325-9220.
This article was first published on December 20, 2016.
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