“MediShield Life, Eldershield, What’s That?”

monkeyFirstly, I would like to wish all my Chinese readers a very happy and prosperous Lunar New Year! May all your wishes come true in the Year of the Monkey!!!

During the Chinese New Year gatherings over lunches and dinners, some of my friends asked me many insurance related questions. Surprisingly, many still do not know what CPF MediShield Life and Eldershield are! All Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents have these two CPF insurance policies. They are paying using their CPF Medisave funds but do not know what they are paying for.

I will not repeat what the CPF website has written about them but here are the links ( light blue text) for you. ” CPF Medishield Life, similar to MediShield, is an individual basic universal healthcare insurance scheme which helps to pay for large hospital bills and expensive outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It targets Class B2/C wards and subsidised treatment in public hospitals.

CPF ElderShield is an affordable severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care. It provides a monthly cash payout to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses up to a maximum period of 72 months. CPF members with Medisave Account (MA) will be offered ElderShield cover when they turn age 40. No registration or medical assessment is needed.

If you were hospitalised or someone you know was hospitalised, you would have been asked “Do you have insurance?” by the staff at the business office of the hospital. That’s where the rubber meets the road. If you had upgraded your Basic CPF Medishield Life with one of the five insurance companies, you are safe. Your hospital bill may be settled in full. I said “may be” because if you did not buy the Rider to pay the annual deductible and co-insurance of the main Shield plan, you will still have to pay them using Medisave and/or cash, depending on how many days you stayed in the hospital. The staff will do an e-filing on a computer to lodge a claim for you. If you also have a company hospitalisation insurance, do tell the staff too. I will not go into the details today.

If your friend or you were diagnosed with a major stroke and bed ridden for life, you would have activated your CPF ElderShield which pays you $400 per month for 6 years. Hope that will help relieve “some” financial burden with out of hospital expenses… Is $400 a month enough? That’s a stupid question you may say… Of course it’s not enough. You cannot even pay for the medical expenses, taxi fares, a domestic helper with $400 a month! Then your savings will be wiped out very soon and become a financial burden to your family. That’s why upgrading your ElderShield is very important. Don’t even think of opting out! Penny wise and pound foolish is not just a nice sounding idiom, it is for real, many people actually live out this idiom. Such short sightedness is very common in Singapore.

If you have wisdom to look into the future, see that many people are suffering because they do not have proper insurance plans in place… I suggest you talk to an independent financial adviser representative like me as soon as possible. I will help you get financial protection at a cost you can afford.

Please email me at stephenmok@ippfa.com or call me at 90011082.

Thank you and may the Year of the Monkey be a good year for you and your loved ones!

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