Photo of Gan Kim Yong from thestraitstimes

Since the national insurance scheme ElderShield is introduced in 2002, the Singapore government has profited at least S$2 billion by far and has only paid out S$90 million. In a Parliamentary response to MP Louis Ng, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong revealed that there are 1.2 million ElderShield policyholders as of end 2015 and that only S$90 million has been paid out.

The cheapest yearly premium for a 40 year old is S$174.96 [You may view the full premiums here], and when we multiply it by 1.2 million for the year 2015 alone, the minimum revenue for 2015 generated is S$209 million. Multiply S$209 million for 13 years since ElderShield’s inception in 2002, the Singapore government should have netted at least S$2 billion in revenue.

Figures-wise, since there are 1.2 million policyholders in 2015, the average number of claims in 2015 of 961 makes up to only 8%. The Health Minister did not reveal the amount of premiums collected versus the amount of payout. ElderShield is an automatic insurance for all citizens and permanent residents aged 40 and above, and can only be opted out. The benefits of ElderShield provides pathetically low cash payouts of either S$300 a month for up to five years, or S$400 a month for up to six years, on a very stringent condition for long term care requirement.

When an elderly become permanently incapacitated in Singapore, they do not get a single cent from the government. Rather, the government made the citizens to take up an insurance like ElderShield, and profit from the insurance scheme. An ageing population do not spell trouble for the Singapore government because the people are truly self-reliant, to the point that many have taken to the street collecting cardboard.