Thursday 27 March 2014

Dependants' Protection Scheme: Why age cap set at 60

WE THANK Mr Su Kim Teck for his suggestion ("Raise age cap for Dependants' Protection Scheme"; last Friday).

The Dependants' Protection Scheme (DPS) is a term insurance scheme that provides a sum of money to help insured members and their families tide over the initial difficult period in the event of permanent incapacity or death.

Central Provident Fund members aged 21 to 60 will automatically be covered under DPS when they make their CPF contribution.

The age limit for DPS is set at 60 years old because, beyond that, the need for financial protection for the majority of members is likely to reduce as their dependants are likely to be already working or are less financially dependent.

In addition, the annual premiums for coverage beyond 60 years old would be significantly higher due to higher mortality rates. The additional premiums required to continue DPS coverage would be better reserved for the members' retirement.

Setting the age limit at 60 years old strikes a balance between the need for financial protection for the members' dependants and the need for adequate retirement savings.

Members who wish to purchase life insurance beyond 60 years old can still do so from private insurers.

Irene Kang (Ms)
Director, Communications Division
Central Provident Fund Board
ST Forum, 26 Mar 2014

Raise age cap for Dependants' Protection Scheme

I HAVE friends who are cancer patients, with the disease in remission.

Typically, an insurer may consider insuring such "risks" if the cancer has been in remission for at least five years, and regular follow-up test results show "favourable readings" ("Stop treating cancer survivors like insurance pariahs" by Ms Gwen Ling; Tuesday).

Even if an insurer takes on such patients, there may be premium loading and only death coverage.

The Central Provident Fund Board's Dependants' Protection Scheme (DPS) is a good and affordable insurance plan that benefits CPF members' families.

But its main limitation is that it covers the policyholder up to only age 60.

With the enhancements to MediShield and the liberalisation of Medisave use to cover more medical expenses, the CPF Board should consider extending the DPS termination age to 75 or above.

This will certainly help CPF members, especially those who may be uninsurable as a result of illnesses.

Su Kim Teck
ST Forum, 21 Mar 2014

Stop treating cancer survivors like insurance pariahs

LIKE opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong, I am a cancer survivor who identifies with the issue of non-insurability of people like us ("Back to Third World from First in health care? Hardly"; last Thursday).

With more cancer cases being diagnosed in Singapore, this issue will affect a growing number of survivors who are still looking for some insurance against possible relapses.

All cancer survivors work very hard to prevent a relapse, but there is only so much they can do.

Insurers need to review their policy of not insuring cancer survivors. Whether these people have to pay higher premiums is another issue.

The Government, which has regulatory powers over MediShield Life coverage, should set an example for insurers to follow with a more humane approach towards cancer survivors. After all, didn't Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is a cancer survivor himself, talk about building an inclusive society? So why should cancer survivors be treated like pariahs in medical insurance?

There is more to it than just being "kind" to survivors. At a deeper level, when people are underinsured, there is a risk that they may end up being under-treated. This increases the risk of cancer relapse or other problems, thus adding to overall health-care costs.

Gwen Ling (Ms)
ST Forum, 18 Mar 2014

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