Posted on Dec 04, 2018
Life is as unpredictable as the rain in Singapore. Accidents, illnesses and even death can happen to anyone. That’s why it is important to protect you and your loved ones. You can use your CPF savings to pay for the Home Protection Scheme (HPS), a mortgage-reducing insurance plan for HDB owners, and the Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS), a term insurance plan. In times of misfortune, these affordable insurance plans will provide you and your loved ones with claim benefits that will help to tide you over the crisis.
Behind these schemes is a team that supports CPF members at different stages of their insurance cover. We’ve gotten several of them to step forth, so that you can take a look at what they do.
Mardhiana: A common question is why there is a need to declare one’s health condition for HPS coverage.
Some members assume they are automatically covered as long as they send in the compulsory HPS application form. However, HPS works just like any insurance plan. Underwriting is necessary to ensure the scheme remains viable and the premiums are kept affordable for all insured members. This is why we call some members to clarify on the health declarations they have made.
Faridah: For DPS, it would be whether the scheme is compulsory. DPS is optional and members can choose to opt out and apply to join the scheme later if they wish to. However, as DPS coverage is subject to members being in good health, it is generally better to be covered earlier while they are young and healthy. This is why once CPF members are 21 years old and have made their first working contribution, coverage is automatically extended to them and premiums are deducted from their CPF accounts.
Susanty: Members often have an impression that their HPS coverage will protect them until the end of their housing loan term. HPS coverage is actually up to 65 years old or until the members’ housing loans are paid in full, depending on which is earlier. If members require protection of their home loans beyond age 65, they should check with private insurers for an insurance plan that fits their needs. Members can also consider supplementing their coverage with other private insurance plans, if needed.
Mardhiana: Health declarations are important to ensure that you can be covered under the HPS or DPS. If you are unsure about your health status, you should always declare first and we will follow up on your insurability. This way, you can avoid situations where your undeclared pre-existing conditions may cause you or your loved ones to be ineligible for claims, even though you have been paying the premiums.
Faridah: Members who have just turned 55 years old should note that their Ordinary Account (OA) savings may be transferred to their Retirement Account (RA). During the annual policy renewal, if they do not have any balances left in OA for DPS premium deduction, they should keep a look out for the notification letters sent by their assigned insurers, and pay the outstanding premiums as instructed by the insurers so that they can stay insured under the scheme.
Wan Er: We once received a claim application that was very tricky to approve due to lack of medical records of the claimant. However instead of closing the claim due to lack of supporting evidence, we decided to contact several clinics till we were able to track down the retired doctor who had last provided a diagnosis of the member. I was glad that the team had gone the extra mile to help the member, and made a difference to her. This left a strong impression on me.
Susanty: We had a member who had difficulties paying the premiums for HPS as she was supporting a large family. She had been seeking employment and trying to gather the cash for the premium payment for her HPS. Upon reviewing her situation, we extended her deadline for a few months until she could pay the premiums in full. I was glad we were able to help her.
Mardhiana: Some of my friends have never even heard about HPS or DPS offered by CPF Board so sometimes, I do chat with them and share more about the schemes.
Wan Er: I would always advise my relatives to declare their health conditions when they collect their keys for their HDB flats.
Faridah: I’ve been working at CPF Board since 1982, when HPS was first launched. In 1989, I was asked to join the DPS when the scheme was launched. I truly do think that both are good schemes so usually I’ll answer queries when people ask me about them. But if my friends or family ask questions during Hari Raya or holidays, I will tell them I’m off work already. Just kidding!