It was two days ago that I received an email comment on one of my earlier posts on the topic of Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS) and in it I was asked to provide some advice on why a passed-on family member may not be covered by DPS when it’s obvious that there’s enough CPF money in the account…. and there’s been so much confusion/unhappiness that the family is wondering if they are still able to make claims from it and if so… how can they do so…
What Is Dependants’ Protection Scheme Or DPS?
(As quoted from the CPF Board website) The Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS) is an affordable term insurance scheme that provides insured members and their families with some money to get through the first few years should the insured members become permanently incapacitated or pass away.
And for most of its members, they use the money in their CPF-OA account to service the yearly premium. The deduction is usually set to automatic but there’s the usual yearly reminder that the annual premium is due and pending for deduction at a certain date. Insured members are also reminded to make sure that there’s enough money left in the CPF-OA for premium deductions…
If there’s really the case whereby the insured member has no enough money in the CPF-OA account, there will be a letter that’s being sent to notify about the lack of funds and also the alternative to top up the difference with cash at one of the designated Insurance Companies.
Should the insured member forget to make the payment after the grace period, the DPS plan will usually be terminated and an official letter will normally be mailed out to notify as well…
So Why Is It Important To Understand What’s Mentioned Above For DPS?
Though Singapore may be a very modernized country, there’s still a certain percentage of the population who may not be highly educated and any letters with words on it (can be in four different languages) can be just symbols and shapes. In other words, they do not know what’s being written and what’s needed on them.
If you do have such older family members, you should always try to play a small part in ensuring that they are still covered (and continuously being covered) in plans like CPF-Funded Insurance Plans like DPS, Medishield or even Eldershield. And this is even more important if you do believe in Insurance and Proper Financial Planning.
Plans like these are specially designed and made affordable to all Singaporeans so that they get some basic form of insurance coverage and there’s a contingency plan on standby to take care of any unforeseen circumstances – for the insured members and for the immediate family members.
How To Make Sure That One Is Still Covered Under DPS?
CPF Board has provided three ways for the members to check on the status – CPF Statement, CPF Online Services and SMS Services. As DPS is ministered by two designated Insurance Companies – NTUC Income and Great Eastern. It’s good to take note of them as well.
This is because you will definitely need to go to them if you need more clarifications on why a DPS coverage is terminated or not covered from the start. And if you are going to them directly, do note that some of the Customer Service Representatives are used to provide the most basic information – yes or no on whether this particular member is covered under DPS. If you do not probe further, you will not know the whole situation.
This is what happened to that reader with the email comment. The reader is unclear whether the family member has been covered and has approached the Insurance Company to ask whether the family member has been covered. All the reader gets is a direct reply – no… and that caused a lot of confusion and unhappiness because other family members assumed that there should be coverage in the first place.
Which is why… if one does get a direct reply of ‘no’, one should ask further…was the member covered right from the start or was it terminated… if it’s terminated… was it based on own discretion, the lack of funds or the possibility that the member did not receive any letter reminders because he/she has already moved to another address that’s different from the insurance company’s records.
By asking a few more questions to this can help to ensure that your family members are covered under DPS and if there’s anything amiss, at least it can be set right at a earlier stage – to reapply for the DPS plan, to reinstate back the plan or to appeal for the DPS plan. Getting this right will help to remove any unnecessary confusion and unhappiness especially if it’s money matters.
Do remember to do your checks today and if there’s confusion, do make sure to resolve it as soon as possible!