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Lianhe Zaobao, 2 Oct
Voices, Pg 21

 

 

We refer to Ms Li Yue’s letter, ‘Our Grievous Mid-Autumn Festival’ (27 September 2018).

 

We would like to convey our deepest condolences to Ms Li and her family on the demise of her husband. We are currently assisting her family and will reach out to Ms Li to see how we can help her with HDB’s financial assistance measures so that she can tide over this period of financial difficulty.

 

Please allow us to clarify how the Home Protection Scheme (HPS) works for the benefit of the readers.

 

HPS is an insurance scheme where claims are paid out from premiums collected. To keep premiums low and the application process simple, members are required to fully disclose their health conditions when they apply for HPS. Members who declare in the HPS form that they are healthy would generally not be inconvenienced by further underwriting and an HPS cover would be issued in good faith.

 

In Ms Li’s case, her husband bought an HDB flat in 1998. As he did not use his CPF savings to service his monthly housing instalment, HPS was optional and he did not seek HPS coverage then.

 

In 2013, Ms Li’s husband was hospitalised for a serious health episode. Soon after his discharge, he approached HDB to apply for an HPS cover. As with every HDB flat buyer who signs up for the HPS, the HDB officer would have explained to him the requirement to fully declare his health conditions in the application form. However, in his HPS form, he declared that he did not undergo any operation or hospital treatment in the last five years, nor did he declare the medical condition he was hospitalised for. HPS cover was issued to him on the basis of his declarations.

 

We are not in a position to speculate about the reasons why Ms Li’s husband did not disclose recent material facts at the time of his application. However, given the seriousness of his health conditions then, he would not have been eligible for an HPS cover.

 

As part of sound insurance practice, CPFB has a duty to ensure the integrity of HPS administration. Therefore, upon detection of non-disclosure by any insured member, we will terminate the HPS cover and refund the unused premiums into the insured’s Ordinary Account. It would not be fair otherwise to members whose HPS applications are rejected for similar reasons.

 

The vast majority of HPS claims by beneficiaries have been successful. Nonetheless, CPFB will look into how the HPS application and underwriting process can be improved.

 

 

Irene Kang (Ms)

Group Director (Communications)

Central Provident Fund Board