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You can now sign a petition for equal CareShield Life premiums for women and men

You can now sign a petition for equal CareShield Life premiums for women and men

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Text: Adibah Isa


Image: Getty Images

A petition on Change.org has called for women and men to pay the equal amount of CareShield Life premiums

In the most 'WTF' news moments of the week, reports arose from a parliamentary session on 10 July that women in Singapore are now being made to pay higher premiums under the new CareShield Life insurance scheme. A national long-term elderly care scheme that will be made compulsory in 2020, CareShield Life will require male policyholders to pay $206 in premium, while their female counterparts will pay $253.

The reasoning? Because women statistically live longer than men, so more money is needed... just in case. According to Singapore's senior minister of state for health Dr. Amy Khor, the average life expectancy (as of last year) for women is 85.2 years, compared with 80.7 years for men. Come 2020, women would have to shell out $47 more than men. Women in Singapore already earn less than men, with the Ministry of Manpower revealing that the gender income gap has not improved in the last 10 years. Of course, with only three women forming the 18-strong cabinet in Singapore, it doesn't really come as a surprise. Looks like somebody needs to check his privilege.

On Facebook, local comedian Sharul Channa expressed her disapproval of the scheme, stating: "We don't earn enough, we are not given enough leadership roles, we are expected to have children to help grow the population, we are not leading the country AND we pay more because we take care of our health? I am the comedian and the government is writing better jokes."

Today, a Change.org petition started by public relations director Charissa Guan called for equal CareShield Life premiums for women and men. "We ask to decrease women's annual premiums by $23.50 and increase men's annual premiums by $23.50 so that everyone pays the same $229.50 per year."

Possible? With enough persuasion and standing up for what's fair, it could be. In 2012, the EU introduced a new ruling to end price discrimination by gender for car insurance, where men were routinely charged more than women — with a reasoning that male drivers tend to be more reckless. However, a report by The Telegraph last September showed that even when gender-specific pricing was removed, men were still paying more because insurers' data still deemed them as the riskier drivers.

"But this is us — part of a generation deemed as apathetic towards politics, a gender that is blatantly referred to as the 'fairer sex' — demanding to be treated as equal to men," Guan's petition states. "We cannot be made to pay for circumstances we cannot control. This is not the future we should be creating for our society. This is not a future that is based on the equality we have proudly declared for years in our pledge."

If millennials as a generation (they're the ones directly affected, as the policy is applicable for those born between 1980 and 1990, while those born after will pay once they turn 30) have been constantly chided for believing that anything is possible, now's the time to live up to that same fervour. You are more than just a statistic.

Check out the petition on Change.org and make a difference (or at the very least, try) by signing.

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