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Cancer Doesn’t Wait And Neither Should You: Safeguard Your Finances and Improve Cancer Survival Outcomes

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 30 October, 2023

Find out how much cancer treatment costs and how much cancer insurance you need.

Table of contents:

What’s the worst thing that can happen in a cancer diagnosis? Apart from the shock, it’s the potential costs you’ll need to bear. 

The fact is, cancer treatment costs are increasing due to reduced outpatient cancer coverage from the Integrated Shield plans (IPs) and the introduction of the Cancer Drug List. 

Imagine this. 

You’re in the doctor's office. You’ve been battling fatigue and recurring abdominal discomfort for the past few months. So you went to see a doctor to have it checked out. 

What you anticipated to be a chronic gastric issue takes a harrowing turn…

“You have stomach cancer.” Your doctor broke the news.

Everything around you fades into silence, and your mind goes blank.

“What?!”... …  

As a Matter of Fact, 1 in 4 People in Singapore Gets Cancer

The conversation above will happen to one in four of us at some point in our lives. This is the alarming occurrence of cancer in Singapore. 

Cancer does not have a gender bias. Males and females have an equal chance of getting cancer in their lifetime. Between 2016 and 2020, of the 80,753 cancer cases reported in Singapore, 49% were males and 51% were females. If your family has a history of cancer, you’ll have a statistically higher chance of developing it.

Cancer Survival Rates Have Improved Greatly

Fortunately, more people are also surviving cancer. Over the last 50 years, medical advancements in cancer treatments and earlier detection have improved cancer survival rates from 18% to almost 60%. 

Cancer, once considered a death sentence, is curable when detected early. Living with cancer is getting more and more common.  

Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) Are No Longer Enough

Advanced-stage cancer treatment can cost $100,000 to $200,000 a year!

Up to now, our IPs have paid for expensive cancer treatments. However, IPs no longer cover all cancer treatment costs. Starting April 1, 2023, they only cover treatments on the Cancer Drug List (CDL) up to a set monthly limit.

Even with a cash rider that extends to cover cancer drugs not on the CDL, the yearly claim limit is much lower than before. This means you must pay for treatment costs that exceed your IP’s claim limit. Watching your savings go down and worrying about the next medical bill is stressful. 

You may have critical illness insurance that pays you a lump sum when you’re diagnosed with cancer. But rising medical costs and the extra cancer treatment costs you now have to bear could render your coverage insufficient. 

And this is not all. Besides high medical expenses, you’ll also have to grapple with higher transportation costs, ongoing family expenses, and monthly mortgage repayments.

Sadly, many bosses can't keep paying you while you're on extended medical leave. You may have to quit or take no-pay leave. Without an income, you'll have to dip into your savings. The wealth you painstakingly build over the years will evaporate fast in the face of cancer. 

How Much Cancer Insurance Do You Need?

Experts recommend getting critical illness coverage equal to five years of your annual income plus extra money for treatment. The average person will take five years to recuperate and return to work.

For example, if you make $80,000 a year: 

Five years of income:
$80,000 annual income x 5 years = $400,000
Cancer treatment cost:
Cancer insurance you need:
$400,000 + $200,000 = $600,000 

Remember, this is a starting point. Even if you can't get all that coverage now, get what you can. When you're due for a claim, you’ll wish to have an extra ‘0’ in your cancer insurance coverage.

We're here to make this easy for you. As you will see soon, there is cancer insurance for different budgets. We will show you Singapore's best and most affordable cancer insurance plans. Our professional financial advisors are here to assist you if you need more guidance.

The Best Cancer Insurance in Singapore 

Look no further. We researched Singapore's cancer insurance plans to find the best ones for you.

These plans cover multi-stage cancer and pay you 50% or 100% of the coverage amount as early as stage 1 of cancer. So you'll have money to pay for treatment costs and other expenses. They also offer the best benefits at the lowest premiums.

Cancer has a high chance of relapse after recovery. You'll want the cancer insurance to cover you for not only one instance of cancer but also if it relapses or a new cancer develops subsequently. We select plans that let you add coverage for recurring cancer at a low cost. That way, you're not left without protection after one claim.

FWD Cancer 2.0 Insurance is the most comprehensive cancer insurance. It pays you when you’ve got a benign or borderline malignant tumour. The plan also has other valuable benefits to support your cancer recovery journey. If you’d like to be covered for recurring cancer, this is available as an optional add-on.  If you’d like to be covered for recurring cancer, this is available as an optional add-on. 

GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs is the best cancer insurance plan that also covers you for heart attack and stroke. Cancer, heart attack, and stroke are Singapore's top 3 critical illnesses. We recommend this plan if you want cancer insurance that pays out when the other two common critical illnesses strike.  If you’d like to be covered for recurring cancer, heart attack, and stroke, this is available as an optional add-on. 

MSIG CancerCare Plus is the most affordable plain vanilla cancer insurance. It has the cheapest premium but does not compromise on its benefits. It is the best cancer insurance for people who want to boost their cancer coverage at the lowest cost. This plan does not have the option to cover recurring cancer. 

These plans are DIY. You can apply easily on your own. If you’ve been putting off enhancing your cancer coverage because you didn't have time to meet a financial advisor, this is perfect for you. 

MSIG Cancer Insurance Promotion: Enjoy 20% off MSIG Cancer Insurance when you buy NOW! Valid till 6 May 2024. Fulfillment by MSIG. T&Cs apply.

Click ‘Apply Now’ to see your premium. You’ll be surprised at how little it costs to secure the financial security that you and your family will be grateful for on your decision today. 

DIY Cancer Insurance with the best benefits 
DIY Cancer Insurance, which also covers Singapore’s top 3 critical illnesses at the lowest cost
DIY Cancer Insurance with the lowest cost
Insurance plan
FWD Cancer 2.0 Insurance
GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs
MSIG CancerCare Plus
100% payout for early, intermediate, and advanced-stage cancer.
The only DIY cancer insurance plan that pays out for benign or borderline malignant tumour.
Easy to apply with only 4 health declaration questions to start your coverage.
Note: If you had a history of lump and it’s benign and removed and hasn’t recurred, you can apply. 
Has the option to cover recurring cancer. 
Free medical second opinion service available.
Covers the top 3 critical illnesses (CI) in Singapore - cancer, heart attack and stroke. 
100% payout for early, intermediate and advanced stage of the covered CI conditions.
Easy to apply with only 3 health declaration questions to start your coverage.
Has the option to cover recurring cancer, heart attack, and stroke. 
100% payout for advanced-stage cancer. 50% payout accelerated for early-stage cancer. 
Easy to apply with only 4 health declaration questions to start your coverage.
35-year-old, female non-smoker: S$38 monthly
35-year-old, Male non-smoker: S$25 monthly
35-year-old, female non-smoker: S$36 monthly
35 year old, Male non-smoker: S$27monthly
35-year-old female non-smoker: S$24 monthly
35-year-old, Male non-smoker: S$8 monthly

How do we help you at SingSaver

Navigating the wealth of cancer insurance plans in the market is overwhelming. And overwhelm leads to confusion and inaction. We understand most people amidst their busy schedule does not have time to meet with a financial adviser. 

This is why at SingSaver, we engage experienced financial advisers and pick their brains on the best plans out there in the market, understand them, and distill the most important details to help you understand quickly and easily what are the most important information you need.  

Our comparison save you precious hours of comparison and bring forth to you the best plans in the market based on specific parameters. 

When you get the plans from SingSaver, you are getting the same coverage, at the same cost as per getting them directly from the insurer. What’s great is, you will also enjoy exclusive discounts that SingSaver offers! 

What Is the Difference Between Cancer Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance?

The main difference is the scope of the coverage. Cancer insurance covers only cancer. While critical illness insurance covers 36 medical conditions, including cancer. 

Consider a stroke: Cancer insurance won't pay, but critical illness insurance will.

Because critical illness insurance covers more medical conditions, it’s more expensive than cancer insurance. And the high premiums of critical illness insurance often discourage people from getting adequate cancer coverage.  

Cancer insurance is the best solution to achieve the essential cancer coverage you need. The low cost helps to avoid procrastination due to budget constraints. With adequate cancer coverage, you’ll have money for costly cancer treatment and other expenses.

Cancer Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance
Covers cancer only - early, intermediate, and advanced stages.
Covers 36 medical conditions - early, intermediate, and advanced stages.
Quick and simplified application with 4 - 6 questions.
Full application with 15 - 20 questions.
You can apply on your own for a hassle-free process.
Requires a financial advisor for application.
Covers only cancer but with lower premiums
Provide comprehensive coverage but with higher premiums.


Benefits of Cancer Insurance at One Glance

  • Increases your cash reserves immediately through lump sum payout. The cash injection ensures your family’s standard of living is not affected due to cancer. 
  • Removes financial stress and allows you to quit your job and focus on recovery and recuperation. 
  • Preserves you and your family’s dignity by giving you the financial means to pay for treatment and daily living expenses without getting into debt. 
  • Cushion your savings and help you get back on track faster after recovering from cancer so your retirement plans are not thrown off course. 
  • Increases chances of recovery by giving you the financial means to seek a second opinion and go for a better treatment approach.  

While cancer insurance can't cure you of the illness, it liberates your mind to focus on recovery and gives you the financial power to afford better care. It’ll also relieve caregiver stress when you can engage external help and make life easier for you and your family.

Need guidance and expert advice from a financial advisor? Schedule a free consultation. 

While DIY cancer insurance policies are convenient and simple to apply for, some people may not be eligible for them. It is usually due to a family history of cancer or a present medical condition. You may also require support and expert advice to review your cancer coverage and select the most suitable cancer insurance.

Schedule a free consultation with our experienced financial advisors to discuss your concerns. Our financial advisors are independent and not tied to a single insurer. They’ve access to all of Singapore's insurers. It means they can find the most suitable cancer insurance coverage for you

In the free consultation, depending on your needs, you can expect the following from the financial advisor: 

  • Review your current insurance portfolio to identify gaps and overlapping coverage. 
  • Provide cost-effective solutions to you.
  • Help you source the most suitable plans based on your family’s cancer history, current health condition, and budget.  
  • If you haven’t reviewed your insurance portfolio in a while, this will be a valuable session to determine if you are adequately covered. 


How is this plan different from if I purchase directly from the insurer? 

The plans are the same whether you purchase them through SingSaver’s platform or directly from the insurer’s platform. However, we give our customers some additional promotion discounts.

Who will help me in the event of a claim? 

In the event of a claim, you can submit your cancer claim to the respective insurer. However, if you prefer to have a financial advisor to help you with claims, you can get an independent financial advisor to help you get the plan too. Leave your particulars for a financial advisor to contact you. 

I have life insurance that covers critical illness. If I get cancer insurance now, can I claim from both policies? 

Yes. You can claim from both cancer insurance and critical illness insurance. But please note that each insurer has a maximum claim limit for early critical illness per claim per life. If you’re getting cancer insurance from the same insurer as your existing critical illness plan, you will want to seek advice from a financial advisor to ensure that you won’t exceed the claim limit.

Do I need cancer insurance if I already have critical illness insurance? 

Suppose you are not covered sufficiently under your critical illness insurance and want to boost your coverage specifically for cancer. In that case, cancer insurance is a cost-economical solution to achieve the amount of cancer insurance you need. 

After I’ve made a claim from the cancer insurance, am I still covered for relapse or a new cancer that develops subsequently? 

Most cancer insurance pay only for one cancer claim. However, there’re cancer insurance plans that cover recurring cancer and new cancer that develops subsequently. This is an optional benefit that you can add on at an additional premium. If you want to be covered for recurring cancer, please pick a plan that has this feature. If you need help, you may get advice from our financial advisor

Can I change my mind after signing up for the plans? 

All plans have a freelook period whereby during the freelook period, you may cancel the plan and get a full refund of your premiums. Most policies’ freelook period is 14 days. But please refer to the terms and conditions of the plan you signed up for. 

Who should get cancer insurance? Is cancer insurance for me? 

While cancer insurance is an excellent cover for anyone, it is particularly so for people of the following profile: 

  • You have existing critical illness insurance and are looking to boost your coverage specifically for cancer.
  • You are on a tight budget and can’t afford critical illness insurance but want to get coverage for cancer at least.
  • Your family history has a strong predisposition for a particular cancer.
  • You are a cancer survivor. Some cancers have a high recurrence rate.

At SingSaver, we make personal finance accessible with easy to understand personal finance reads, tools and money hacks that simplify all of life’s financial decisions for you.


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