With rising critical illness cases, it’s important that you’re well-protected with a critical illness insurance plan to soften the financial impact of medical costs.
When it comes to getting critical illness (CI), the common assumption is that your risk is lower when you’re young. The truth is, critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack, and stroke among young people are on the rise.
In fact, according to the National Registry of Diseases Office (NRDO), about ¼ of stroke patients in Singapore are below 60 years old.
Meanwhile, a report by the Singapore Cancer Registry showed that cancer cases have increased six times from 12,072 in 1968-1972 to 71,265 in 2013-2017. 450-550 young adults between the ages of 16 to 39 also get cancer each year.
And if that’s not bad enough, 39 people are diagnosed with cancer every day, while 15 people die from the disease each day. Additionally, 1 in 4 people may develop cancer in their lifetime.
Why it’s important to have a critical illness insurance plan when you’re young
If you already have an existing hospitalisation coverage such as an Integrated Shield Plan, you probably think that you’re well-covered.
However, in the event that you’re diagnosed with a CI, such as a heart attack or cancer, the costs can go beyond what your Integrated Shield Plan can cover. These include medical or living expenses needed during your recovery.
To cushion the financial burden upon a CI, lump sum cash payouts from a CI insurance policy can help you foot the multiple medical bills over the course of your treatment. This can greatly alleviate the financial stress for you and your family.
Despite that, it’s found that there’s a huge CI gap among the population. A survey by the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) revealed that the average Singaporean has a CI protection of just S$60,000, which is way below the LIA’s recommendation of S$316,000, or 3.9X the average annual pay of S$81,663.
When can one receive payouts from a CI insurance plan? You’ll receive a payout in the event that one is diagnosed with any covered critical illness, which include cancer, heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, stroke, and kidney failure.
Depending on your insurance policy, the payout could be for a CI in the early, intermediate, or critical stages.
The payouts received can also be used to pay for non-medical costs such as the cost of engaging the help of a caregiver, living expenses, bills, and so on.
Remember that the probability of getting a CI increases as you age, so the best time to purchase a CI insurance plan is when you’re young and healthy. Also, the premiums are much lower when you’re young.
Obviously, it’s also more difficult to purchase a CI insurance plan once you’re diagnosed with a CI or if there are any changes to your health, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re covered before it happens.
💡 Pro-tip: Choose the right Critical Illness coverage for your needs. Protect against the Top 3 CIs – Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke, or complete your coverage against 53 CIs. Sign up and enjoy 10% perpetual discount off your premiums. T&Cs apply.
Should I get a multi-pay or one-time payout CI plan?
There are two types of CI insurance plans: one-time payout CI plans and multi-pay CI plans.
Traditionally, a CI plan provides a one-time claim for specific CIs. Once the payout is made, your policy will terminate. Therefore, if your CI reoccurs or if you’re diagnosed with a different CI in the future, you won’t be able to make another claim.
On the other hand, a multi-pay CI plan offers coverage for multiple CI diagnoses, ensuring that you receive continued protection beyond your first CI claim. Such a plan also covers the same or different critical illnesses. Not only will you receive a lump sum payout for the initial claim, but you can also receive additional claims should your illness relapse.
So why should you consider a multi-pay CI plan? Studies show that Singaporeans are living longer in general (the average life expectancy of Singaporeans is 84 years old). However, we also spend an average of 10.6 years in ill health.
This means that while the chances of surviving and recovering from chronic illnesses are higher, we’re also spending more of our years in poor health.
Remember also that some CIs, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, may require longer recovery periods due to the treatments involved. Cancer cells may remain in your body for years, even after remission and may come back.
Hence, one of the key reasons to consider a multi-pay CI plan is that you have the assurance of CI coverage even after a claim for the first CI diagnosis. With such CI plan, you are still financially protected for subsequent CI recurrences as well as for different CIs.
As the saying goes, health is wealth; it’s never too early to get protected to ensure peace of mind.
Protect yourself and your loved ones with Great Eastern’s GREAT Critical Cover and Protect Me Again rider
Introducing Great Eastern’s GREAT Critical Cover Series, a choice of two plan types that offers 100% payout for every covered critical illness claim. A comprehensive plan type against 53 critical illnesses which can be considered for one without any CI coverage to start with or a more focused plan type to boost your CI coverage with the top 3 most common critical illness conditions, cancer, heart attack and stroke.
GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs
GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs protects you against the top three most common CIs — for early, intermediate or critical stage of cancer, heart attack or stroke. Once you are diagnosed with any of the three CIs, you will receive a 100% payout of the sum assured1. This is an affordable option to increase your existing coverage against the most common of critical illnesses.
To protect against recurring CI episodes, you can enhance your CI plan with the Protect Me Again rider that covers you for another two more episodes2 (up to three episodes), for any of these three CIs. This means that you will be able to receive a second or third lump sum payout of the sum assured1 upon a recurring or new diagnosis of cancer, heart attack or stroke. After the third CI claim, your policy will automatically terminate.
This gives you the peace of mind that you will have access to continued critical illness coverage even after your first CI claim.
This plan is affordable with premiums starting from as low as S$0.80 per day3 This includes the Protect Me Again rider which allows you to enjoy continuous coverage for the second or third CI claim made for the diagnosis of the top 3 CIs.
GREAT Critical Cover: Complete
If you are looking for more comprehensive coverage, you can consider the GREAT Critical Cover: Complete. It covers up to 53 different CIs of early, intermediate or critical stages and pays a 100% lump sum if you are diagnosed with any of the listed CI conditions.
Similar to the Top 3 CIs plan you can also add on the Protect Me Again rider on top of your base plan that covers you for another two episodes2 (up to three episodes). This means that you will be able to receive a second or third lump sum payout of the sum assured1 upon new CI or subsequent diagnosis of cancer, heart attack, stroke, subsequent open-chest heart valve surgery, subsequent coronary artery bypass surgery or subsequent major organ / bone marrow transplant surgery. After the third CI claim, your policy will automatically terminate.
Both GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs and GREAT Critical Cover: Complete also offer the compassionate benefit of S$25,000 for all causes of death.
Choose the right CI coverage you need. Protect against Top 3 CIs – Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke, or complete your coverage against 53 CIs. Sign up and enjoy 10% perpetual discount off your premiums. T&Cs apply.
1 Please refer to the Product Summary for more details on the benefit term and conditions.
2 Coverage restores to 100% after 12 months from the date of diagnosis for the most recently diagnosed critical illness, for a subsequent claim of a different critical illness. Coverage restores to 100% after 24 months from the date of diagnosis of the immediately preceding applicable critical illness for recurrent critical illness. Please refer to the Product Summary for more details on the benefit terms and conditions.
3 Annual premium of S$278.30 for the first year after the 30% first-year discount, is based on a 30-year-old male, non-smoker.
The daily rate is based on a 30-year-old male, non-smoker with the annual premium of GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs and Protect Me Again rider for a sum assured of S$100,000 and policy term of up to age 85, divided by 365 days and rounded off to the nearest 1 decimal place. The annual premium will increase based on the attained age of the life assured, as at each policy anniversary. Premium rates are not guaranteed and may be revised based on future experience.
The information presented is for general information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person.
Age stipulated refers to age next birthday (ANB).
As this product has no savings or investment feature, there is no cash value if the policy ends or is terminated prematurely.
You may wish to seek advice from a financial adviser before making a commitment to purchase this product. If you choose not to seek advice from a financial adviser, you should consider whether this product is suitable for you.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
Information is correct as of 28 October 2022.
This article is written in collaboration with SingSaver.