Understanding Critical Illness Insurance in Singapore

Ladies Discussing Critical Illness Policies in Singapore
About this article:
  • Understand the financial impact of a critical illness diagnosis
  • Know the types of critical illness insurance policies to consider
  • Know what to consider before getting critical illness insurance coverage

We know it… getting sick is a part of life. 

But what if that illness is critical? Whether you’re diagnosed with major cancer, heart attack or multiple sclerosis, the diagnosis can leave a severe toll on your financial health, let alone physical health. 

A lot of the time, your savings are just not enough to cover your healthcare expenses, not to mention daily expenses during the period you cannot return to work due to your illness.

Getting a Critical Illness (CI) insurance policy can help provide a safety net during a difficult time and offer much needed peace of mind for everyone, including your loved ones.

This guide will delve deeper into critical illness coverage, its benefits, and how it can protect you and your loved ones.

Critical Illness in Singapore

Critical Illness in Singapore with Doctors Discussing

Here are some of the most common critical illnesses covered in Singapore (Life Insurance Association, 2019):

  • Major Cancer: According to the Singapore Cancer Society, one in four Singapore residents will develop cancer in their lifetime. This makes cancer coverage a crucial part of CI plans.
  • Heart Attack: Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Singapore, as reported by the Ministry of Health Singapore. Having CI coverage for this critical illness can provide much-needed financial support.
  • Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit: The Singapore Stroke Registry estimated that there were 9,679 strokes in 2021. The potential for long-term disability after a stroke makes critical illness coverage even more important.
  • End-stage kidney failure: Kidney failure cases are increasing in Singapore. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), there are about five new kidney failure patients a day and one new dialysis patient every five hours.
  • Alzheimer’s disease/Severe dementia: Among the elderly aged 60 and above, about 1 in 10 suffers from dementia, and this number is only expected to increase with the ageing population. (The Straits Times, 2023)

Understanding the Stages of Critical Illness

Stages of Critical Illness

Many CI plans offer multi-stage coverage, recognising the varying severity of critical illnesses:

  • Early Stage: This stage covers the initial diagnosis of a critical illness, providing a payout to help manage the initial costs of treatment and potential loss of income.
  • Advanced Stage: As the illness progresses, some plans offer a higher payout at this stage to address the increased financial burden of advanced treatment.
  • Terminal Stage: Some plans may provide an additional payout upon reaching a terminal stage of the illness.

Types of Critical Illness Plans Available in Singapore

There are various Critical Illness plans available in Singapore, catering to different needs and budgets. Here are some common types to consider:

Critical illness Policies
Critical illness Policies in Singapore
Name of Policy Insurer Critical Illness Coverage Features
Beyond Critical Care AIA 104 conditions covered (upon inclusion of riders) 100% Refund of Premium benefit refunds you a lump sum upon policy expiry.

Mental well-being benefit covers 5 prominent mental illnesses
GREAT Critical Cover Great Eastern Full payout for 53 critical illnesses across different stages Flexibility in protection against 53 critical illnesses or the top 3 critical illness conditions – cancer, heart attack or stroke.
Super CritiCare HSBC Offers protection against 111 Critical Illnesses Claim for conditions like Re-diagnosed Cancer, Recurrent Heart Attack, and Stroke at any stage

Inclusion of a Diabetes care programme
Complete Critical Protect Income Covers 158 conditions Coverage up to 10 times the sum assured across various stages.

First in Singapore to provide Guaranteed Post-Dread Disease Cover Option
PRUActive Protect Prudential Coverage against 37 critical illnesses that can be enhanced through the years Complimentary coverage for all your children against critical illnesses and juvenile conditions when both parents purchase plan
Comprehensive Critical Illness Singlife Coverage for 132 conditions across various stages of critical illnesses Additional Special Benefit category that allows you to claim a total of six times for any of the 27 conditions stated.

Premiums don’t increase with age

Please note that while we try our best to present information that is as accurate and up to date as possible, there may be changes which are not reflected in the charts above. For more detailed information, please contact your insurer or the respective insurer directly.

Need Extra Coverage?

When comparing CI plans, consider getting a rider to enhance your coverage:

  • Riders: These are optional add-ons that provide additional benefits for an extra premium. Examples include waiver of premium rider (which waives future premiums if you are diagnosed with a critical illness) and child rider (which provides a payout for your child if you are diagnosed with a critical illness).

What's Next?

Group of people thinking about critical illness policies

Take control of your financial well-being. Don’t wait for a critical illness diagnosis to consider critical illness coverage. Here’re some things to note when it comes to critical illness coverage:

  • Don’t rely on your corporate insurance plan: Firstly, your corporate insurance coverage might not be sufficient to cover your critical illness treatments. There is always a possibility that the critical illness is diagnosed in between jobs or after you retire, which means you would need a personal critical illness plan to fall back on.
  • Review your current health insurance coverage: Check if your existing plan offers any critical illness coverage. If your current plan does not offer it, check if your insurance agent or financial adviser can suggest critical illness add-ons or consider buying a separate critical illness plan.
  • Buy early: When you buy a critical illness plan with pre-existing conditions, premiums may be more expensive and you may be excluded for the condition that you have, or worse yet, denied coverage altogether. So, it is always wise to buy your critical illness plan early when you’re young, healthy and well. This doesn’t mean that being older should stop you from getting covered. Make critical illness coverage a priority so you can safeguard your financial health.
  • Consider your family’s health history: Ensure the plan you buy protects you for conditions that your family has a history of.
  • How much should you be covered for? According to Life Insurance Association, you should have coverage that is equivalent to five years of your annual income. So for example, if you earn $3,000 a month, you should have at least a lump-sum coverage of $180,000 from your critical illness plan.
  • How much should you set aside for your insurance premiums: We know, critical illness insurance isn’t the only insurance plan you may have. As a guideline, spend 3 – 10% of your income on your total insurance premiums, based on what you can afford. Based on this figure, you can work backwards to budget a reasonable amount for critical illness premiums.
  • Compare plans: Consult with an insurance agent or financial adviser to get quotes and compare plans to get the coverage you need at premiums that you can afford.

Critical illness insurance can provide peace of mind for you and your family. By planning and getting the right coverage, you can ensure that a critical illness diagnosis doesn’t become a financial crisis.

Share this knowledge with your friends, family, and loved ones. Let’s work together to ensure everyone has the financial security they deserve in the face of critical illness.

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