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Longevity is prized in Asian societies. But a long life spent in poor health is not ideal. Sadly, according to a 2019 news report, a Ministry of Health study found that Singaporeans are living longer, but also spending a greater number of years in ill health.
For a long time, we have prioritised education, work and wealth-building, sometimes to the detriment of our health.
Long and exhausting days at work have led to high stress levels in the Singapore workforce, and 44% of Singaporeans lack sleep on weekdays according to a SingHealth Polyclinics survey. No wonder Singapore has one of the highest diabetes rates in the world, and more people are getting diagnosed with cancer, with cancer generally being detected at a later stage in Singapore than in other developed countries.
Good news is we can have a greater chance of good health in our later years if we nip issues in the bud and seek treatment as early as possible. Going for our regular health screening is essential for detecting conditions like diabetes, while early diagnosis improves cancer survival rates.
A good critical illness plan should have an extensive coverage and can meet healthcare trends, such as the current battle against diabetes in Singapore, our ageing population, and to cushion the impact of dealing with chronic conditions.
Here are three key things we want our ideal critical illness plan to have.
1. Wide scope of coverage
Critical illness plans do not cover all serious illnesses under the sun and may have certain limitations — for instance, you might only be able to make claims if your illness has reached a certain stage. So, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your plan to understand which conditions are covered and how they are paid out.
Not only do we expect the plan to cover a lot more conditions, we want it to provide coverage as soon we are detected to have a higher chance of recovery. And in the case of diabetes, early intervention is critical; however, most plans on the market do not offer adequate support for those with type 2 diabetes, and only cover more severe complications associated with this condition, such as limb amputation — rather than help us manage it at the early stage.
This is unfortunate, as the lack of coverage could hinder Type 2 diabetes sufferers from making proper lifestyle and diet changes. And it’s a double whammy. According to the AIA Power Critical Cover 2019 study, the cost of living with diabetes also looks set to increase to at least $6,000 in additional expenses per year. Diabetes is also an expensive disease to manage, with the average cost of managing diabetes being about double the average cost of managing other chronic illnesses.
2. Continued protection even after a payout
The last thing you want after surviving a critical illness like cancer or a heart attack is to receive news that your existing critical illness insurance plan has expired and your insurer will no longer be protecting you.
According to a TodayOnline report, cancer experts say 1 in 10 people will get separate cancers in their lifetime. This is due to better treatment and diagnosis, and the cancer survivors living longer. Also statistics from the National Registry of Diseases Office show that about half of all heart attack patients also had diabetes; and 2 out of 5 stroke patients had diabetes.
So, look for a critical illness plan that offers continued protection, even after you have received a payout. This doesn’t just apply to relapses. Getting coverage for subsequent or different critical illnesses is also important.
3. Protection AND cash value
Singaporeans are practical people, so look for a plan that gives you the most bang for your buck and offers you surrender, maturity and/or death benefits in addition to critical illness protection. The common Singaporean gripe: “If I keep paying for insurance but I don’t make a claim, then my premiums go to waste?”
Not that we are hoping to claim but in a perfect world, we’d like a plan that offers both solid protection and a nice payout at the end so we don’t feel like we are losing out.
The newly-launched AIA Power Critical Cover protects extensively for critical illnesses, from pre-early stages to relapses
AIA Power Critical Cover ticks all the boxes on our ideal critical illness plan checklist. This new plan offers many benefits that you may not be able to find in typical critical illness plans in Singapore.
The plan offers wide coverage for 175 conditions including 10 pre-early conditions to help you better manage and make lifestyle changes to nip them in the bud before they further develop, 150 multi-stage critical illnesses and 15 special conditions.
It also prides itself as the first critical illness plan of its kind to offer coverage upon diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
You will be able to make multiple claims for subsequent, different critical illnesses as well as relapses, up to 700% of your coverage amount; it has the highest number covered relapsed conditions in the market.
What’s more, it seems to be the only standalone critical illness plan right now to provide guaranteed cash value of at least 75% to 100% of your coverage amount with the AIA Power Critical Cover Life Plan option if you make no critical illness claims. This means that you don’t have to worry about your premiums going to waste.
Besides taking care of your financial responsibilities, you also get perks such as video consultation with Singapore-registered doctors so that you don’t have to leave home and wait to see a doctor. You can seek medical consultation at a flat fee of $12 for a common illness or to manage your chronic condition; you can also choose to have your medicine delivered to you for convenience.
These unexpected frills like telemedicine and support during recovery that come with the AIA Power Critical Cover can go a long way towards making your treatment and recuperation as stress-free as possible.
And if that is not enticing enough, you can get up to 30% off your first year’s premium when you sign up for AIA Power Critical Cover from now until 15 December 2019. Click here to find out more.
Information above is correct as at October 2019.
What do you look for in a critical illness plan? Let us know in the comments below!