Cancer cases have been steadily rising over the years. According to statistics from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, one in every 4 to 5 people in Singapore may develop cancer in their lifetime.
Besides having to deal with the financial cost of cancer when diagnosed with the illness, other notable expenses include regular check-ups, medications, transportation and engaging a helper at home. This comes together with the burden of not being able to work and provide income for a period of time for dependents or for self.
While citizens can tap on to government subsidies, such as MediSave and MediShield, for their treatment, there are limits to such subsidies, and non-medical costs are excluded from coverage. That is why having a comprehensive private health insurance can help to soften the financial blow, in an unfortunate event of a diagnosis of cancer.
Standalone Cancer Plans
While critical illness plan covers cancer, consumers may face limited budget in deciding between choosing a plan that would cover them comprehensively, or a plan that provides a larger sum assured but covers late-stage illness only. That is why consumers can consider standalone cancer plans as an alternative to boost their coverage.
Unlike critical illness plans however, cancer plans provide benefits only if one is diagnosed with cancer, as defined by the terms of the policy contract. Typically, the provisions and benefits found in such standalone policies are very specific and limited to cancer-related diagnosis.
The most common cancer insurance plans on the market provides a lump sum upon the diagnosis of cancer, depending on the stage.
What Are Some Cancer Plans Available In The Market In Singapore
Examples of cancer policies available on the market include:
- Tiq Cancer Insurance (By Etiqa)
- FWD Cancer Insurance
- MSIG CancerCare Plus (Accelerated)
- Singlife Cancer Plus Plan
- Prudential PRUCancer 360
- DBS CancerCare (By Manulife)
- Great Eastern GREAT Cancer Guard
The basic feature of many of these cancer insurance policies is that they provide a 100% payout of the sum assured, regardless of the stage. Typical sum assured amounts range from $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000.
On the other hand, payout for Singlife Cancer Insurance Plan and MSIG CancerCare Plus (Accelerated) is staggered based on the diagnosis of the insured.
Taking a sum assured of $100,000 as an example, Singlife Cancer Plus Plan will pay $25,000 on the first payout if the insured is diagnosed with early stage cancer, and will pay the remaining $75,000 upon diagnosis of a late stage cancer. On top of this, the insured will receive an additional $5,000 as a death benefit, regardless of the sum assured.
While MSIG CancerCare Plus (Accelerated) works the same way, the insured will instead receive $50,000, which is 50% of sum assured, upon diagnosis of early stage cancer, and will pay the remaining 50% upon diagnosis of major cancer.
Furthermore, some cancer insurance policies have their own unique benefits. For example, FWD Cancer Insurance provides the insured a medical second opinion on their diagnosis, enabling the insurer to make critical health decisions.
For Tiq Cancer Insurance, the insured will get to enjoy no claim discount of the total premiums paid for the previous year policy, as well as a lump sum $5,000 death benefit.
In addition to the difference in payouts and benefits, the entry age varies between each insurer. Among the insurance policy, Tiq Cancer Insurance has the lowest entry age of 17 years, while MSIG Cancer Care Plus insurance requires a minimum age of 20 to be eligible for the product. Singlife and FWD requires the applicant to meet a minimum age of 18.
Cancer Insurance Can Be A Useful Complement To Critical Illness Plans
It is important to know that cancer insurance plans should not be regarded as a cheaper alternative to a critical illness plan. A critical illness plan will cover you for all of the 37 critical illnesses as defined by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore, including major cancers, and there are even early stage or multi-pay critical illness plans available as well.
But given that critical illness plans can be costly, standalone cancer insurance can come in to complement critical illness insurance, by having some critical illness coverage (provided by the critical illness plan), and enhanced coverage for cancer (provided by a standalone cancer plan).
For instance, a 30-year-old male non-smoker with a critical illness plan of a coverage of $100,000, can choose to boost his cancer coverage with a cancer insurance plan for an additional coverage of $100,000, at a considerably more affordable premium compared to buying another $100,000 in critical illness coverage.
Cancer plans can also be useful for those who might not have any critical illness coverage yet, but cannot afford to commit to a full-fledged, comprehensive critical illness policy. With a myriad of options and benefits to choose from, it is important to carefully select a plan that will complement your needs before signing up for one.