It is a rare sight for an insurance company to encourage people with existing diseases to buy its products. AIA, however, is bucking this trend with its first-of-a-kind in Singapore AIA Diabetes Care critical illness (CI) coverage.
Available from 23 March 2017, this CI plan is targeted at people already diagnosed with Type 2, pre- and gestational diabetes. The policy offers up to $250,000 in coverage for common diabetes-related complications such as blindness, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and amputation, and further offers an additional rider for early, intermediate and major cancer rider of up to $250,000 as well.
Diabetes Is A Real Problem In Singapore
To provide you some colour on how drastic the problem is in Singapore, there are close to 800,000 people with Type 2 diabetes. Up to 95% of these people have at least one diabetes-related condition, and approximately 70% of them suffered from hypertension and high cholesterol.
Even more pertinently, there is a one in three chance for people to contract the disease in their lifetime. 30% of them will contract it before turning 40 years old. And close to 1/3 of all people with the disease will never know they even have it because they were never screened for it.
By 2050, it is estimated there will be close to one million Singaporeans with Type 2 diabetes, of which 1/3 will not even know they are part of the group, and at high risk of contracting one of the major illnesses associated with the disease.
Why Should I Consider AIA Diabetes Care?
As stated, it is not every day you see an insurance company allowing people already diagnosed with a disease to buy its healthcare products. This is because it can be very expensive, considering that for diabetes, statistics put it at 95% for someone to be suffering from a related condition.
Because of this, it makes it a sellers’ market where insurers often put in place restrictions, exclusions or require a hefty premium loading, or even reject applications.
The ironic part about buying insurance is that when people are young and healthy, they often neglect or overlook insurance, even when approached numerous times by agents who are friends or those whom they meet on the streets. Most people only think about it after getting a jolt in life – typically, this means being diagnosed with a disease. And often, this is too late for people to buy sufficient coverage for themselves or to provide financial protection for their loved ones.
In fact, in AIA’s database of over one million customers, only 2%, or 20,000 people were suffering from diabetes. According to statistics pertaining to Singaporeans above age 20, there should be close to 260,000 people suffering from diabetes for every one million people above age 20.
In this situation, AIA has actually launched a product targeted at only people who have already been diagnosed with the disease. Its sign-up process is hassle-free and transparent, consisting of just five questions before accepting or rejecting the application on the spot. This is done without medical examinations, without exclusions and without any hefty premium loading. Further, its policy will provide long term visibility by covering those insured up to age 80 without any escalation in premiums.
As many insurance firms also include various other conditions to buy riders or insurance policies, AIA will offer an additional rider with its AIA Diabetes Care to all policyholders to add up to $250,000 coverage for early, intermediate and major cancers.
What Does This Actually Cover Me For?
This is a CI, or critical illness, plan. These types of policies provide a cash payout once the policyholder is diagnosed with a condition under its coverage. In this case, it is one of the major diabetes-related conditions covered above. If the policyholder also purchases the rider for additional coverage related to being developing cancer, it will provide a cash payout once he or she is diagnosed with the cancer under its coverage.
These payouts will be facilitated even if hospitalisation is not necessary. The primary reason for CI coverage is to help the policyholder tide through periods where he or she cannot work or has large medical expenses not related to hospitalisation. For hospitalisation, Singapore has a universal health coverage in place with MediShield Life.
Additionally, the AIA Vitality programme, which promotes a healthy lifestyle, could provide up to 15% discount on the premiums for policyholders who keep up. Aimed at encouraging its policyholders to improve their health by eating right, keeping active, partaking in preventive measures and quitting bad habits, it is scientifically proven to reduce healthcare costs.
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