Thinking about the worst that can happen to your health may seem macabre, but getting the right critical illness coverage will ensure you are adequately prepared to handle such unexpected events.
After all, it is not just about you — if you should contract a critical illness, your family members will have to go through an emotionally draining journey with you.
They will also have to shoulder a financial burden brought on by high medical bills and loss of income as you stop working and undergo treatment for your illness.
Why critical illness coverage matters
A critical illness (CI) plan is not the same, or a substitute, for life insurance as the latter is targeted at benefitting your dependents and for personal wealth accumulation purposes.
A CI insurance doubles as a safety net to cover your medical expenses in the event of a critical illness and to help sustain your lifestyle while you recover; if you are a key breadwinner, this will both benefit you and your family.
It will also allow them to make better decisions on the treatments you should undergo in order to recover as quickly as possible and with minimal stress.
It seems like a no-brainer that a working adult should have some CI policies in place. But recent data shows that Singaporeans show a lack of understanding and preparedness for the financial impact that a critical illness can have on their lives.
Unprepared for critical illnesses
AXA Insurance conducted the Better Beyond Survey in February to March this year to understand Singaporeans’ perceptions and attitudes towards critical illness and critical illness protection.
The survey polled 503 Singaporean working adults, between the ages of 20 and 44 years old.
It revealed a rather dire truth — how unprepared Singaporeans are in the event of a critical illness diagnosis.
The major critical illnesses that make up over 90 per cent of all severe critical illness claims received by life insurers include major cancers, as well as heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, stroke and kidney failure.
Despite 87 per cent of those surveyed believing that they were likely to contract a critical illness before turning 65 years old, only 52 per cent said they had critical illness protection coverage.
Millennials: Unaware and uninsured
The data also shed light on a segment of the population — the millennials — who appear very apathetic towards the importance of critical illness coverage.
What is most alarming is that those between the ages of 20 and 34 years old who are uninsured do not seem to think that critical illness protection is a priority.
Out of those surveyed who fell in the above age range, only 44 per cent plan to purchase it, but at a later stage in life.
But that may not always be the case. Respondents between the ages of 35 to 44 years old state that cost is the main barrier to buying critical illness insurance, with 45 per cent of them in that age bracket considering it to be an extra burden on their finances.
Addressing critical needs
Mr Sean Goh, Managing Director, Life, AXA Insurance, says: “Critical illnesses can affect any one, at any age. But when it strikes, the majority of Singaporeans are unprepared for the long term financial impact.”
Based on the data gathered from the survey, AXA identified two key factors that accounted for Singaporeans being uninsured against critical illnesses — affordability and accessibility.
With this in mind, AXA launched two new affordable and hassle-free critical illness plans that are designed to meet the evolving needs and preferences of Singaporeans.
AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him are CI insurance policies that offer extensive coverage against selected gender-specific illnesses from only 66 cents a day.
These plans provide policyholders with benefits at various stages of illness — from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. Policyholders can receive reimbursements for their health check-ups worth up to $400, which they can go for every two policy years.
“Having appropriate critical illness protection empowers us to be better prepared financially and have the support required to bounce back stronger and live better lives beyond any setbacks,” Goh adds.
Empowering people, bettering lives
AXA goes beyond its role in empowering individuals by committing to help build a more sustainable society through its corporate responsibility efforts.
As part of its ongoing commitment to support critical illness awareness and prevention, AXA is donating $10 to the Singapore Cancer Society for every AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him policy sold.
Find out more about AXA Criticare for Her and AXA Criticare for Him policy at www.axa.com.sg/axagamechanger