Early Critical Illness (ECI)
Critical Illness (CI)
Asked 3w ago
Studies have shown that 1 out of 3 is likely to be diagnosed with more than one Critical Illnesses in their life. Research conducted by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore has also shown Singaporean lack 80% Critical Illness protection needs. The Protection gap for an average Singapore is as much as $256,827.
Regular CI plans only provide payouts on illnesses diagnosed at late stages. Early-stage CI insurance covers the gap where you get diagnosed with a critical illness beyond the stage defined by a traditional CI plan.
Given the increased prevalence of CI, it is good to have yourself covered. However, these are some factors you should consider.
1) Family history with CI.
2) Number of dependents.
3) Budget considerations Do get in touch with us if you are interested to find out more.
Many of my clients who had an early CI occurrence usualy will choose to stop working to recuperate. However that may only be possible if there is a payout given to them. The risk here is that people may not be able to continue working for a period of time in the event of an early CI. The medication and treatment for early CI occurrence can also be funded by the payout given.
ECI plans usually also cover a wide variety of special conditions eg. osteoporosis etc so they are usually quite comprehensive.
You might want to consult a financial advisor to look at what you need, your lifestages and budget before you proceed further.
Financial planning is an integral part of life. You can reach me here to find out more.
The ones who are diagnosed with Early Stage CI will tell you that it is necessary. Whether you want to absorb the risk is completely up to you.
I advocate ECI as I have experienced enough regrets of the people who don't. If it fits within their budget of insurance coverage, I will always recommend it.
You can check the guidelines for insurance budgeting here:
Early Critical Illness vs Major Critical Illness
Generally, early critical illness and major critical illness differs in the severity of the medical condition itself. Let's take Heart Attack of Specified Severity for example. Here is part of the definition for:
*Early Stage: Insertion of a permanent cardiac pacemaker that is required as a result of serious cardiac arrhythmia which cannot be treated via other means.
*Major Stage: Death of heart muscle due to obstruction of blood flow, that is evident by at least three criteria proving t he occurrence of a new heart attack.
*Disclaimer: Refer to policy contract for full details.
According to a resource from Singapore General Hospital,
"You will need long term follow up. Initially you will be seen at 4 to 6 week intervals to check the pacemaker is functioning as intended. If there are no
problems, the follow up interval may be lengthened to every 3 months or more."
MediShield Life or Private Integrated Shield Plan may cover the inpatient hospitalisation bill, as well as pre- and post- hospitalisation for a stipulated period of time. In the industry, AIA Singapore gives the highest pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage of up to 13 months for treatment via AIA Preferred Providers.
Even with such extensive coverage, it is barely sufficient to cover the lifetime worth of follow-up cost.
Will work be affected?
Honestly, it is difficult to say as everyone's body is different. For the most part, we all want to stay healthy and assumed that recovery is as simple as it seem in reading or on television.
However, reality often differs. For instance, what if you are suddenly unwell and cannot cope with the condition? Will you need to take time off work?
In case you are wondering, all these are from my years of experience after doing so many claims for my clients throughout my entire career. From the moment I did my first critical illness claim, I hope I never have to deal with it again.
Furthermore, your income will always be lesser than what it should be since part of your earnings is used to pay for your medical bill to keep you safe.
Besides, we haven't discussed on the long term repercussions associated with such medical conditions.
Is it worth it?
Yes, cost for early stage critical illness coverage is more expensive than coverage for major critical illness alone. This is because of a number of factors, e.g.
Number of covered conditions (LIA has a guideline to cover 37 major critical illness conditions, AIA covers 43 major critical illness conditions and a total of 175 when we include early critical illness)
Probability of occurrence / detection
Definition for payout
For this purpose, the key question will always to be able to find one that brings the right value.
By far, all my clients prefer to have critical illness coverage with a broader definition for payout, as compared to one with complicated terms and conditions. This is because all my clients prefer to focus on recovery, rather than to fight the technical jargons.
Hence, you may wish to research along the same path as well.
How much coverage should I have?
Before we look into how much coverage we should get, one of the most important things to do is to have a complete understanding of your existing insurance portfolio. Through this process, it allows us to understand the coverage that we have, any financial gap, as well as to find out whether we are overpaying for our insurance policies.
How much insurance coverage should You have?
As a general rule,
10% to 20% of your annual income on healthcare insurance and life insurance
Basic Life Cover = 10 times your annual income
Critical Illness Coverage = 5 times your annual income
All things considered, you should speak with an experienced consultant who is able to give you the right advice based on real-life encounters. This will definitely help you to make an informed decision. Ultimately, it is your life and you will pay for it either via an insurance company or only from your own pocket.
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