A study conducted by the Life Insurance Association (LIA) Singapore in 2017 found that nearly 80% of Singaporeans did not have sufficient insurance coverage to protect themselves and their families in the event of a critical illness.
This large critical illness gap means that many Singaporeans and their families may be at risk of experiencing financial hardship, should they be unable to work due to a critical illness.
Some reasons for the gap could be that many people procrastinate purchasing a critical illness policy or underestimate how much they may need in such a situation. It's also easy to think that your critical illness protection gap is covered as long as you have critical illness insurance. However, this may not always be true.
Supporting you during recurring critical illnesses
For a start, with the advancement of medical technology over the past decade, being diagnosed with a critical illness is no longer a death sentence or even the end of a fulfilling life. Around the world, and in Singapore, many people have successfully recovered from critical illness, or are able to continue living their lives well by making adjustments to their lifestyle or with other forms of assistance.
While being able to recover, or continuing to live well, after being diagnosed with a critical illness is increasingly common, the person would still be at risk of being diagnosed with another critical illness in the future, or suffering a recurrence of the same critical illness.
Such individuals may find themselves with insufficient coverage for subsequent critical illnesses, since most, if not all, of their critical illness payouts would have already utilised after their first illness and they may face exclusions, additional loading or even be unable to purchase more critical illness policies.
To addresses this, AIA recently launched the AIA Beyond Critical Care policy. Those with this plan will receive up to 100% of the coverage amount upon first diagnosis. Subsequently, their coverage will be automatically reset to 100% coverage amount after 12 months. This allows policyholders to make another claim in the future, should they find themselves diagnosed with a critical illness again.
In other words, even after making a critical illness claim for the full coverage amount, AIA Beyond Critical Care policyholders continue to enjoy critical illness coverage.
Mental wellness benefits: Protecting you beyond just traditional critical illnesses
As our understanding of mental health disorders expand, more people are starting to recognise the importance of mental well-being as an integral aspect of a meaningful and healthy life.
Often, the misconception some have is that mental health disorders such as depression is a choice made by the individual. This is untrue. Instead, mental health disorders are - similar to traditional critical illnesses - a health-related illness which can be clinically diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding, there continues to be a stigma associated with mental health disorders.
Mental health illnesses can be triggered by stressful events, major transitions in life or tragic incidents. Examples of these include being, or having a loved one, diagnosed with an illness, the loss of a loved one, retrenchment or long-term unemployment.
To provide Singaporeans with a more holistic protection, AIA Beyond Critical Care is a first-of-its-kind policy in Singapore to protect policyholders against the risk of mental health illnesses. Mental disorders which are covered by this plan include:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Tourette Syndrome (up to age 21)
It's easy to think that mental illnesses are uncommon because we don't hear or talk about it much. However, the truth is that mental illnesses are fairly common in most places around the world including Singapore.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Singapore had the highest rate of depression in Asia in 2015. Further adding to the magnitude of mental health conditions, 1 in 7 people in Singapore has experienced a mental condition in their lifetime.
Sadly, a Singapore Mental Health Study conducted in 2016 by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also found that about 3 in 4 individuals with a mental health disorder in their lifetime did not seek any professional help.
AIA Beyond Critical Care, a commitment to provide holistic healthcare coverage
Health is an important area of our lives that needs to be looked at holistically.
We stay physically healthy by exercising regularly and keeping an active lifestyle, by eating right and going for regular health check-ups. Complementing this, we also need to upkeep our mental health.
AIA Beyond Critical Care provides the protection you need to help navigate unexpected curveballs that life may throw at you. It covers you financially when these illnesses occur, ensuring that you have the funds and support during a time when you are likely to need it most.
Beyond the payouts you may receive on your policy, AIA is committed to providing access to quality healthcare and customer experience through a comprehensive health and wellness proposition. With AIA's partnership with Teladoc Health – a personal case management service which enables policyholders to better understand and manage their medical condition by giving them access to leading global medical experts, and supporting them from diagnosis, through to treatment, and all the way to recovery.
Finally, we all understand that prevention is better than cure. As part of this ethos, the AIA Vitality programme provides policyholders with the tools and support to understand your health, how to improve it and offers incentives to encourage you along the way.