Cancer is something that we are all aware of, and an affliction that no one wants to get.
No one knows when or who cancer could strike. And the risk of getting it is fairly common. In fact, 1 in 4 people are likely to develop some form of cancer within their lifetime, according to the Singapore Cancer Society1, and cancer remains one of the top leading causes of death in Singapore.
We know the illness takes a toll on your body physically and emotionally, and it’s also likely going to place a lot of financial stress on the patient and family.
That’s why it’s essential to have adequate coverage to manage the costs of treatment and ensure access to the best possible care, while you focus on recovery.
We’re talking about having sufficient cancer insurance that provides peace of mind and security for those diagnosed with cancer, as well as their loved ones or caregivers. It can also help relieve some of the financial burden and can give better peace of mind when facing huge medical bills for treatment.
Aligned with the recent news about changes to Integrated Shield Plan coverage, here are some reasons to supplement your cancer coverage in 2023.
Cancer could strike anyone at any age
While there’s generally a lower risk of younger people getting cancer, that may not always be the case. It’s not just the elderly or those with super unhealthy lifestyles who can get cancer. Cancer can strike where it’s least unexpected.
Certain cancers such as breast cancer and lung cancer have been found in younger women and people who’ve never smoked, respectively.
According to the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), around 16% to 20% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women aged 40 and below, while a 2018 study by NCCS found the number of never-smokers with non-small cell lung cancer increased to 48% from 32% over 10 years.
Beyond just looking at the numbers, remember also that medical treatment has improved over the years. Highly advanced cancer treatments today means there’s a higher chance of early discovery, and patients have more options for cancer treatment these days, leading to higher chances of recovery. The key is to manage costs for peace of mind.
What’s needed then is the right insurance coverage that can pay for the vital treatments.
Changes to Integrated Shield Plans
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that all Medisave-approved IPs will be limiting cancer treatments to only those on the Cancer Drug List (CDL), up to a specified limit. This was effective from 1 April 2023.
With this move, MOH brings down the cost of cancer drugs by almost one-third. According to a The Straits Times article published on 31 March 2023, this means that drugs that are considered too expensive do not get on the list. Furthermore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung addressed this in Parliament on 21 April 2023, adding that money saved from the purchase of cancer drugs can go towards more subsidies.
As with all policy changes, even if you already have insurance for cancer, it’s prudent to relook your coverage to see if this leaves any gaps or if everything is still in good order.
A quick summary of the changes to IPs
IPs will only pay up to a maximum of five times the amount of coverage for cancer treatment that MediShield Life does. There’s a possibility of out-of-pocket expenses if your treatment costs go above the set limit and if the cancer drugs you are on are not on the CDL.
Henceforth, a new purchase or renewal of any IP from private insurers will only cover cancer treatments on the CDL.
Example coverage under MediShield Life & Medisave-approved IPs
Under MediShield Life, depending on the type of cancer drugs used, the amount that can be covered by insurance is from $200 to $9,600 a month. Under IPs, coverage at a maximum of five times comes up to $1,000 to $48,000 a month.
This can only pay for the most expensive drug used if the treatment involves more than one drug on the CDL. If a patient is using a combination therapy, the drugs used will be covered up to $9,600 a month.
For cancer services, MediShield Life coverage has increased to $3,600 from $1,200. Those with IPs will be covered up to $18,000 a year.
Supplement cancer coverage with Singlife Cancer Cover Plus
Those looking to supplement their IP and riders can consider the newly-introduced Singlife Cancer Cover Plus.
This as-charged coverage plan offers coverage in complementary to existing Singlife IP and IP rider plans. It covers more deductibles and co-insurance, offering the option to seek treatment abroad if required.
Individuals who feel that the lump sum payout (usually S$50k to S$200k) from their IP and IP rider plans may not be sufficient for their needs can consider supplementing their coverage with Singlife Cancer Cover Plus.
Claims coverage are at as-charged basis, with high annual coverage limit of up to S$1.5 million
Covers outpatient cancer drug treatments for drugs that are on the CDL, as well as selected drugs that are not on the CDL, Proton Beam Therapy and Cell, Tissue and Gene Therapy.
Covers outpatient cancer drug services including consultations, scans, lab investigations, chemotherapy preparation and administration fee, supportive care drugs and blood transfusions.
Policyholders can seek cancer treatment locally and overseas.
The non-CDL drugs include those in Classes A to E under the Life Insurance Association framework, and will be covered up to the limits stated in the policy and subject to co-insurance.
Singlife Cancer Cover Plus offers an excellent option for individuals looking to protect themselves from the financial burden of cancer. The plan helps to give greater peace of mind with reduced out-of-pocket expenses for cancer treatments.
With its easy sign-up process (just answer three simple health questions) and fast application approval, Singlife Cancer Cover Plus provides a hassle-free way for anyone to obtain coverage without needing to undergo a medical check up.
It’s precious to have peace of mind knowing that you will be sufficiently protected against cancer should you ever need it with Singlife Cancer Cover Plus.
Terms and conditions apply. This policy is underwritten by Singapore Life Ltd.
This is for general information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person. You should read the Product Summary and seek advice from a financial adviser representative before making a commitment to purchase the product.
Buying health insurance products that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs.
Information accurate as at 3 May 2023. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
1. Source: Singapore Cancer Society, Common Types of Cancer in Singapore (singaporecancersociety.org.sg)
This post was written in collaboration with Singlife. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.
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Original article: Integrated Shield Plans Changes: Supplementing Your Cancer Coverage in 2023.
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