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Critical illness protection is an essential element of comprehensive healthcare financial planning

More than 1 in 2 critical illness survivors think that it is possible for critical illness to recur and majority had to stop working for at least 6 months throughout their recovery period1

Singapore, 6 October 2022  Leading regional insurer Great Eastern aims to bolster Singaporeans’ healthcare financial planning resilience with the launch of two new critical illness (CI) plans that offer protection against critical illnesses with lump sum payout and the option for continued coverage for up to 2 additional critical illness episodes1 even after a CI claim is made. It also kicks off a fundraising drive to support Singapore Cancer Society’s ‘Return to Role’ cancer rehabilitation programme.

Recognising the increasing importance of getting adequate CI protection, Great Eastern conducted two consumer surveys in the last two years to better understand consumers, focusing on 1) CI and its impact on survivors and their caregivers; and 2) the consumers’ concerns around CI and CI coverage.

According to the findings from the first survey, medical or hospital bills, loss of income, financial and emotional impact on the family emerged as the top areas of concerns among the CI survivors.

  • Over half of the respondents who have experienced a CI, believe that CIs could recur;
  • During the entire recovery duration, nearly 2 in 5 (40%) had no income for at least 12 months;
  • Close to 1 in 2 expressed concerns about the costs of managing their illnesses and impact on their family’s finances; and
  • For the half (49%) of those who did not consider buying CI plans, price was cited as a key barrier.

The second survey revealed that for those who do not own a CI plan, almost 1 in 2 worry about the rising medical expenses and threat of critical illnesses2. Prevailing studies show that people are living longer3, hence being afflicted with a critical illness and even suffering a relapse can happen during one’s lifetime, yet not everyone owns a CI plan.

Colin Chan, Managing Director of Group Marketing, Great Eastern said: “Many people may think that a hospitalisation plan - which covers medical or hospital bills - is sufficient in one’s healthcare financial planning. When a critical illness strikes, there are other additional and ongoing living expenses to be managed and compounded by the potential loss of income, this may add stress to the family’s finances and an adjustment in the lifestyle. It is also difficult for one to get another insurance plan after a diagnosis of a critical illness. A CI plan that gives the option of multiple coverage, would be a good complement to provide that added financial support and peace of mind.”  

“When I was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my immediate concern was whether this would impact my family’s lifestyle as my parents are retirees and I was the sole breadwinner. My younger brother was still doing his undergraduate studies then. My hospitalisation plans covered almost all my hospital bills, except the co-payment and deductibles, while the lump sum payout from my CI plans helped to sustain my family’s lifestyle, without (me) having to worry about making adjustments for them, so I could focus on my treatment and recovery. Part of the payout even helped to fund my brother’s basic degree education and his ambition of becoming a pilot, which he achieved eventually” said Joel Lim, cancer survivor and Great Eastern policyholder.

Dr Chou Ning, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Chou Neuroscience Clinic said: “Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in Singapore and 26 people are diagnosed with stroke every day. This number is likely to increase due to an aging population. Like any other critical illness, stroke can happen in early stage, known as transient ischaemic attack, which is a warning sign that a stroke may occur in the future. Statistics has also shown a recurrence rate of up to 18%4. Many stroke survivors find it tough to resume their normal activities. However, rehabilitation can help the stroke survivors improve their strength and re-learn the skills needed to carry out the basic activities of daily living, helping them to regain their independence and get back to pursuing their dreams.”

Protecting you over and over again with GREAT Critical Cover Series

The two plans in the GREAT Critical Cover Series: 1) GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs and 2) GREAT Critical Cover: Complete specifically focus on critical illness protection, providing 100 per cent payout across all stages (early, intermediate and critical) during the policy term.

GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs

  • 100% payout for all three stages
    Receive 100% lump sum payout5  for cancer, heart attack or stroke regardless of early, intermediate or critical stage diagnosed
  • Coverage continues over and over again, even after the first critical illness claim
    Complement your coverage with the Protect Me Again rider. Receive a second or third lump sum payout2 if your critical illness condition recurs or you get another Top 3 critical illness

GREAT Critical Cover: Complete

  • 100% payout for every covered critical illness claim
    Receive 100% lump sum payout6 upon diagnosis of 53 critical illness at early, intermediate or critical stage
  • Coverage continues over and over again, even after the first critical illness claim
    Boost your coverage with the Protect Me Again rider. Enjoy financial certainty against a new or recurring critical illness diagnosis with a 100% payout for another two more critical illness episodes2, up to a total of three critical illness claims

Helping others #ReachforGreat through Singapore Cancer Society

To emphasise its commitment to supporting the less fortunate, Great Eastern has chosen in its latest CI campaign, to champion cancer awareness through the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS). Great Eastern will organise a fundraising drive, led by its staff and financial representatives, to support the SCS’ ‘Return to Role’ rehabilitation programme, to help needy cancer survivors to take charge of their lives in their rehabilitation journey towards resuming their roles in life and get back into the workforce. Great Eastern will match a dollar-for-dollar corporate contribution and donate up to a total of S$50,000 in addition to the funds raised to this cause. Interested members of the public may go to for details of this fund-raising initiative, which runs from 6 October 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Albert Ching, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Cancer Society said, “In Singapore, 1 in 4 people are likely to suffer from cancer in their lifetime6, but many are not aware of the physical and emotional challenges faced by cancer patients and survivors in their daily lives. Rehabilitation plays a huge part in addressing these challenges so that survivors can regain normalcy by resuming their day-to-day activities. SCS’ Return to Role is a rehabilitation programme that helps our brave survivors get back on their feet and return to their roles in the family; as parents, grandparents, spouses, students, caregivers, and many more.”

“We established the first community-based Cancer Rehabilitation Centre in Singapore, offering personalised cancer-specific rehabilitation programmes which range from pre-rehabilitation to sub-acute and community programmes. This includes helping them with rehabilitative exercises, managing cancer-related fatigue, lymphedema, joint pain, diet, speech concerns and counselling. Great Eastern's fundraising efforts will go a long way in helping more survivors to overcome their physical challenges thus improve their quality of life”, said Mr Ching.

Mr Chan said: “Our collaboration with Singapore Cancer Society resonates with our brand promise and commitment to helping Singaporeans bounce back from difficult situations, such as critical illnesses. In doing so, they can continue to pursue their lives’ ambitions with added assurance and Reach for Great.”

From now until 31 December 2022, customers who purchase either GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs or GREAT Critical Cover: Complete will enjoy 30% off first-year premium and 10% perpetual premium discount from the 2nd policy year onwards.  


[1] Coverage restores to 100% after 12 months from the date of diagnosis for the most recently diagnosed critical illness, for a subsequent claim of a different critical illness. Coverage restores to 100% after 24 months from the date of diagnosis of the immediately preceding applicable critical illness for recurrent critical illness. Please refer to the Product Summary for more details on the benefit terms and conditions.

[2] The Great Eastern Critical Illness Protection Survey 2021 was conducted in November 2021 with a total of 304 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.


[4] Source: 5-year survival and rehospitalisation due to stroke recurrence among patients with hemorrhagic or ischemic strokes in Singapore,

[5] Please refer to the Product Summary for more details on the benefit terms and conditions.

[6] Singapore Cancer Registry Report 2019, Cancer trends 1968 - 2019


About Great Eastern

Founded in 1908, Great Eastern is a well-established market leader and trusted brand in Singapore and Malaysia. With over S$100 billion in assets and more than 13 million policyholders, including 10.5 million from government schemes, it provides insurance solutions to customers through three successful distribution channels – a tied agency force, bancassurance, and financial advisory firm Great Eastern Financial Advisers. The Group also operates in Indonesia and Brunei.

The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited and Great Eastern General Insurance Limited have been assigned the financial strength and counterparty credit ratings of "AA-" by Standard and Poor's since 2010, one of the highest among Asian life insurance companies. Great Eastern's asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors Limited, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia.

Great Eastern is a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932. It is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. Recognised for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank is consistently ranked among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance and has been named Best Managed Bank in Singapore by The Asian Banker.

 #GreatEasternSG #ReachforGreat


For more information, please contact:

Annette Pau / Lisa Foo
Group Corporate Communications

Natalie Ahl
BlueCurrent Group

Annex A – Product Fact Sheet