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Top 3 critical illnesses health trends

1 in 5 Singaporeans are likely to be diagnosed with a critical illness in their lifetime.

01 Feb 2023
Top 3 critical illnesses health trends

Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and advancements are being made in various different fields. The advent of technology has undeniably made our lives easier with greater convenience. This convenience in technology has inevitably nurtured a more sedentary lifestyle.

Statistics show that a more sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as colon cancer, high blood pressure and various other ailments1. World Health Organisation (WHO) says, up to 85% of people in the worldlead inactive lifestyles, making it one of the most serious yet insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time. That combined with poor eating habits, stress, anxiety, and irregular sleep patterns, creates a perfect recipe to make us lead unhealthy-lifestyles. Inevitably this leads to more health issues.

How prevalent is critical illness in Singapore

There are several types of Critical Illness “CI” and heart attack, cancer and stroke are considered the top 3 CIs as they are the most prevalent in the general population. In fact, these three conditions are amongst the top 10 reasons for hospitalisation2 according to data revealed by the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH)3. MOH also stated that heart attack, stroke and cancer are some of the leading causes of death4 in Singapore, with cancer being the top cause. Should this come as a shock to Singaporeans? 1 in 4 to 5 Singaporeans is likely to be diagnosed with a Critical Illness5.

CI can occur at any age, young or old. Statistics show that incidences of cancer have been going up across all ages. In the 15-34 age group, cancer diagnosis have gone up almost 3 times in the recent years5

Advancements in healthcare have ensured that cancer survival rates have also gone up over the years. But there is also the issue of relapse. Colon and Rectum cancer ,which is the most common in males6 in Singapore, has a recurrence rate of 17%7 even after surgical procedures. Similarly, breast cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in females in Singapore, has a recurrence rate of 30%. That means having to undergo treatment again which can easily cost anywhere between S$100,000 to S$200,000 yearly8.

For full recovery, one may require multiple follow ups for hospital visits, tests and every surgery over a couple of months or even years and it’s expensive. The cost for such treatments can snowball quickly and bring you financial distress over time.

One way is to plan ahead of time and consider buying a CI insurance policy to protect your savings and avoid dipping into your savings set aside for early retirement. This small investment in your early years could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How much CI coverage do I need?

A 2017 survey by the Life Insurance Association (LIA) found that a working adult here has critical illness cover of just S$60,000. This is well under the LIA recommendation of about S$316,000, which translates to about 3.9 times the average annual pay of S$81,6639. Almost 1 in 3 (30%) of Singaporeans incur more than S$250,000 in medical and hospitalisation bills for their entire recovery duration with nearly 2 in 5 (40%) with no income for at least 12 months10. There is also a high chance of relapse and it can put a strain on the family’s finances.

With the lump sum payout from a CI insurance policy, it can go towards paying your medical expenses, other treatments or even to pay for your daily living costs. It is all up to you, basically you have the freedom to decide how this extra payout will come in handy to cushion the unforeseen circumstances.

How do you protect yourself

Having critical illness insurance is imperative in today’s day and age. However, it is also important to note that your age, health and lifestyle habits determine if you are eligible for critical illness coverage. The insurance benefits received can be used to pay for the cost of care, recovery, and replacement of income to support daily needs.

Hence, one could opt for a critical illness cover that may suit them keeping the above-mentioned factors into consideration. Because living with cancer, stroke or heart attack have higher chances of resulting in relapse and these emergencies often incur hefty medical costs and having the right policies with cash payouts can help cover those overruns.

Consider getting a critical Illness insurance protection plan so you will not find yourself vulnerable to protection gaps. Improvement in medical and healthcare systems may have drastically reduced the number of deaths caused due to critical illnesses, however, a person may have to live the rest of their life with a critical illness. Choosing the right critical illness cover may be the best investment you can make for yourself and your family. Learn more about our critical illness plans. Contact our Great Eastern Financial Representatives today!

GREAT Critical Cover

Critical illness coverage that continues over and over again


Terms and conditions apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Information correct as at 6 Jun 2022. 

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