What is “Critical Illness” (CI) Insurance?
A critical illness is a serious medical condition which can be potentially life threatening and/or result in long term impairment. Typically, it will involve hospitalisation at the onset as well as ongoing treatment thereafter.
At the beginning, hospitalisation & surgery (H&S) insurance can cover immediate medical expenses. Beyond the initial hospitalisation treatment phase, there is likely to be the second phase of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. This is when critical illness insurance is important as the coverage provides a lump sum payout to fund for further treatments that may be required, replacement of income as well as the sustenance of a person’s daily expense.
When it comes to the type of illness covered, the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) provides a framework for the insurers to provide coverage and all severe-stage critical insurance coverage starts with a list of 37 critical illness conditions.
One way to understand the critical illnesses listed in the LIA framework is by categorising the illnesses based on the part of the body they primarily affect:
Cancer-related: This includes various forms of Cancer, including leukaemia and lymphoma.
Cardiovascular system (Heart): This includes heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve surgery.
Neurological system (Brain): This includes stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.
Other Major Organs: This includes Kidney Failure, End Stage Lung Disease and End Stage Liver Failure
Senses: Blindness, Deafness, Loss of Speech
Others: This includes major burns, HIV due to blood transfusion, and other critical illnesses that are not covered by the other categories.