The proportion of Singaporeans who will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives is rising. From 2010 to 2015, the number of cancer cases jumped by about 17%. About one in three Singaporeans will eventually die of cancer.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Survival rates are also up. According to a 2015 news report, the proportion of male cancer survivors who survived a diagnosis by at least five years rose to about 48.5% in the 2008 to 2012 period, compared with 13.2% from 1973 to 1977. in the same time period, the proportion of female cancer survivors increased to 57.1%, up from 28% in 1973 to 1977.
Treating cancer in Singapore
For more and more Singaporeans, being able to afford high-quality cancer treatment after a diagnosis is going to be crucial.
Cancer treatment has been estimated at $8,000 to $17,000 per month, or $100,000 to $200,000 a year. For the majority of Singaporeans, this is a huge sum that can quickly empty savings accounts. To make matters worse, cancer patients might be forced to drop out of the workforce, which worsens cashflow issues.
The government’s health insurance plan, MediShield Life, is unfortunately too basic to offer comprehensive coverage in many scenarios. MediSave withdrawal limits are typically subject to strict caps, and hospitalisation costs are designed to cover stays at only Class B2 and C wards at public hospitals.
That means that anyone using hospital wards above Class B2 or any wards at private hospitals could find themselves stuck with hefty out-of-pocket costs. The cost of Class B1 wards at public hospitals is typically more than double that of Class B2 wards, while private hospital wards can cost 3 to than 10 times the price of Class B2 wards.
To make matters worse, Singapore’s high medical inflation rate means medical costs are likely to continue rising sharply, making medical care more and more difficult to afford.
Critical illness insurance, your protection against Cancer
Other than leading a healthy lifestyle in order to curb the onset of preventable cancers, making sure you are adequately insured is another essential step in the fight against cancer.
Insurance can cover the bulk of your medical bills should you get diagnosed with cancer, enabling you to concentrate on your recovery instead of fret over your financial situation.
Integrated Shield Plans, which work in tandem with MediShield Life to offer more comprehensive coverage of your medical costs, are a must.
In addition to Integrated Shield Plans, those who wish to protect themselves against the costs of cancer treatment should consider critical illness insurance.
Critical illness insurance offers a lump sum payout if you are diagnosed with any of the conditions on a list of critical illnesses, which typically includes late-stage cancer. This payout can be used in any way you wish, such as to boost your income, pay for treatment and look after your household.
Critical illness plans can also come with other perks that help you maintain your health and enhance the level of medical care you receive.
For instance, HL Assurance’s Critical Illness Protect360 not only offers up to $2 million worth of coverage for 37 critical illnesses, but also offers up to $2 million of personal accident coverage, free annual health screenings and a free medical second opinion.
These benefits offer you the best possible shot at fighting cancer, from prevention and getting an accurate diagnosis to receiving financial support as you seek treatment and recover.
Protect yourself with Critical Illness Protect360 from HL Assurance today.