This article was first published on Dollars & Sense.
As most of us would know, diabetes is an increasingly prevalent problem in Singapore. This was highlighted by PM Lee in his National Day Rally speech in 2017, where he shared some sobering statistics; about one in nine Singaporeans has diabetes, while about three in 10 Singaporeans above the age of 60 has this disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases of diabetes have risen globally from 108 million in 1980, to 422 million as of 2014. This is an increase of almost four times over the span of 35 years. Diabetes, when not managed properly, can lead to other health problems such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation.
The good news is that diabetes is not a fatal disease. Adopting a healthy lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active and eating a healthy diet are simple ways we can all adopt in order to manage or prevent this disease.
Insurance Protection For Those With Diabetes
To protect individuals with diabetes, Aviva has launched a critical illness plan called MyCoreCI Plan. This critical illness plan covers those with diabetes with 11 critical illnesses (e.g. major cancers, stroke, heart attack) and 4 diabetic complications. It also covers you for other common insured events such as death, terminal illness and total and permanent disability.
The plan not only covers individuals with diabetes, but also those with other existing health conditions such as those who have pre-diabetes, high body mass index, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This plan is also available to those who do not have these existing health conditions.
Before you consider getting this policy for yourself or your loved ones, here are some of the considerations that you should first know about it.
#1 It covers those who may otherwise be left uninsured
The primary purpose to buy insurance is to ensure that you are protected. A critical illness policy gives you the funds that you need to cover yourself should you be diagnosed with a critical illness, to help cover the additional medical cost you may incur, or to provide you with an income if you are unable to work for a period of time.
The fact is that those who are diagnosed with diabetes are also more likely to suffer from other health complications.
According to Health Hub, two in three new kidney failure cases in Singapore were due to diabetes. Diabetes has also been linked to heart attack and stroke, with one in two people having heart attacks also having diabetes, and two in five people who have stroke also having diabetes.
Here’s the irony of the situation. If you have diabetes, you would want critical illness coverage because your risk of getting other illnesses is higher. But at the same time, insurers are also likely to avoid you, since you would be considered a higher risk person to insure.
Aviva’s MyCoreCI Plan solves this problem.
Individuals who are likely to be denied insurance protection due to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even high body mass index can still get critical illness coverage through MyCoreCI Plan.
#2 Additional coverage for 4 diabetic related complications
There are some diabetic related complications which could arise when a person has diabetes. These include the following.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): DKA is a life-threatening problem that affects people with diabetes. It occurs when the body starts breaking down fat at a rate that is too fast.
- Coma due to Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HSS): HHS is a clinical condition that arises from a complication of diabetes mellitus.
- Diabetic nephropathy: Diabetic nephropathy is a serious kidney-related complication.
- Limb Amputation due to Diabetic Complications: Amputation is a major complication of diabetes.
MyCoreCI Plan provides an additional 20% of the sum assured upon diagnosis of any 1 of the 4 diabetic conditions mentioned above, up to S$25,000 per condition*. Here’s a quick glance at the benefit illustration below.
* Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to Aviva’s MyCoreCI Plan product brochure for more information.
# 3 Complimentary access to health coaches and nutritionists
Having to change their lifestyle to include a healthier diet and sufficient exercise is one of the first things that people with diabetes should do.
To support them in this, Aviva has a limited time offer which allows policyholders to gain access to professionals who can guide them on their health and nutrition needs, track their health conditions, an easy-to-use app which gives them access to health tips and engaging articles and content.
Cons: Every product in the market will have its own pros and cons and it will be inaccurate to suggest that this product doesn’t come with some trade-offs.
Con #1: It covers only 11 critical illnesses
You may have noticed that the Aviva MyCoreCI Plan only covers you for 11 critical illnesses, as compared to most other critical illness plans in Singapore which would typically cover you for about 37 different critical illnesses.
There are a few significant illnesses which are omitted from the plan. This includes end stage liver failure, deafness, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease. While the plan does cover you for other critical illnesses such as major cancers, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, we think it’s fair to say that if you are currently healthy with no pre-existing illness, the coverage you get from this plan is not as extensive as other plans that you can currently get in the market.
But if you already have diabetes, MyCoreCI Plan is good because it provides you with coverage that you otherwise may not receive.
Con #2: Term protection only
If you are fortunate enough to manage your health conditions well and live life to a ripe old age, it’s worth noting that MyCoreCI Plan is a term life critical illness plan that will only cover you up till the age of 85.
With this plan, you do not have the option to buy a whole life coverage, even if that’s what you prefer. The good thing is that you will receive a no claim reward of 20% of the total premiums paid if you do not make a claim.
Protect Yourself When You Are Likely To Need It Most
Aviva’s MyCoreCI Plan covers a notable gap in the market for those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high body mass index, who are looking for insurance coverage.
So the good news is that individuals with existing health conditions can now be covered if they want to. Their premiums for MyCoreCI Plan will vary according to the severity of their health statuses. For those who do not have any existing health conditions and choose to buy this plan in the pink of health, the premiums for MyCoreCI Plan is generally cheaper than most term plans with critical illness riders.