Critical illness plans vs cancer insurance –

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Critical illness plans and cancer care plans Both are ideal to cover yourself against the financial impact of a serious illness or medical condition.

There is some overlap between the two. Cancer is one of the major diseases recognized in Singapore. If you are diagnosed with cancer, what plan should you use?

Adding to the confusion, both types of plans have similar features — flat payments, options for early stage or multiple claims, as well as the ability to mark a life plan as a passenger and, in some cases, even as a passenger for the other.

While they do share some commonalities, critical illness plans and cancer care plans are different insurance policies that can work well on their own, and they can also work in tandem with each other.

Let’s dive in.

Side by side: critical illness versus cancer care

Critical illness insurance Cancer care insurance
Covers at least 37 common serious illnesses and medical conditions, including cancer Only covers against cancer
It is a lump sum payment, which can be used to cover any expenses, including treatment costs, to settle outstanding debts, or as a gift to surviving family members Pay a lump sum, with no restrictions on how the funds can be used. Payment can also be made in stages, with early payment clause
May be bundled with additional features May be bundled with additional benefits geared toward cancer patients
It can be purchased as a stand-alone plan or as a rider linked to a life plan It can be purchased as a stand-alone plan or as a rider linked to a life plan

Critical illness plans – who are they for?

Critical Care Physician

Critical illness plans offer a wide range of coverage against severe illnesses that can be fatal or life-altering, such as heart disease, major cancer, stroke and kidney failure. At a minimum, critical illness plans in Singapore cover a Standard list of 37 severe diseasesalthough some insurance companies may choose to cover additional illnesses and medical conditions.

The scope of benefits primarily consists of a principal benefit that is paid in guaranteed amounts upon confirmed diagnosis of a specific critical illness.

There may also be other complementary benefits involved, such as prosthetics or movement aids, or the benefits of seeking alternative treatments or therapies.

Once benefits are pushed to the policy limits, the critical illness plan is terminated.

Because critical illness plans provide coverage against common severe illnesses – whose risks increase with age – they are well suited to the needs of the general population.

Cancer care plans – who are they for?

intravenous instillation

Cancer insurance plans provide protection from the financial repercussions that can result from a cancer diagnosis.

Such plans offer a lump sum reimbursement once the cancer has been confirmed by a medical professional. Traditionally, compensation is paid only when the cancer is in a terminal stage. Then the policy ends immediately after that.

However, cancer care plans have been offered with other payment structures, allowing you to receive partial reimbursement in the early stages of cancer. There may also be other benefits listed; These vary between different providers, so it is advisable to do some comparison and shopping before signing up for a cancer treatment plan.

Cancer care plans specifically target cancer only, and may cover forms of cancer not included in a critical illness plan. As such, cancer care plans are best suited for individuals who have a higher risk of developing cancer (such as a family history of the disease).

Additionally, a cancer care plan can be a useful supplement to your critical illness plan. You can file a claim under your cancer plan to deal with a cancer diagnosis, and save your critical illness claims for any other serious illness.

What to look for when looking at these plans

Early payment for cancer care

hospital beds

Cancer care plans usually include early payment clauses; This is the time when you can pay your compensation, either in part or in full, based on a confirmed diagnosis of cancer at any stage.

This is beneficial because it provides families with additional funds to cope with loss of income and other urgent financial needs.

Without this early payment requirement, your insurance company will only release the payment when the cancer is considered final, or upon death.

A multi-claimed critical illness

Multiple insurance claims

A relatively new subset of critical illness plans are Multiple Claims Plans. This variety of critical illness insurance plans allows you to file multiple claims on the same plan for multiple critical illnesses. You can also submit claims for early, middle and late stage illnesses.

The value of such plans lies in the ability to provide insurance protection beyond the first claim for serious illness or disease; This is especially useful for diseases such as some types of cancer that have a moderate to high risk of recurrence.

stay period

hospital patient

Some critical illness and cancer care policies provide for a survival period (sometimes known as a waiting period). This is the period of time that you must survive a diagnosis or have a covered disease or medical condition, before you can receive your payments.

The duration of the survival period may vary between plans and insurance companies, but it rarely exceeds 30 days. The shorter the survival time, the lower the chances of your claims being rejected, especially if the diagnosis is made only at an advanced stage of the disease.


grain and money

Last but not least, insurance should be affordable – which means you have to scale the protection according to your budget.

If getting critical illness and cancer insurance is too expensive, consider taking critical illness first, as these types of plans offer a wider range of coverage. You can add cancer care insurance when your money allows and/or when your risk of developing cancer increases due to age.

Instead, choose a lower amount guaranteed to start with to help lower your premiums. You can gradually increase the guaranteed amounts over time.


Your choice of CI or cancer care plan ultimately depends on your needs and financial ability, whether you prefer broad-based coverage or specialized coverage. Whichever you like, be sure to calculate your budget, compare shop, and read the finer details.

Read also:

Article VC Compares: Critical Illness Plans vs. Cancer Insurance Originally appeared on ValueChampion.

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