Upping your insurance policy for breast cancer coverage

Statistics show that 1 in 4 Malaysians will develop cancer by the age of 75, and on every 20 seconds, a woman is being diagnosed with breast cancer. What an alarming rate! Cancer patients are also getting younger. With that, we can’t tell when or who cancer hits.

Needless to say, cancer treatments are costly. To top it, there are also other expenses that come along with cancer that could burden the patient and family. The Asean Costs in Oncology Study (ACTION) recruited 9,513 cancer patients. The study found that 46% of the patients had used up their personal savings for their treatments, 39% were unable to pay for medication, 22% were unable to pay rent or mortgage, 22% took personal loan and 19% had to discontinue their treatment.

Often with cancer, treatment costs can disrupt and change a patient’s life choices, sometimes creating a vicious spiral after reaching the medical plan limit. Patients have to dig into their savings or even their children’s education fund or take a loan to continue with treatments. When all options are exhausted, they stop with treatments.

The survival rate for breast cancer patients is near 100% if diagnosed and treated early. However, most standard policies do not include coverage for non-invasive breast cancer, early stage cancer or stage 0. The latter is also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Carcinoma in situ is specifically excluded from coverage as these cancers can be treated and is not viewed as a critical condition. The insurance company will pay out if it is an invasive form of cancer that spreads.

There are few things that you should look out for when considering a policy.

  • The scope of coverage and the circumstances under which policy will pay out

  • Whether the amount of critical illness (CI) pay-out is sufficient

  • If the CI premiums are fixed or if they increase as the policy holder gets older

  • If there are exclusions for any of the CI condition.

Recent policies in the market do offer early stage coverage or multiple critical illness coverage. Don’t assume that the policies you bought five, 10 or 20 years ago still work for you. You may need to update or supplement your coverage. Do not wait till it’s too late!

Written by:

Mr. William Lew is the Unit Sales Manager in Great Eastern with more than 15 years of experience. He graduated from MMU with Bachelor of Multimedia Marketing. He further pursue his education by qualifying as a Fellow of Certified Life Practioner by MFPC. He is also one of the Top 10 graduate in Life Planning Advisor.

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