Not long ago, in the course of work, I met a 22 year old girl, currently studying in a private university, and also doing freelance transcribing work to help supplement household income. During our conversation, she asked me if cancer survivors can get insurance.

She wanted to get an insurance policy for her 17 year old sister. 4 years ago, her sister was diagnosed with medulloblastoma. Medical expenses became a heavy load. Fortunately, now her cancer is in remission, and do not require medical treatment for past 3 years.

As we all know, cancer patients or past cancer patients will not be able to get medical or critical illness coverage anymore. However, in the Singapore insurance market, there is an insurance policy exclusively for cancer survivors. This 22 year old girl was hopeful that she can get her sister covered, in the unfortunate case of relapse.

There are 3 main criteria,

  1. The applicant’s previous cancer can be of Carcinoma-in-situ (CIS) or Stages 1 to 3, except for brain cancer.
  2. The applicant has to be in remission for at least 3 years.
  3. The applicant has only 1 previous cancer.

Medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer, rendering her sister ineligible for this.

Global medical insurance can cover pre existing condition, like this, but this is very costly. For reference, a 17 year old, it will cost SGD 12,000 + annually, which is unaffordable for the 22 year old university student.

Under such circumstances, I really felt helpless. All the policies covering life or critical illness require medical underwriting, which are unlikely to admit her sister.

In this age, where medical treatment gets more and more advanced, cancer is no longer a death sentence, but it still brings along a huge financial impact.

The above story is not a fiction. but a real life case, provoking a strong thought. Critical illness insurance can only be bought when healthy. That’s why we are always in a race to insure healthy lives before regrets set in. Nobody wishes for the unthinkable, but the truth is we cannot stop the unthinkable from happening, we can only reduce risk to the lowest. In this case, transferring economic/financial risk to the insurance company.

Readers who have any thoughts can feel free to contact. What I am racing for is less of sales results, more of no regrets…

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