Today, the top 5 cancers affecting Malaysians are:
– Breast Cancer
– Colorectal Cancer
– Lung Cancer
– Cervical Cancer
– Nasopharyngeal Cancer
Two of the five above are related to women. As such, women are more susceptible than men to be diagnosed with cancer. In addition, women require specific medical needs as women are prone to suffer from several illnesses which are gender-specific.
As I write, life insurers have rolled out a series of female-specific insurance products in the market. Should you get covered? Before you do, I’ll share, in general, what is covered and several useful tips to help you consider whether having a female-specific insurance plan is suitable for you. Therefore, here are the 5 things you need to know about female-specific insurance products before getting one.
#1: Treatment Costs
Let’s start with the 5 cancers mentioned above. Presently, the costs of treatment for each cancer in a private hospital in Malaysia are as followed:
|Cancer||Total Treatment Costs|
This excludes other costs which are ancillary to cancer patients. They include substantial loss of income due to one’s inability to work full-time, costs of hiring of a domestic helper or a trained professional nurse as a caretaker and costs of having other therapies and treatments which are supplementary to treating cancer. Hence, the actual costs incurred may be substantially higher.
Regrettably, medical cost is constantly on the rise. The cost of healthcare is expected to increase at a rate of 15% a year, according to the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM). Thus, the question is not whether you have medical insurance or not. The real issue, however, is on what and how much you are covered presently.
#2: What is Covered?
In general, a typical female-specific insurance plan would cover:
– Carcinoma in situ
– Female-related Cancers (Breast, Ovary, Uterus, Vagina … etc)
– Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
– Maternity (Pregnancy Complications, Neonatal Death, and Maternal Death … etc)
– Infant Coverage (Down’s Syndrome, Spina Bifida, & Open Heart Surgery)
– Skin Grafting (Caused by Accident or Skin Cancer)
– Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (Caused by Accident)
#3: Critical Illness Benefits or Female-Specific Insurance
For a start, you may start by asking the following:
– Are you currently single or married?
– Do you plan to get married in 12 – 24 months from today?
– Do you plan to have a child in 12 – 24 months from today?
If you are planning to get married or planning to have a child, then, you may consider having a female-specific insurance plan. However, if you do not have plans to get married or to have a child anytime soon, then, you may consider boosting your existing critical illnesses coverage.
#4: Budget & Priority
Next, you may assess the following:
– Your Budget
– The Coverage of Your Existing Insurance Plans
Personally, I believe the priority is:
– No.1: Medical Card
– No.2: Critical Illnesses Benefits
– No.3: Female-Specific Insurance Plans
For instance, if your medical coverage is below RM 1 Million in annual limit, then, your utmost priority is to close the gap from the amount of your existing coverage to, at least, RM 1 Million. Fortunately, we have such medical plans which are quite affordable especially to young working adults in Malaysia.
If you currently have a pretty decent medical coverage, then, you should review the amount of critical illnesses coverage based on your financial situation. At minimum, the coverage should be 5 times the amount of your annual income. This means, if your annual income is RM 100,000, then, your critical illnesses coverage should be RM 500,000.
Ideally, most insurance agents would recommend 10 times instead of 5 times. This works out to be RM 1 Million in critical illnesses coverage. Again, this is subjective. I believe, the 10 times is more practical if you are the breadwinner of your family over one who is still single at the moment. Of course, if you have an all-rounded life insurance coverage, then, having a female-specific insurance plan is definitely an icing on the cake.
#5: Early Payout Riders for Critical Illnesses
There are female-specific insurance plans which offer to pay claims to its policyholders at the early stages of female-related cancers. It is an advantage over many typical critical illnesses benefits which pay claims at later stages of the cancer.
However, the costs for female-specific insurance plans are relatively more expensive than a cover on critical illnesses. This is to offset the risk of higher tendency of claims which are additional expenses to life insurers. Instead, you may ask for an early payout rider to be added in your insurance policy if you are looking to boost your critical illnesses coverage. This is a cheaper alternative than having a costlier female-specific insurance plan.
This article is written by Ian Tai with materials contributed by Florence Wong. Florence is a Unit Sales Manager with Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd and has been active in the life insurance industry for 12 years. Presently, she provides a boutique of wealth protection plans to many from all walks of life through life insurance, will writing and trust services.
For a FREE comprehensive review on your existing policies, Florence is reachable via:
Whatsapp – 016 – 332 4858
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org