Great Eastern in May 2019, launched GREAT Family Care, a critical illness term plan that protects three generations in a family within a single policy.
By: Hitesh Khan/
GREAT Family Care – a market-first in Singapore – is timely as the nation prepares itself to cater for the needs of a fast-ageing population, and the corresponding financial burden on the Sandwich Generation.
One in every four working adults today is part of the Sandwich Generation, who bear the responsibility of caring for their ageing parents and young children. This group faces financial and emotional strain as their limited time and resources are spread over the needs of their family, which impacts their savings and financial planning.
Many Singaporeans are not sufficiently insured against critical illnesses, particularly the elderly. One in every four to five Singaporeans is at risk of developing cancer in their lifetime, and 60% of new cancer cases diagnosed are those aged 60 and above.
Furthermore, one in 10 aged 60 and above will suffer from dementia, while three in 1,000 aged 50 and above will suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. Despite the sobering statistics, the 2017 LIA Protection Gap Study findings revealed that Singaporeans and permanent residents are covered on average for only 20% of their critical illness protection needs.
“We’ve been protecting Singaporeans for 111 years and we could see a new crisis looming as our population ages. There has never been a greater need for affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage in Singapore,” said Colin Chan, Managing Director of Group Marketing, Great Eastern.
“We developed GREAT Family Care to provide protection and assurance to three-generation families who are subject to the potentially catastrophic financial impact of critical illness.”
“In developing this, a key focus for us was to help the Sandwich Generation by providing coverage for their parents who are part of the Merdeka and Pioneer generations. Today, many of them find it hard to get critical illness coverage due to pre-existing conditions, such high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
GREAT Family Care plan allows their children, as the primary insured, to cover them under the same policy with no medical underwriting. Insurance protection for this vulnerable segment will provide a much-needed financial cushion to the Sandwich Generation should the worst happen.
Innovative features of GREAT Family Care include complimentary coverage for all current and future children of the life assured up till the age of 18, with each child enjoying comprehensive coverage of up to $100,000 against 53 critical illnesses and 25 juvenile conditions such as severe asthma and epilepsy without any medical underwriting required.
The Parent Protect rider is another first in Singapore as it provides coverage against major cancers, Alzheimer’s disease or severe dementia and Parkinson’s disease for the parents of the life assured without any medical underwriting.
These illnesses have been selected as they are among the most common to affect the elderly and will pose a long-term impact on families and caregivers. A lump sum payout will help to ease the financial strain on these families and enable them to provide the necessary care for their parents. Each parent can be covered up to $100,000 till the age of 100 with no questions asked.
In addition, existing Great Eastern policyholders, including those who only hold Dependents Protection Scheme or ElderShield plans, will be able to purchase GREAT Family Care without any medical underwriting.
Many of us take good health for granted and assume nothing will happen, like an accident, a major illness or disability. But when catastrophe strikes, health insurance can help take away some of the worry of the cost of hospitalisation.
But before we consider health insurance, we should read up on MediShield. MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan that protects all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents against large hospital bills for life, regardless of age or health condition.
MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan, administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It is structured so that patients pay less MediSave/cash for large hospital bills.
MediShield Life is sized for subsidised treatment in public hospitals and pegged at B2/C-type wards. If you choose to stay in an A/B1-type ward or in a private hospital, you are still covered by MediShield Life. However, you will find that your MediShield Life payout will cover only a small proportion of your bill. You would need to draw from MediSave and/or cash to pay the balance.
Any health insurance you purchase will only supplement what MediShield Life provides.
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