fML Reviews: AXA CritiCare for Her/Him

AXA CritiCare for Her/Him review

Critical illness plans are plans that pay a lump sum of money when you are diagnosed with a critical illness. The lump sum of money will then help you during your recovery and absence of work. As regular critical illness plans are meant for both men and women, the benefits can be quite general and does not take into account sex-specific needs. As such, AXA designed a plan called AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him for women and men respectively. In this article, fundMyLife reviews AXA CritiCare for Her/Him and looks at its features. Note: this article is accurate as of September 2018.

What is it?

AXA CritiCare For Him/Her benefits in a nutshell. The illustration is the similar for both Him or Her plans. Source: AXA.

AXA CritiCare for Her/Him is a sex-specific critical illness plan that contains four core benefits, covering various stages of illness from diagnosis to treatment/surgery to recovery. The CritiCare series cater to the client’s specific needs, as both sexes have their respective diseases that occur with different probabilities. You can choose to cover yourself for 10 years, 20 years, or to age 65.

Notable features

Sex-specific disease and surgery coverage

As mentioned, AXA CritiCare for Her and AXA CritiCare for Him have vastly different core benefits. The former focuses on cancers that often strike women, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. It also covers reconstructive surgeries for tissue affected by cancer treatment.

On the other hand, the latter focuses on lifestyle diseases that men commonly experience such as heart disease. It covers surgeries that correct heart conditions, like heart valve surgery, heart transplant, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, etc.

Bear in mind that not all conditions pay out 100% of the sum assured – some conditions and surgeries pay out only 25% and 50% of sum assured.

Coverage Reset

The coverage resets to 100% after 12 months if there are claims that are less than 100% sum assured in total. For example, a male with $100,000 sum assured gets $50,000 (50%) when he is diagnosed with a testicular carcinoma in situ. 12 months later, his coverage goes back to 100%, which is $100,000. However, he is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and he gets another $100,000.

The reset happens only once, and after that the Male/Female Illness component for the plan terminates. The plan will still be in force if the other components have no paid out yet. The total sum assured payout with the reset feature for the Male/Female Illness component will be capped at a maximum of 150% of sum assured.

Free health check-ups

You get to have free health screening from the 25th month of your policy onwards. It’s important to conduct health screenings often because survival increases when you can illnesses early. The reimbursement varies between $100 to $400

Premium waiver

In the case of a critical illness, you do not need to pay premiums for 36 months. You can claim this waiver twice for additional support.

Free coverage for child

The plan also provides $5,000 free coverage for a child, claimable once.

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AXA CritiCare for Her/Him is a focused plan that complements main critical illness plans. This is because regular critical illnesses do not usually cover the conditions and surgeries that this plan covers. The premiums are relatively cheaper than a full-fledged critical illness plan. However, it is risky to take this on without a proper critical illness plan if your aim is to protect yourself against critical illnesses in the long run. It is also easy to apply for, requiring only four or six questions for application, depending on whether you are a him or her respectively.

The reset feature, when combined with the other categories of benefits means you can get a potential 3.5x your sum assured, plus a little more if you take up the support benefit.

In general, the coverage for sex-specific conditions and surgeries is well thought-out. The plan coverage is only until 65 years old, which is a bummer since there are critical illnesses that occur well beyond that age. There is a $10,000 death benefit, but you’re better off getting a proper life insurance plan.

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We hope you found the review useful to answer whatever questions you might have. Not sure whether the AXA CritiCare for Her/Him is suitable for you? You should ask your financial adviser!

What’s that? Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife got you fam. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: AIA Triple Critical Cover

AIA Triple Critical Cover

When you’re unwell, you take a day off work and return the next day without severely affecting your job. However, when you’re critically unwell, e.g., cancer, you become debilitated and require a long period of rest. This jeopardizes your ability to work. Fortunately, critical illness plans are plans that provide a lump sum of money whenever you are critically ill, to help you cope with the period when you’re not working. The problem with critical illness plans is that they terminate upon paying out and do not account for relapses of critical illnesses. As such, in the recent years insurance companies came up with multi-pay plans, plans that provided multiple payouts throughout the payee’s life. In this article, fundMyLife reviews the AIA Triple Critical Cover and describes its notable features. Note: this article is accurate as of September 2018.

What is it?

The AIA Triple Critical Cover is a multi-pay critical illness plan that covers illnesses in the early, intermediate, and critical stages. It comes in two forms – the Value Plan and the Life Plan. The Value Plan protects you until the age of 75. The Life Plan protects you until the age of 100, when your policy matures.

Notable features

Power reset

AIA Triple Critical Cover in a nutshell. Source: AIA
AIA Triple Critical Cover in a nutshell. Source: AIA

One of the highlighted features of the plan is the ‘reset’ feature, where your critical illness coverage returns to 100% after 12 months. You can get up to 3 times of your coverage amount for different critical illnesses across different stages.

Benefits for special conditions

Besides the usual panel of 37 standard critical illnesses, most other plans have 18 special conditions that provide additional payout. We wrote comprehensively on these conditions before. This plan, however, covers 5:

  1. Osteoporosis
  2. Dengue haemmorrhagic fever
  3. Diabetic complications (Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Nephropathy, Amputation of Limb due to Gangrene)
  4. Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
  5. Mastectomy due to carcinoma in situ or malignant breast condition

The payout amount is additional 20% of the covered amount, up to a maximum of $25,000 per condition.

Surrender option and plan maturity benefit

Interestingly, the AIA Triple Critical Cover Life Plan gives you the option to surrender your policy after your 60th policy year or 75 years old, whichever is earlier. This amount is a guaranteed cash value of 75% of whatever your coverage amount was, less the claims paid out for critical illnesses. Alternatively, your Life Plan policy matures when you are 100 years old, giving you back the full coverage amount minus the claims.

Death benefit

In the case of death, the AIA Triple Critical Cover pays out 100% of the coverage amount (after deducting any critical illness claims) and an additional $5,000 benefit.

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The AIA Triple Critical Cover is a hybrid of a life plan and critical illness, since you have death benefit and payouts from critical illnesses. However, don’t count on the death benefit since you’d be better off getting a proper life insurance plan. There is no premium waiver in the case of critical illnesses, so you’ll have to be careful to ensure that you’re able to maintain premiums in the case of critical illnesses.

There are only 5 conditions that qualify for special benefits. These five conditions are statistically common, e.g., diabetes complications and mastectomy due to cancer. The only bummer is that it is missing the benefit for insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs quite commonly and is part of the 18 conditions found in other plans.

It is highly unlikely that you will not make any critical illness claims. As such, when the policy either matures or you surrender it, you’d probably won’t get much, if any at all, since it’s cash value minus whatever payouts that you might have had.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

We hope you found the review useful to answer whatever questions you might have. Not sure whether multi-pay critical illness plans are suitable for you? You should ask your financial adviser.

What’s that? Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife got you fam. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

18 Special Conditions In Critical Illness Plans: What Are They?

18 special conditions in critical illness plans

[10 min read]

Critical illness plans are plans that provide a lump sum payout whenever you contract one of the 37 critical illnesses defined by the Life Association of Singapore. In addition, some insurance companies provide benefits for additional 18 special conditions in critical illness plans. These conditions range from the usual, e.g., diabetes, to the obscure, e.g., Wilson’s disease. We here at fundMyLife are biologists at heart, and the human body is a ceaseless source of wonders (and nightmares). In this article, fundMyLife lists all 18 special conditions in critical illness plans and details what they are.

Disclaimer

We’ve taken the definitions of the conditions that qualifies the consumer for special benefits from insurance company brochures. These definitions are presented in block quotes. We will also provide interesting facts about these conditions. However, bear in mind that this is NOT a definitive guide, since each insurance companies have slightly different definition of the special conditions in their respective terms and conditions. Make sure you look closely at your own policy’s disease definitions!

#1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is chronic hyperglycemia, caused by defective insulin secretion. IDDM is characterised by the continuous dependence on exogenous insulin for the preservation of life as diagnosed by an endocrinologist and such dependence must persist for not less than six (6) months

Diabetes, a condition that 1 in 9 Singaporeans face. It is a dreadful lifestyle disease that is due to obesity and a lack of exercise. Over time, your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, the chemical required to control glucose release in the liver. Your cells are also resistant to insulin, which prevents them from taking blood glucose into them for energy usage. The excess sugar thus circulates in the body and over time cause damage to your blood vessels all over the body.

#2 Diabetic Complications

Diabetic Complications including Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Nephropathy or Amputation of Part of Limb due to Gangrene:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy with the need to undergo laser treatment certified to be absolutely necessary by an ophthalmologist with support of a Fluorescent Fundus Angiography report and vision is measured at 6/18 or worse in the better eye using a Snellen eye chart.
  • A definite diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy by a specialist and is evident by eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73 m2 with ongoing proteinuria greater than 300mg/24 hours.
  • The actual undergoing of amputation of a foot / toe / hand / finger to treat gangrene that has occurred because of a complication of diabetes.

Diabetes, when uncontrolled, leads to many complications. High blood sugar levels cause blood vessel damage over a long period of time, and poor oxygen flow. This special condition covers three main complications that arise – diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, and amputation due to gangrene.

Diabetic retinopathy refers to the damage to the blood vessels in the eye due to high blood sugar level. Retinopathy causes vision loss and eventually blindness, if not addressed immediately.

Diabetic nephropathy refers to kidney disease that arises from diabetes. The kidneys become leaky, allowing protein to leak into the blood stream. The filtration capabilities weaken as well, and eventually fail – you’ll need dialysis at this stage.

As mentioned, high blood sugar level cause blood vessel and nerve damage. These leads to a devastating combination of a lack of circulation to your extremities, i.e. foot, and you may unwittingly injure your foot and let the wound fester due to a lack of sensation. Minor toe injuries in diabetic patients, for example, can lead to gangrene because the injury does not heal quickly and is thus more likely to get infected. Once the infection is uncontrollable, you may have to amputate the foot to stop the spread of infection.

#3 Angioplasty & Other Invasive Treatment for Coronary Artery

The actual undergoing of balloon angioplasty or similar intra-arterial catheter procedure to correct a narrowing of minimum sixty percent (60%) stenosis, of one or more major coronary arteries as shown by angiographic evidence. The revascularisation must be considered medically necessary by a consultant cardiologist.

Coronary arteries herein refer to left main stem, left anterior descending, circumflex and right coronary artery.

Diagnostic angiography is excluded.

Angioplasty is a medical procedure where the doctor inserts a catheter containing deflated balloon into your narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, and inflates it to widen them.

Angioplasty 101
What happens during an angioplasty. Source: Total Vascular Wellness.

The inflated balloon forces expansion of the vessel, allowing normal blood circulation again. A doctor may use angiography for diagnotic purposes but that does not qualify you for the special condition benefit.

#4 Osteoporosis with Fractures

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that results in loss of bone. The diagnosis must be supported by a bone density reading which satisfies the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of osteoporosis with a bone density reading T-score of less than –2.5. There must also be a history of three (3) or more osteoporotic fractures involving either femur, wrist or vertebrae. These fractures must directly cause the Life Assured’s inability to perform (whether aided or unaided) at least one (1) of the following six (6) “Activities of Daily Living” for a continuous period of at least six (6) months.

Activities of Daily Living:

  • Washing- the ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting
    into and out of the bath or shower) or wash satisfactorily by other
    means;
  • Dressing- the ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all
    garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other
    surgical appliances;
  • Transferring- the ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or
    wheelchair and vice versa;
  • Mobility- the ability to move indoors from room to room on level
    surfaces;
  • Toileting- the ability to use the lavatory or otherwise manage bowel
    and bladder functions so as to maintain a satisfactory level of
    personal hygiene;
  • Feeding- the ability to feed oneself once food has been prepared
    and made available.

For the purpose of this definition, “aided” shall mean with the aid of special equipment, device and/or apparatus and not pertaining to human aid.

Osteoporosis (Greek for porous bone)  is a disease where you have higher bone weakness, increasing your chances of breaking your bones. It commonly affects older folks, and in women. Risk factors include advanced age, estrogen deficiency after menopause, removal of ovaries, decrease in testosterone, not having enough calcium, etc. Drink your milk folks!

Note: this is a very narrow definition of disease, especially when it has to satisfy WHO’s definition of osteoporosis and have more than 3 fractures in very specific parts of your body. On top of that, you must be unable to do one of the six basic activities for six months.

#5 Osteogenesis Imperfecta

This is a genetic disorder characterised by brittle, osteoporotic, easily fractured bones. The Life Assured must be diagnosed as a type III Osteogenesis Imperfecta confirmed by the occurrence of all of the following conditions:

  • the result of physical examination indicating growth retardation and
    hearing impairment; and
  • the result of X-ray studies reveals multiple fracture of bones and
    progressive kyphoscoliosis; and
  • positive result of skin biopsy.

Diagnosis of Osteogenesis Imperfecta must be confirmed by a pediatrician.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is also known as brittle bone disease, where symptoms include bones that break easily, blue tinted eyes, short stature, hearing loss, and loose joints. It is hereditary, and has no cure. There are at least nine different types of osteogenesis imperfecta – Type I to Type IX. Type I is the most common and mildest, whereas Type III is progressive and gets worse over time from birth.

#6 Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

Widespread joint destruction with major clinical deformity of three (3) or more of the following joint areas: hands, wrists, elbows, spine, knees, ankles, feet. The diagnosis must be supported by all of the following:

  1. Morning stiffness
  2. Symmetric arthritis
  3. Presence of rheumatoid nodules
  4. Elevated titres of rheumatoid factors
  5. Radiographic evidence of severe involvement

The diagnosis must be confirmed by a consultant rheumatologist.

Rheumatoid athritis is a long-term autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks the joints. This causes constant inflammation and constant pain. The requirements for the payout are severe, as it involves arthritis so bad that your joint areas are deformed, and has to fulfill all five conditions.

#7 Severe Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (Still’s Disease)

A form of juvenile chronic arthritis characterised by high fever and signs of systemic illness that can exist for months before the onset of arthritis. The condition must be characterised by cardinal manifestations which include high spiking, daily (quotidian) fevers, evanescent rash, arthritis, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, serositis, weight loss, neutrophilic leucocytosis, increased acute phase proteins and sero-negative tests for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) and Rheumatoid Factor (RF). A claim for this benefit will be admitted only if the diagnosis is confirmed by a paediatric rheumatologist and the condition has to be documented for at least six (6) months.

Think only old people can get arthritis? Think again! Children suffer from a form of rhematoid arthritis kmown as Still’s Disease as well. Similar to adult arthritis, juvenile arthritis is an auto-immune disease that attacks your joints. It results in growth retardation. Left untreated, children develop joint deformities which eventually lead to irrecoverable loss of function.

#8 Rheumatic Fever with Valvular Impairment

A confirmed diagnosis by a consultant cardiologist of acute rheumatic fever according to the revised Jones criteria for its diagnosis. There must be involvement of one (1) or more heart valves and at least mild valve incompetence attributable to rheumatic fever as confirmed by quantitative investigations of the valve function by a consultant cardiologist.

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that occurs after an infection. The infection is so bad that it creates heart valvular infection that creates abnormal antibodies that destroy valvular tissues. Symptoms include breathlessness, irregular heart beats, fatigue.

#9 Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever

It covers Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever Stage 3 or Stage 4, based on the World Health Organisation case definition, with unequivocal evidence of the Dengue Shock Syndrome and confirmation of dengue infection, with confirmatory serological testing of dengue; and as may be exemplified by the following findings:

  • history of continuous high fever (for two (2) or more days),
  • minor or major haemorrhagic manifestations,
  • thrombocytopenia (less than or equal to 100000 per mm3),
  • haemoconcentration (haemotocrit increased by 20% or more),
  • evidence of plasma leakage (i.e. pleural effusion, ascites or hypoproteinaemia, etc.), and
  • evidence of the Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), confirmed by a consultant physician, with the following criteria being met:
    • hypotension (less than 80 mm Hg) or narrow pulse pressure (20 mm Hg or less), and
    • evidence of tissue hypoperfusion such as cold, clammy skin, oliguria, or a metabolic acidosis.
Chances are that you might have encountered plenty of posters about this Aedes mosquito.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Symptoms can be mild and typically include fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain. Spend a night or two in the hospital with a drip and you’re good as new. People rarely die from dengue fever. However, it can progress to a more serious form know as dengue haemorrhagic fever. This form involves internal bleeding, i.e. under the skin, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

The benefit covers stages 3 and 4, which are the most severe stages. At Stage 3, you experience circulatory failure and in stage 4 you experience profound shock where you have undetectable pulse and blood pressure.

#10 Severe Haemophilia

The Life Assured must be suffering from severe haemophilia A (VIII deficiency) or haemophilia B (IX deficiency) with factor VIII or factor IX activity levels less than one percent (1%). Diagnosis must be confirmed by a haematologist.

When you’re cut, you stop bleeding after a while because your blood clots. Blood clotting is a complex process that involves 20 proteins. We take blood clotting for granted, but individuals with haemophilia experience prolonged or even spontaneous bleeding. Severe haemophilia A and B happens when you have severely low levels of clotting factors – Factor VIII and Factor IX respectively.

#11 Mastectomy

Mastectomy means surgical removal of at least three quadrants of the tissue of a breast due to carcinoma-in-situ or a malignant condition. Proof of having undergone the breast reconstructive surgery is not required.

The definition more or less explains what mastectomy is – the total removal of breast tissue when there is cancerous tissue on the breasts. It is a dramatic form of treatment, and the 10-year survival rate for patients that undergo mastectomy is >80% for early breast cancer cases. There is no payout for the the alternative procedure – lumpectomy, where only the tumor and some surrounding tissue is removed.

#12 Hysterectomy due to Cancer

The removal of the uterus (at least the corpus and cervix or corpus only) with supporting evidence of carcinoma of the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, vagina or endometrium, advanced cervical carcinoma, or hydatidiform mole.

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a part, or the entire uterus. It is done in cases where cancerous tissue is found on the uterus itself, cervix, or ovaries.

#13 Chronic Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison’s Disease)

An autoimmune disorder causing a gradual destruction of the adrenal gland resulting in the need for life long glucocorticoid and mineral corticoid replacement therapy. The disorder must be confirmed by a specialist in endocrinology through one of the following:

  • ACTH simulation tests;
  • insulin-induced hypoglycemia test;
  • plasma ACTH level measurement;
  • Plasma Renin Activity (PRA) level measurement.

Only autoimmune cause of primary adrenal insufficiency is included. All other causes of adrenal insufficiency are excluded.

Addison’s Disease is a long-term endocrine disorder, where your adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones. Without the right amount of hormones, you will experience low blood pressure, darkening of skin, lethargy, fever, and a whole host of other physical discomforts. Replacement hormonal therapy will bring the steroid hormone levels back to normal.

#14 Chronic Relapsing Pancreatitis

More than three (3) attacks of pancreatitis resulting in pancreatic dysfunction causing malabsorption needing enzyme replacement therapy.

The diagnosis must be made by a consultant gastroenterologist and confirmed by Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography (ERCP).

Chronic Relapsing Pancreatitis caused by alcohol use is excluded.

Chronic relapsing pancreatitis is a long-term damage or inflammation of your pancreas, impairing its function. Besides pain and nausea, you’d suffer from malnutrition since the pancreas secretes enzymes that aid digestion. The body does not absorb fats properly, leading to oily stool. Alcohol use is one of the factors for pancreatitis, but is an exclusion criteria for the benefits to kick in.

#15 Wilson’s Disease

A potentially fatal disorder of copper toxicity characterised by progressive liver disease and/or neurologic deterioration due to copper deposit. The diagnosis must be confirmed by a hepatologist and the treatment with a chelating agent must be documented for at least six (6) months.

Wilson’s Disease is a genetic disease in which copper builds up in your body, due to a mutation in a protein that transports copper that you consume into bile for excretion. The copper accumulates in the liver and brain, leading to liver disease and neurological and psychiatric problems. Symptoms of Wilson’s Disease appear between ages 5 to 35. For treatment, a doctor administers chelating agent – a compound that binds to metals – to remove the copper in the body for you.

#16 Kawasaki Disease

This is acute, febrile and multisystem disease of children, characterised by non-suppurative cervical adenitis, skin and mucous membrane lesions. Diagnosis must be confirmed by a pediatrician and there must be echocardiograph evidence of cardiac involvement manifested by dilatation or aneurysm formation in the coronary arteries which persists for at least six (6) months after the initial acute episode.

Kawasaki Disease is a rare disease that affects children. It is an autoimmune disease, causing inflammation in your blood vessels throughout the body.

Clinical manifestations of Kawasaki Disease over a period of time.
Clinical manifestations of Kawasaki Disease over a period of time. Source: Wikipedia.

There are three stages of the disease, with various clinical manifestations. The most important aspect of Kawasaki Disease is the heart complications – coronary aneurysms (weak blood vessels) form after the initial stage, which may lead to myocardial infarctions. In other words, juvenile heart attacks.

#17 Glomerulonephritis with Nephrotic Syndrome

A confirmed diagnosis of glomerulonephritis with nephrotic syndrome by a nephrologist and who should confirm that a treatment regimen appropriate to the clinical presentation has been followed throughout the period to which syndrome relates. The syndrome must have continued for a period of at least six (6) months with or without intervening periods of remission.

Glomerulonephritis is a disorder of glomeruli (clusters of microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys with small pores through that filters blood). The condition involves body tissue swelling (edema), high blood pressure, and the presence of red blood cells in the urine.

#18 Type I Juvenile Spinal Amyotrophy

Degenerative diseases of the anterior horn cells in the spinal cord and motor nuclei of the brainstem characterised by profound proximal muscular weakness and wasting, primarily in the legs, followed by distal muscle involvement. The damage must result independently of all other causes and directly in the Life Assured’s permanent inability to perform (whether aided or unaided) at least three (3) of the “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs) for a continuous period of six (6) months. The diagnosis must be made by a neurologist with appropriate neuromuscular testing such as Electromyogram (EMG).

Only Life Assured whose Age is between six (6) and seventeen (17) years on first diagnosis is eligible to receive a benefit under this illness.

Activities of Daily Living:

  • Washing- the ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the bath or shower) or wash satisfactorily by other means;
  • Dressing- the ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other surgical appliances;
  • Transferring- the ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair and vice versa;
  • Mobility- the ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces;
  • Toileting- the ability to use the lavatory or otherwise manage bowel and bladder functions so as to maintain a satisfactory level of personal hygiene;
  • Feeding- the ability to feed oneself once food has been prepared and made available.

For the purpose of this definition, “aided” shall mean with the aid of special equipment, device and/or apparatus and not pertaining to human aid.

Type I juvenile spinal amyotrophy is a condition where your motor neurons degenerate, leading to muscle atrophy over time. It stabilizes after two to five years, where the condition neither improves or worses. It is common to males aged 20 to 50. Unfortunately, it is untreatable.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

We hope you found this lengthy guide informative. There’s a lot of information to take it, but one thing’s for sure – living is scary.

As such, it’s important to get yourself protected. Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: Manulife Ready CompleteCare

Manulife Ready CompleteCare review

Critical illness plans are plans that pay out a lump sum when the doctor diagnoses you with one of the 37 critical illnesses. The lump sum is meant to help you cope with the period when you cannot work and require rest. One disadvantage of critical illness plans is that it will pay out only once, and it terminates after. This exposes you to risks such as recurrent cancer later in your life, but you can no longer purchase critical illness plans. In response to such risks, insurance companies have come up with multi-pay critical illness plans, which provide multiple payouts during the duration of one’s life. In this article, fundMyLife reviews the Manulife Ready CompleteCare and discusses its features. Note: the information is accurate as of September 2018.

What is it?

Manulife Ready CompleteCare is a critical illness plan that provides multiple payouts. The plan provides up to $250,000 for early stage critical illnesses, up to $350,000 for intermediate state, and 100% of coverage for advanced stage critical illnesses. There is also an optional ‘cover me again’ feature, which provides additional benefits such as multi-claim resets.

Notable features

Cover me again

The most widely promoted feature of this plan provides additional benefits. As its name suggests, ‘cover me again’ gives you the opportunity to restore the basic sum assured back to 100%, 12 months after your claim. This reset is available up to five times.

The list of major critical illness benefits that provides 200% of sum assured, once.

It also comes with additional major critical illness benefit, where you get twice the amount of your sum assured (200%) for six major critical illnesses in advanced stages, as seen in the table above.

There is also a recurring cancer benefit, where you can claim 100% of your sum assured if/when your cancer relapses after the first cancer, after a waiting period of two years or longer. This particular benefit kicks in when you 1) get cancer a second time in an organ different from the original cancer location, or 2) have cancer that happens in the same organ of the first cancer, or 3) get the metastatic form of the earlier cancer that you claimed for, after a remission.

Free health check-up

…for every two years. It is also transferable to your loved ones. Presumably, the free health check encourages you to screen early and often to catch illnesses in their early stages. This is a win-win since Manulife pays out less in the case of early stage critical illness, and you have a higher chance of surviving the illness.

Premium refund upon death

In the event of death, all of the premiums you paid are refunded, less whatever claim payout that you claimed. This also means that if you did not claim anything, you would get all of your premiums paid back.

Child cover

There is free coverage for your child up to 18 years old, without compromising anything in your sum assured. You get a lump sum of $10,000 if your child gets a critical illness, without affecting your sum insured. It’s a good feature for those with children. However, don’t bank on the $10,000 and consider a proper critical illness plan for your child instead.

Special benefits for 18 conditions

Manulife Ready CompleteCare special conditions table
The 18 conditions that provide additional benefits. Source: Manulife.

You can claim, up to a maximum of 6 times, when you have a condition that falls under the 18 conditions in the table above. You can claim 20% of the sum assured, for a maximum of $25,000 per life per condition. Good thing is that payout from this benefit does not reduce your sum assured.

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The Manulife Ready CompleteCare is full of features, and more so if you add in the ‘cover me again’ add-on. It is also conscious of your family, providing things like free checkup for either yourself or loved ones, and free child cover. It has a broad cover of diseases, even though the coverage of 106 conditions is just variations of the same diseases in different stages (such is marketing). The premium refund is a nice touch, but again you should consider life insurance for better and more substantial death benefits.

However, we observe that there is one huge caveat. Given the complexity of the conditions set by Manulife, it is very crucial that you fully understand these said conditions under which you will get a payout. Make sure you are aware of the T&Cs completely before committing to this plan, as it is a relatively recent product in the market.

You should also be refreshing your memory on how you qualify for payouts – don’t just leave this your financial adviser to handle.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

Interested to know whether the Manulife Ready CompleteCare, or other multi-pay plans are suitable for you? You should ask your financial adviser. Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: Aviva MultiPay Plan III

Aviva MultiPay Plan III review

Critical illness plan is a form of insurance that provides a lump sum payout whenever you’re diagnosed with one of the 37 critical illnesses, defined by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore. The lump sum is to help the person during the recovery period, when he/she cannot work. In our previous article, we discussed the differences between single-pay and multi-pay critical illness plans. One plan that we mentioned in the article was the Aviva MultiPay Plan III. Where is Aviva MultiPay Plan I and II? That’s a question that we’re unable to answer. However, we can answer something else instead. In this article, fundMyLife reviews the Aviva MultiPay Plan III and explores their features. Note: this information is accurate as of September 2018.

What is it?

Aviva MultiPay Plan III, as its name suggests, is a critical illness plan that provides multiple payouts. More specifically, it provides up to five payouts across early, intermediate, and severe stage critical illnesses. This also includes payouts if/when your cancer reoccurs. It is available as both a standalone plan or a rider to your existing policies.

Notable features

No waiting period between illnesses of different groups

While multi-pay critical illness plans from other companies have a waiting period, the Aviva MultiPay Plan III is notable because it has no waiting periods between Layer 1 disease groups. Early and intermediate critical illnesses form the first layer. Bear in mind, it’s a maximum of two claims in the first layer.

Aviva MultiPay Plan III Payout structure
Aviva MultiPay Plan III payout structure. Source: Aviva.

For example, if the doctor diagnoses you with Stage I breast cancer and you had a heart attack, you would obtain payout for both conditions. Statistically, it is not likely to happen, i.e. getting multiple critical illnesses from different baskets at the same time, but it’s a good thing to have.

If you take a closer look at the brochure, it says that Aviva will pay 300% of the sum assured less any claim paid from Layer 1. This means that if you suffer from a severe critical illness from the get-go without any claims on early/intermediate critical illness, you’d get the full 300% of sum assured. For example, your payout would be $300,000 if your sum insured was $100,000. However, if you claimed once or twice for early stage, you’d get 200% ($200,000) and 100% ($100,000) respectively instead.

Premium waiver after severe critical illness

This is different from the usual critical illness plan since the plan terminates after you get the payout. There are two advantages with this, as it means you are still protected and you do not have to carry the burden of premium payment during and after recovery.

Special benefit from certain illnesses

If you are diagnosed with one of the 18 conditions set out by Aviva, you will get an additional 20% increase for your sum insured, for a maximum of $25,000 per life per condition. These are the 18 conditions:

The list of special conditions that give additional sum assured for Aviva MultiPay Plan III.
The list of special conditions that give additional sum assured for Aviva MultiPay Plan III. Source: Aviva.

Several of the special conditions listed are children’s diseases, but there are conditions which are relatively regular such as diabetic complications and mastectomy.

Death benefit

Considering that critical illness plans are for the living, and not for the dead, the Aviva MultiPay Plan III has a death benefit component. Even so, the $5,000 death benefit is a paltry sum compared to most of the regular critical illness plans out there. Better than nothing, but you’d have better cover getting a regular life insurance for death benefit.

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The plan is a recent entrant in the critical illness market, and it stands on its own among the emerging multi-pay critical illness plans in the market. The lack of waiting period between early to intermediate stage critical illnesses is a nice feature. The waiting period between a cancer occurrence and a recurrent is two years, which is biologically and statistically sensible.

However, conditions that qualify for special benefits are a mixed bag. The inclusion of juvenile conditions is a push towards getting this plan for your children. However, it is good to note that there are other conditions that you’d get when you’re older, e.g., diabetes complications and osteoporosis with fractures. Breast cancer survivors who opt for mastectomy – a common procedure – can sigh a breath of relief from this feature as well.

As mentioned, with the relatively low amount of death benefit, you should get a proper life insurance as well.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

Interested to know whether this plan, or other multi-pay plans are suitable for you? You should ask your financial adviser. Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Single-Pay Vs Multi-Pay Critical Illness Plans – What’s The Difference?

The differences between single-pay and multi-pay critical illness plans

Critical illness plans are plans that pay a lump sum of money whenever you’re critically ill. The payout is supposed to help you cope during the recovery period that you cannot work. Apart from the basic and early critical illness plans, insurance companies recently introduced multi-pay critical illness plans. What are they, and how are they different? In this article, fundMyLife examines the differences between single-pay and multi-pay critical illness plans.

#1 Number of times you get payouts

Let’s get the most obvious difference out of the way – the number of times you get payouts.

Typically, the usual critical illness plans provide a single payout when you contract one of the 37 diseases, in a relatively late stage. For example, you’re only eligible for the payout when you contract stage III or stage IV lung cancer. It also means that if you’re diagnosed at stage I, you do not get any payouts.

To cover that gap, early critical illness plans provide the payout if the doctor diagnoses you with diseases in the earlier stages. For example, a stage I and stage II cancer qualifies you for a payout. If you wanted protection for all stages, you would have to purchase both plans. The disadvantage is that once you get your payout, the plan terminates and that’s the end. On top of that, it will be very hard to purchase (almost impossible) a new critical illness plan since you have pre-existing conditions. This is disadvantageous because some diseases do reoccur during the course of one’s life, e.g., cancer.

In response to the demand for total coverage for critical illnesses and the possibility of recurring critical illnesses in a different stage, insurance companies are providing a multi-pay plan, a plan that covers the functions of both regular and early critical illness plans. Under multi-pay plans, in general you can get payouts when you contract critical illnesses, without a plan termination.

#2 Terms and conditions

On the surface, it seems simple. For single-pay critical illness plan, you get paid once in a lump sum, and that’s it. For multi-pay critical illness plan however, you get paid several times over the course of your life. The former is simple, as it involves only getting sick with one of the 37 critical illnesses once. However, for you to enjoy the multiple payments under the multi-pay plan, you’d have to go through the terms and conditions closer.

In general, the critical illnesses are lumped into categories, called layers. For example, the table below shows the layers defined by Aviva My Multipay Critical Illness Plan.

Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness Plan benefit summary, one of the many multi-pay critical illness plans out there
Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness Plan. and the different buckets of critical illnesses. Source: Aviva.

For Aviva, within Layer 1, there are three groups of diseases. For that, there’s no waiting period for claims between early critical illnesse in different groups of diseases. However, it might not be the case for multi-pay critical illness plans from other companies. Disclaimer: we’re using Aviva as an example for illustration purposes, not because we think it’s better or anything (that’s a story for another time).

To reemphasize, when you choose to take these multi-pay critical illness plans up, you MUST look up the terms and conditions to know what you can and cannot claim for after you contract a critical illness. Make sure you and your financial adviser are 100% sure of the terms and conditions for the plan to work in your favor.

You do not want to be in a situation where you have multiple critical illnesses but are unable to claim for some of them because you did not take the fine print into account.

#3 Premiums

According to our research, multi-pay critical illness plans are slightly more expensive than combining both standalone critical illness and early critical illness plans. The main reason, we speculate, is due to the fact that multi-pay critical illness plans have multiple payouts.

For the more price-conscious folks out there, there are alternatives to consider. Instead of forking out more on standalone critical illness plans, be it single-pay or multi-pay, you can consider taking on critical illness riders on your existing plans as well.

Want to know the specifics? Our pool of curated advisers can give you a better rundown on what you need. Or you can ask your own financial adviser. No pressure.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

No matter the differences between these two types of critical illness plan, it’s definitely a good idea to have critical illness protection. With increasing lifespan over the years, it is all the more important we have things to fall back on in the case of critical illnesses. Best speak to your financial adviser about it.

Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. If you want to engage more financial advisers, or if you haven’t found the right one, why not consider advisers of fundMyLife? You can head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

6 Avoidable Mistakes When Saving Money

Here are some common mistakes when saving money

There’s a saying that goes like this, “save your money today and it will save you tomorrow”. It sounds easy right? Just two simple steps: 1) put money somewhere, like an account, 2) repeat step 1. While simple in theory, saving effectively is monumentally hard. More so when there are so many things to pay for, like bills, leisure, travel, etc. In this article, fundMyLife shares avoidable mistakes when saving money, and how you can avoid them.

#1 Not having a goal and a plan

One of the most common mistakes when saving money is you do it without a goal and a plan. It’s one thing to know that you must save, but it’s another to know what you are saving for.

The goal is a destination, whereas the plan will help you to get there. For example, you want a car that costs $100,000 in 10 years. We know it’s not that cheap, but bear with us. Not counting inflation, you will need to save $10,000/year, and $833.33/month. To put it simply, the goal is getting the car, getting it there by saving $833.33 is your plan. By the way, this is for illustration’s sake – typically you’d take a loan for your car anyways.

Without a goal to work towards to, you’ll eventually question why you’re saving in the first place. Without that motivation, you will soon fritter away that money. Saving towards retirement is a good goal, as is saving towards a possession that you wish to have. The important thing is to have a goal to work towards to, and a plan to help you get there.

As Friedrich Nietzche would say, “he who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.

#2 Lacking the discipline to save

Now that you have a goal to work towards to, it’s time to put it into action. If you don’t summon the discipline to start, you will never get anywhere despite the best of plans. In addition, if you don’t summon the discipline to regularly save after starting, it is hard to maintain it over a long period of time.

Make it a habit to save regularly. Habits can be a powerful thing – as the saying goes, “we first make our habits, and then our habits make us.

#3 Not tracking your expenditure

Tangential, but equally important. To have enough to save every month, you’d need to be aware of what you’re spending on. Imagine, if your spending is uncontrolled, you’d be unable to have enough at the end for savings.

There are apps available to help you track your expenses so that you have enough for savings. We highly recommend the Seedly app – it’s been around for a while, together with strong community support online on their website.

#4 You spend as soon as you see a pile of money

After a while, you’ll soon see a pool of money in your account. Delighted, you think it’s okay just to take a little bit for some expenditure. Say, a vacation to reward yourself for that good job accumulating your money. While we advocate living life well, being able to take a little means you are also able to take a lot out of the account. Soon, you might find yourself in square one.

There are two ways people save in general. Firstly, spend first then save. Secondly, save first then spend. The former allows you to get your expenses settled, whereas the latter way lets you meet your saving goals first. To avoid finding yourself in square one, regardless of how your save, make sure you split your money further into different pots. Instead of just two pots, i.e. expenses and savings, you can split your savings category further into travel, retirement, etc. That way, you keep your savings pots separate and do not risk overspending.

#5 …or you are just really terrible at saving

What if, despite all of the methods described above to avoid the mistakes when saving money, you still have trouble with it? When you’re terrible at saving money, it’s time to consider savings plan, or an endowment. The tenure period of an endowment fund means you won’t be able to touch any of the money that you put. However, it’s important to not lock up ALL your money in there, lest you need the money for unforeseen emergencies in the future. This requires the help of a good financial adviser.

Alternatively, you can consider a fixed deposit – the fixed deposit usually has a decent interest rate, depending on how long you decide to lock up your money. In addition, the account penalizes you for prematurely taking the money out by removing the interest rate. This forces you to think long and hard before withdrawing from your fixed deposit.

#6 Forgetting that inflation exists

Last but not least of the many mistakes when saving money, people often forget that inflation exists. In fact, it is one of the deadliest mistakes when saving money. At best, if the interest rate of your savings account is the same as the inflation rate, you’re just keeping up and not growing your money. On the other hand, if you happen to pick a low interest rate savings account, the real value of your money will decrease over time. Imagine saving up money that decreases in value over time due to the difference in interest rate and inflation.

To avoid this, you will need to save additional money just to adjust for inflation. Alternatively, you’ll have no choice but to invest a portion of your money so that it grows.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

Hopefully, you are more acquainted with the most common mistakes when saving money. A lot of these problems can be avoided if you have a good financial adviser. He/she can serve as a sounding board and a friend as you travel in your journey to achieve sound finances.

Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. If you want to engage more financial advisers, or if you haven’t found the right one, why not consider advisers of fundMyLife? You can head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

3 Kinds Of People Who Should Use Credit Cards (And 2 That Shouldn’t)

People who should use credit cards and not

Credit cards can seem like a godsend. One swipe for your purchases, and you won’t have to worry about paying it until the end of the month. Being a credit card user, it allows you to delay your payments made usually up to 52 days of the interest-free period. Having a credit card also significantly reduces the amount of cash you carry in your wallet. While it is definitely useful, all it takes is a mistake in handling your purchases before it becomes ab-useful. Hurhurhur, get it? Not everyone should use it, to be honest. In this article, fundMyLife describes three kinds of people who should use credit cards, and two kinds that definitely shouldn’t.

People who should use credit cards

#1 You make expensive purchases

One advantage of having a credit card is that you don’t need to lug huge wads of cash whenever you make expensive purchases. If you find yourself living the Crazy Rich Asian lifestyle, you’d definitely need a card to handle your purchases. However, there’s also another reason why you should consider credit cards for your big ticket purchases – 0% installment plans. It lets you spread out your large purchases over a period of time, assuming you’ve the discipline to repay them regularly.

Caveats to note: no points or cashback (usually), upfront processing fees, penalties for card cancellation and early repayment, reduction in monthly credit limit during installments. So be sure to read the fine-print and ask a lot of questions.

#2 You buy lots of things for your friends

Are you the one friend who buys a lot of things for your friends? You’re probably the go-to person, whom your friends rely on. When it comes to group purchases, you’re the first point of contact. With cashback and/or points, you’ll benefit the most from helping your friends purchase things. After your friends repay you, you still get the benefits of the extra cashback and points. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. You’d definitely be one of those people who should use credit cards.

#3 You travel a lot

Find yourself travelling often? You wouldn’t go too wrongly with a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees. On top of the convenience, there’s also the security factor as well. Instead of lugging wads of cash when you go overseas, carrying a travel credit card makes your life simpler. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should eschew cold hard cash completely. You can bring less of it if you bring your travel credit card as well.

People who should NOT use credit cards

#1 You’re terrible at managing things on time

First things first – ask yourself if you’re a punctual person. For example, do you pay your bills on time? If you find yourself regularly not paying your bills, the odds are that you won’t be able to pay your credit cards debts on time. Interest rates of your credit card ranges between 18-28% per annum – that is very hefty. If you continuously forget to pay your credit card debt, it will snowball quickly leaving you deeper in debt.

#2 You’re already in debt

As mentioned, the interest rate of credit cards is very high. You should consider credit cards as a mode of payment, and not a line of credit. As such, you shouldn’t be getting a new credit card because you’re in debt. Furthermore, getting more cards to cope with expenses is dangerous. Psychologically, it’s not painful to have $100 across ten card, even though the total debt is $1,000. With each card having its own terms and conditions, you’d have a hard time keeping up with all of them.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

We hope you belong to the groups of people who should use credit cards, and not the last two. Make sure your cashflow and lifestyle has a qualified second opinion by a financial adviser!

You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. If you want to engage more financial advisers, or if you haven’t found the right one, why not consider advisers of fundMyLife? You can head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.