Critical illnesses can be debilitating, often requiring you to take time off work. The loss of income is a source of stress, while you need the money to aid your recovery. That’s where critical illness plans come in – a lump sum payout that addresses that loss of income during recovery. Typically, a critical illness plan covers only late stages of diseases and you need to purchase two separate plans (early critical illness and regular critical illness plan) to cover the three stages of critical illnesses – early, intermediate, and late/critical. To address this need, Great Eastern offered the Great Eastern Critical Care Advantage plan.
It is a critical illness plan that covers all three stages of critical illnesses. In this article, fundMyLife reviews the Great Eastern Critical Care Advantage. Note: this article is accurate as of October 2018.
What is it?
Great Eastern Critical Care Advantage is a combination of a regular critical illness plan with an early critical illness plan. This means you’re covered for all stages of critical illnesses across different stages from early, intermediate, and critical/late stage.
All three stages pay out 100% of the sum assured. But not really. That’s because the payout for the various stages of diseases are capped for early and intermediate, at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively. Presumably, the cap leaves a bit of money left for later stages of diseases, should the illness progress.
Upon diagnosis of the first successful claim under an early or intermediate stage critical illness, you no longer need to pay future premiums for the remaining term of the policy. This provides a sigh of relief, as you can fully focus on using your money for your immediate needs.
No waiting periods between claims
Compared to other plans with 12 months’ waiting periods, this plan does not have a waiting period. It means you can claim across either different illnesses or illnesses of different stage, e.g., two different cancers at the same time.
There is a death benefit of $15,000 during the policy term, which is slightly more than usual compared to other plans. However, it’s best that you consider a proper life insurance plan for a more substantial death benefit.
Special benefit payout
On top of the usual spread of critical illnesses across the three stages, the plan also provides special benefit payouts for 7 additional conditions:
- Diabetic complications
- Severe Rheumatoid Arthiritis
- Severe Osteoporosis with Fractures
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Severe Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
- Crohn’s Disease
- Cancer recovery (intermediate and critical)
The additional payouts for conditions 1-6 are 25% of the sum assured, capped at $25,000 each. For condition 7, it is 10% of sum assured at $10,000 maximum for recovery from intermediate cancer and 25% of sum assured at $25,000 maximum for recovery from critical cancer. You can claim for one condition each, at a maximum of $185,000. However, it is highly unlikely that you’d contract all of those diseases. And even then, it’s even more unlikely that you’d survive to use those sums.
Since it works on a deduction mechanism, you have to make sure that your sum assured is enough to cover across all three stages. To elaborate, let’s take a look at the illustration of the payouts for the Great Eastern Critical Care Advantage.
Judging from the illustration, it implies that you’d have to account for any possible deductions in the early and intermediate stages. Otherwise, you might end up claiming everything in either stages, leaving nothing for critical stages. While the sum assured can be between $15,000 to $3,000,000, having too little is not enough to cover multiple disease stages whereas having too much is not efficient either due to caps for early and intermediate stage claims. However, the premium waiver upon diagnosis of early and intermediate stages is a nice touch.
In its current form, it is hard for this plan to compete properly with other companies’ more innovative critical illness products, such as Manulife Ready Complete Care and Aviva MultiPay Plan III. In addition, it also lacks benefits that address cancer relapse, which is quite a common occurrence.
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