Cancer treatment is costly, particularly if it is given over a lengthy period of time. Surgery, radiation, drugs, and other therapies are used in cancer treatment to eradicate cancer, reduce cancer, or halt the spread of cancer. There are numerous cancer therapies. You might receive one treatment or a combination of treatments, depending on your unique circumstance. Cancer treatment insurance covers hospitalization and some of the approved treatments.
There are also non-medical costs to consider:
- Potential loss of income if you are unable to work for a few months to a few years while receiving treatment and recovering
- Suppose the patient is the primary caretaker and homemaker in the family. In that case, it may be necessary to hire domestic help for household tasks.
Because of this, purchasing private health insurance, specifically cancer insurance, is a wise decision.
Although helpful, government programs might not be sufficient.
Singaporeans are entitled to government discounts of up to 80% at government-funded hospitals. To be eligible for these benefits, you must choose to remain on a subsidised ward (B2/C) at public hospitals.
The best places to start when looking for financial protection against cancer and other serious illnesses are MediSave and MediShield Life. There are restrictions on MediSave and MediShield Life claims, though. These programs do not additionally provide coverage for non-medical expenses.
The part private health insurance plays in the fight against cancer.
If you have the money, comprehensive private health insurance is better. However, not all of these insurance offer sufficient cancer coverage. Check the small print. Suppose your range falls under one of these categories. In that case, getting a separate cancer treatment insurance policy covering cancer treatment could be worthwhile. However, there exist specialist plans at prices that are typically less expensive than comprehensive health insurance if all you need is coverage for cancer.
As of 1 September 2022, MediShield Life has more specific claim limitations ranging from $200 to $9,600 per month to better reflect the different prices of cancer medicine treatments. These therapies are listed on a Cancer Drug List and are scientifically validated and cost-effective. Additionally, $1,200 a year is covered for outpatient cancer medication treatments.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) declared last August that it will only permit insurance to cover proven and cost-efficient medications and treatments on a newly formed Cancer Drug List to control the skyrocketing costs of cancer treatment insurance.
Compared to other medical therapies, the expense of treating cancer has risen far more quickly. According to the MediShield Life Council’s report to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the cost of cancer medications is increasing by 20% per year compared to only 6% for other medications. As a result, MediShield Life reimbursements for outpatient cancer treatments increased by more than 50%, from $109 million in 2017 to $168 million in 2 years. The number of cancer patients seeking treatment increased.
The MOH said in August that it will only let insurance cover proven and cost-efficient medications and treatments on a newly formed Cancer Drug List to control the skyrocketing prices. Ninety per cent of procedures performed in public hospitals will be covered. Cancer patients make up only around 2% of all patients, according to the MOH’s Agency for Care Effectiveness, yet 35% of public drug spending goes toward cancer medications. According to the report, 50% of new cancer medications or newly identified uses for prescription medications are released onto the market without any proof that they increase survival or quality of life. This investment climbed by 90% to $275 million over the five years from 2017 to 2021. The nation’s total age-adjusted cancer mortality decreased by 2.1%. The organisation was established in 2015 to evaluate the value and effect of medical technologies.
Cancer treatment insurance often only covers advanced stages of the disease and is difficult to apply for since it necessitates several medical exams and lengthy health declarations. Cancer insurance is also thought to be pricey.
- Until the age of 75, complete coverage for all phases of cancer, including the early stages.
- Affordable starting at S$8.902 per month (the cost of 2 lattes)
- reassuring, with 100% reimbursement upon cancer diagnosis at any level
- Simple to apply for, requiring only one medical question to be answered
Take this opportunity to check your cancer insurance if you currently have it. Increasing your coverage for cancer treatment and recovery costs may be advantageous for you. It differs from medical expense insurance in that your claims are based on the actual costs of your medical care. The benefits of having additional medical expenditure insurance plans don’t always outweigh the costs. how about CancerCare? Considering the expense of cancer treatments and rehabilitation is like a shot in the arm for your money.
From the month of September 2022 onwards
Only medicines and treatments on the Cancer Drug List will be covered by MediSave and MediShield, respectively. Cancer specialists from the public and commercial sectors contributed to the creation of this list, which includes therapies that have been shown to be both efficient and affordable. No one who is not on the list will be insured. The MOH also altered the percentage of cancer covered by MediShield Life, the government-mandated health insurance. When more than one medication is given, it will only cover the most costly medicines rather than a fixed amount of up to $3,000 per month. In addition, all of the medicines in a combination therapy on the list will be paid for sums ranging from $200 to $9,600 per month.
The MOH would also increase the maximum family income threshold for Singaporeans eligible for Medication Assistance Fund (MAF) benefits from $2,800 to $6,500, with subsidies ranging from 40% to 75%. Due to the revisions, MOH said that with the exception of a co-payment that may be made using MediSav, over 90% of subsidised Singaporean patients who utilise therapies on the Cancer Medication List will have their cancer drug expenditures totally covered by subsidy and MediShield Life.
From the month of April 2023 onwards
Integrated Shield Plans will be subject to the restriction on insurance coverage that only applies to medicines and their usage included on the Cancer Drug List (IP). As a result, IP insurance won’t be able to continue paying for patients’ non-listed therapies. About 70% of residents in this area have purchased IPs that cover private healthcare. According to the MOH, if IPs continue to cover cancer treatments like they already do, “claims and premiums will climb unsustainably and become expensive for many.”