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Do I Need an Early-Stage Critical Illness Plan?

Let’s look at what early-stage critical illness insurance does, and how you might benefit from it.


Imagine being rushed to the hospital and confined for a week due to a minor heart attack. The doctor advised you to take a leave of absence from work in order to recuperate and has prescribed your maintenance medications. With all these expenses, do you have the right plan to cover them?

In this example, an early-stage critical illness plan can help you meet treatment costs or make up for lost income while you recover from surgery or a heart attack. Considering your current lifestyle and health history, do you think early critical illness insurance is suitable for you?

Let’s look at what early-stage critical illness insurance does, and how you might benefit from it.


What is an early-stage critical illness plan?

Before anything else, it helps to review what a Critical Illness plan does. When you get diagnosed with a critical illness that is covered by your plan, you receive a cash benefit that you can use to pay for your treatments or living expenses. The benefit is a fixed amount given in lump sum.

To receive the benefit, however, your diagnosed illness must be part of the list of critical illnesses covered by your plan. For instance, Manulife China Bank's HealthFlex provides coverage for over 100 critical illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, and cancer, which are the top causes of death in the Philippines. This plan also covers early-stage critical illnesses.

Some critical illness plans only provide coverage for illnesses diagnosed at a later stage, which means that you only get the cash benefits if you got diagnosed with something like a massive heart attack.

What does an early critical illness plan cover?

As the name suggests, an early-stage critical illness plan provides a cash benefit if you get diagnosed during the early stages of a major illness. As early screenings become more advanced and accessible, having this type of insurance becomes useful for covering medical fees, so you can focus on recovering without worrying about expenses.

As a rule of thumb, look for an early-stage critical illness plan that can cover a year’s worth of income. This should be enough to cover your treatment costs and make up for lost income while you recover.

Manulife China Bank's HealthFlex, for instance, can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Waiver of Premium due to Early-Stage Critical Illness
  • Death benefit
  • Maturity Benefit
  • Long Life Bonus
  • Recovery Benefit
  • Male/ Female Cancer Benefit
  • Child Critical Illness Benefit

Do I really need early-stage critical illness insurance?

Getting a lump sum benefit during a disease’s early stages means one less thing to worry about. Like any insurance plan, however, early-stage critical illness coverage is not for everyone. Here are some things that will help you decide if this critical illness plan is right for you.

Family history of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and other critical illnesses

Heart Attack, Stroke, and Cancer are the top causes of death in the Philippines. While these are lifestyle diseases that are preventable and avoidable with proper healthy living, most can also be inherited and can run in families.

Colorectal, lung, breast, liver, and prostate cancer are some of the leading types of cancer among men and women. Check your family’s medical history for relatives who suffered from these cancers or other long-term illnesses. If you do, your chances of getting it are higher.

Early-stage cancer is largely asymptomatic, and the only way to detect it is through early screening. If you’re concerned about getting these illnesses, it makes sense to get a critical illness plan that will cover you for the disease’s early stages.

Number of dependents

Are you supporting your retired parents or paying for your children’s education? If you have loved ones who are relying on your income, early-stage critical illness insurance makes sure their needs are still met while you recover from your illness. With Manulife China Bank’s HealthFlex, aside from the early-stage critical illness benefit, you will also receive a Loyalty Bonus, an annual dividend that can be withdrawn anytime or left to accumulate until maturity.

Budget considerations

Early-stage illnesses could also require a series of treatments. As such, premiums for early-stage critical illness can become relatively high compared to regular critical illness plans. Consider the costs and make sure you can afford the premium over a long-term period.

What to look for in an early-stage critical illness plan

When choosing an early-stage critical illness plan, pay attention to the following details:

Number of payouts

Some early-stage CI plans offer a one-time payout only, which means it won’t cover you again if the illness comes back. This is problematic, as it can be difficult to get re-insured if you have had a cancer diagnosis.

You may want to consider CI plans that offer multiple payouts instead, so you can keep claiming in case of a relapse or if you get struck by a different critical illness.

Critical Illness Benefit resets to 100%

Most critical illness plans only advance a percentage of the benefit coverage when you are diagnosed with an early-stage critical illness. But with Manulife China Bank’s HealthFlex, you get advanced coverage if diagnosed with early-stage critical illnesses, and your coverage resets after a year if there are no further claims. With this, you won’t need to worry if your critical illness develops to an advanced stage because you can get 100% of your coverage.

Covered conditions

An early-stage critical illness plan will typically cover more conditions beyond the standard critical illnesses. Take a good look at the covered early-stage illnesses and make sure that the plan includes the conditions you’re likely to get.

Waiver of Premium due to Early Stage Critical Illness

Not all early-stage critical illness plans waive premiums when you are diagnosed with early-stage CI. Look for a plan that allows you to recover from early-stage critical illness without having to worry about where to get your premium payments. With Manulife China Bank’s HealthFlex, for instance, when the insured is diagnosed with any of the covered early-stage critical illnesses, your one-year premium is waived.

Still unsure about early-stage critical illness insurance?

Figuring out the right critical illness coverage is a complex process, and it’s okay to still be unsure about getting early-stage coverage. If you need help in figuring this out, our friendly Manulife China Bank Financial Sales Associates are ready to answer all your critical illness insurance questions. Speak with one today!


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