INSURANCE In consultation with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA) announced on 29 August 2019 that changes will be made to the standard list of 37 critical illnesses (CIs) definitions.
What are the changes?
Of the 37 critical illnesses defined under the LIA framework, changes have been made to the headers of 14 of them, while changes have been made in 21 of the definitions.
Here ‘s an overview of the CI headers and their respective changes in bold. An asterisk has been appended to critical illnesses with changes to the wording of their definitions.
1. Major Cancers* 2. Heart Attack of Specified Severity* 3. Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit* 4. Coronary Artery By-pass Surgery 5. End Stage Kidney Failure 6. Irreversible Aplastic Anaemia* 7. End Stage Lung Disease 8. End Stage Liver Failure 9. Coma* 10. Deafness (Irreversible Loss of Hearing)* 11. Open Chest Heart Valve Surgery 12. Irreversible Loss of Speech* 13. Major Burns 14. Major Organ / Bone Marrow Transplantation 15. Multiple Sclerosis* 16. Muscular Dystrophy* 17. Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease* 18. Open Chest Surgery to Aorta 19. Alzheimer’s Disease / Severe Dementia* 20. Fulminant Hepatitis 21. Motor Neurone Disease 22. Primary Pulmonary Hypertension 23. HIV Due to Blood Transfusion and Occupationally Acquired HIV* 24. Benign Brain Tumour* 25. Severe Viral Encephalitis* 26. Severe Bacterial Meningitis 27. Angioplasty & Other Invasive Treatment For Coronary Artery 28. Blindness (Irreversible Loss of Sight)* 29. Major Head Trauma* 30. Paralysis (Irreversible Loss of Use of Limbs) 31. Terminal Illness 32. Progressive Scleroderma* 33. Persistent Vegetative State (Apallic Syndrome) 34. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Lupus Nephritis* 35. Other Serious Coronary Artery Disease* 36. Poliomyelitis* 37. Loss of Independent Existence*
For instance, "Deafness (Loss of Hearing)" has been amended to "Deafness (Irreversible Loss of Hearing)", with the term "irreversible" defined to recognise the possibility of future medical treatments that can restore hearing to some level as medical advances are made.
For example, with the critical illness "Heart Attack of Specified Severity", the reference to "Death of heart muscle due to obstruction of blood flow" has been revised to "Death of heart muscle due to ischaemia", to make it clear that both Type 1 Myocardial Infarction and Type 2 Myocardial Infarction are covered.
When are the impacts?
Making the announcement on Thursday, the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) said claims assessment and benefits will follow the definitions, and the terms and conditions stated in their existing policy contracts.
However, it added that policyholders with existing critical illness policies are not impacted by the new definitions.
LIA Singapore said all critical illness products based on definitions used from 2014, when the last update was done, may no longer be sold in Singapore from Aug this year.
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