Malaysia’s Health Ministry data reveal that one in four people are expected to develop cancer by the age of 75. That’s according to the ministry’s National Cancer Registry report of 2007 to 2011.
At first glance the figures sound unbelievable. But take a step back and consider for a moment.
Are you friends with someone battling the disease, or related to a loved one who is fighting the good fight? Chances are, the answer is yes.
The numbers are staggering, as the World Health Organization notes that in 2012, 8.2 million people succumbed to cancer each year. Nearly 1.2 million from this number are patients from Southeast Asia.
Almost two million new cancer cases are diagnosed yearly. The sheer number of cancer cases may leave you blurry eyed, but the debilitating effects of paying for cancer treatment can be felt even with a healthy savings and a medical insurance plan.
Facing up to financial toxicity
At times, the surging bills can make families who are facing cancer to go bankrupt.
Cancer and financial catastrophe are likely to go with each other as shown in last year’s study by Universiti Malaya led by associate professor Nirmala Bhoo-Pathy. Her study indicated that almost 50% of Malaysians face financial catastrophe within the first year of being diagnosed with cancer.
Beacon Hospital’s clinical oncologist Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim says that for example, treatment costs in private and public hospitals can start from RM500 to RM18,000 for breast cancer surgery.
Newer treatments like immunotherapy and targeted therapies for late-stage cancer patients are more expensive.
Immunotherapy and targeted treatments can cost up to RM100,000 to RM150,000 yearly and RM6,000 to RM20,000 monthly respectively, he says.
That’s just treatment cost alone. What about the hidden costs?
Issues of loss of income, home care or caregiver costs, legal issues and even alternative therapies fall into consideration if a family embarks on the battle against cancer.
What more if the cancer patient is the main breadwinner of the family and he or she loses the ability to earn for the household.
We are told to embark on cancer prevention and be more aware of risk factors.
We try to take heed and lower our risk by say, quitting smoking, improving our diets and sedentary lifestyle. But, is that enough?
Cross out the costs with PRUcancer X
Gear up to fight cancer
Finder is bringing you the good news by showing you a way to protect not only yourself but your loved ones from the blows of a cancer-centric fight.
Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad (PAMB) has you in mind, as a financial protection provider and more importantly, as a caring insurer ready to provide you and your family peace of mind.
PRUcancer X is their latest solution aimed at stemming the high treatment cost and potential income loss if one has to stop work to focus on recovery.
“It is heartbreaking to learn of a family member or friend fighting cancer. It is just as difficult to see some pull through while others do not.
“As an insurer, we are deeply concerned that many cancer patients drop out of treatment due to reasons such as financial difficulties, lack of accessibility to treatment as well as work or family responsibilities,” says PAMB’s Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Eric Wong.
Key features of PRUcancer X
High coverage of cancer benefits up to RM2 million
The solution currently offers the highest cancer-specific insurance product available in the Malaysian market. This allows cancer patients to have the opportunity to seek the best care and treatment in the country or abroad.
Just as crucially, the benefits are aimed at helping the insured manage their financial commitments during the recovery phase and still keep their dreams alive.
Aside from the high sum assured, PAMB emphasises the importance of affordability when fighting cancer. As a way of creating awareness about financial protection, the idea behind PRUcancer X is to allow as many working adults as possible in Malaysia to get hold of coverage not only for them, but for their family.
For a high-value plan like PRUcancer X, the affordability extends to those who may have just started their careers, paying only an estimated RM600 a year for a sum assured of RM250,000.
This of course is dependent on risk factors, cancer history and if he is undergoing existing cancer treatments.
Early stage cancer coverage
Battling cancer at its earliest stages ensures highest chances of survival. Research has shown that catching an early diagnosis of cancer can often lead to 100% recovery.
In recognition of this, this cancer-specific insurance plan provides for a portion of coverage for early-stage cancer upon diagnosis. This includes carcinoma-in situ, early prostate cancer, early bladder cancer and early chronic lymphocytic leukemia, as well as thyroid cancer.
This solution also offers compassionate benefit for families in the event of death. PRUcancer X understands that apart from dealing with grief, the family of the deceased will receive a fixed benefit to assist with funeral expenses.
A typical application for insurance policies requires holders to fill in forms with seemingly endless questions, making the process tedious and time consuming.
With PRUcancer X, that tiresome process is removed, says Lim. Applicants only need to complete five underwriting questions that are specific to cancer risks only.
There are existing cancer coverage plans within other policies that cover critical illness, but the amount of claims made is significantly less than what a typical cancer treatment can cost.
Hence PRUcancer X was developed specifically to ensure the best coverage and care for all Malaysians.
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