Cancer is the second largest cause of deaths worldwide, but due to its ongoing and recurring nature it can be the most expansive to treat. The incidence of cancer has been on the increase for over 30 years. According to Ourworldindata in 1996 there were 23.3 million people with cancer, by 2006 that had grown to 30.51 million and in 2016 it was 42 million. The below chart shows this in more detail. Over 50 years old accounted for 83% of the total.

The cost of treatment has also risen significantly, partly due to new drugs and techniques becoming available. The death rate has fallen to 21% of all cases, which is a testament to how well it can be treated now.

As an example, the cost of treatment in Singapore (a place many expats in SE Asia go for treatment) averages between S$8,400 and S$16,700 per month or S$100,000 to S$200,000 per year for consultations, tests, treatment and hospital stay. 

High quality, full-cover international medical insurance with excellent services is quite expensive. If you want to go to a hospital with highly experienced doctors and receive the best treatment, then the cost is considerable. Considering this, with limited-benefit insurance you may have to pay for the large difference in medical expenses. You may not realize this until you claim or utilize your insurance and then it will be too late to upgrade your plan or change to another insurance company.

Question: Low level package paying all small fancy expenses like routine outpatient, dental, routine maternity… and another package with high level of just Inpatient, which one is more value in the long run when cancer is just one of dozen critical illness?

If your company give you a choice, which one you choose?

(Aetna Solutions)