Diabetes is an expensive and silent disease costing Singapore over S$1 billion a year to manage1. Treatment costs for working-age people suffering from diabetes could increase to over S$10,000 a year2 in 2050, according to a National University of Singapore study.
For patients and their families, the disease can also take a great emotional toll. Elevated blood glucose levels can damage nerve endings and blood vessels, leading to complications that can range from kidney failure to blindness, heart attack, and stroke.
Diabetic patients often face a big challenge getting insurance protection because of the complexities of the disease. Some have repeated bad experiences with insurance products that do not adequately cover their needs while others have a hard time getting enough coverage because diabetics, up until recently, have been somewhat considered “uninsurable”.
In recent years, the market has opened up sizeably. Insurance companies have begun extending financial health products to diabetic patients to support them in managing the ailment. Many financial products in the market are now satisfying wider requirements.
These financial products include health protection plans that can provide ample coverage to diabetics. One of the biggest benefits of having insurance is being assured long-term relief and coverage for correlated health complications that may arise due to diabetes, such as a stroke or heart attack.
While the right health insurance products have taken to the market, the issue of ensuring financial comfort in the long run, remains largely untapped.
A 2019 study estimates that an average elderly person in Singapore requires approximately S$1,379 per month3 to meet basic living standards. In my view, people with diabetes should build in a reasonable portion in their retirement savings to account for any health complexities that may arise in the future.
To assist diabetics, there are specific endowment plans and Guaranteed Insurability Options (GIO) that enable stronger retirement savings and financial security in the long run. These require the insurance company to renew the insured’s policy for a particular duration, irrespective of any change in their health. Such plans allow diabetic patients to purchase the endowment plan without any health checks.
No longer uninsurable, diabetic patients can turn to financial consultants to create strong financial plans and understand the latest market trends to make more informed decisions about their health, and future.
With an abundance of options in the market, one can now count on more adequate protection, stronger coverage, and long-term healthcare benefits. Saving for the future will help patients become more financially resilient in case of an emergency.
In addition to getting a robust financial plan, one of the most effective financial strategies for diabetics is to manage out-of-pocket-costs. With medical expenses higher than the average person without diabetes, diabetics will need to be empowered patients to keep their condition under control so that their medical costs do not continue to escalate. Diabetics will do themselves and their loved ones a tremendous favour by following these 4 points:
– Be consistent with your medication and treatment regime
– Follow up on medical checks ups to ensure your condition is under control
– Eat healthily and be diligent about getting regular exercise
– Be responsible for your financial future by ensuring you have the right and adequate health insurance and protection plans
Diabetes is a challenging condition to live with, but it is not insurmountable. With a robust financial plan and a strong personal commitment to stay on top of the disease, one can maintain good health and lower care and treatment costs with lasting results.
If you are keen to find out more about financial protection and savings strategies for diabetics, get in touch with me at SG Alliance today.
1Source: Business Times, https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/life-culture/the-war-on-diabetes-goes-digital
2Source: National University of Singapore, https://sph.nus.edu.sg/2016/04/cost-of-diabetes-to-singapore-to-soar-beyond-2-5b-by-2050/
Retirement to me means these three things all at once: • no longer having to work for a living •