Providing Cancer Cover at Modest Premium with Convertibility to Full Medical Cover at Retirement without Proof of Health
Hong Kong, 13 March 2017 - FWD Hong Kong announces the launch of its innovative CANsurance series, which includes CANsurance Cancer Protection Plan and CANsurance Full Medical Plan. The CANsurance Cancer Protection Plan provides the working population with cancer cover as an added safety net with simple underwriting at modest premium levels, such as HK$2 per day1. It also includes the option of converting to full medical plan2 at retirement3 regardless of health condition and without requiring proof of health. There are also additional benefits such as temporary full medical coverage or premium waiver available at different life stages or special events.
Paul Tse, Chief Marketing Officer of FWD Hong Kong and Macau, said, “According to the government’s Census and Statistic Department survey on medical benefits4, over 51.3% of the Hong Kong population were not covered by any medical insurance and 16.3% of them were covered only by employers’/companies’ group medical insurance. Cancer is Hong Kong’s top critical illness, which accounted for 76% of critical illness claims paid out by FWD5. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, cancer can be detected and treated at earlier stages, resulting in higher survival rates but treatments can often be costly and protracted.”
Tse added, “Many of the workforce might have neglected the importance of medical protection and did not purchase personal medical insurance due to a number of reasons, such as still being young and healthy, already covered by employer’s group health plan, or needing to save money to realise their dreams or life goals. This means workers are at risk of having no medical coverage when changing jobs, during probation and after retirement.”
Besides providing cancer cover at modest premiums, CANsurance Cancer Protection Plan also helps the customer to cope with changing needs in different life stages, such as waiving premium for 1 year for involuntarily unemployment, furthering full time education, taking working holidays; or deferring premium payments for 1 year for marriage or becoming parent, all without any interruption in the cancer cover. The plan also includes an innovative “Job Changer Benefit” to provide the customer with a full medical coverage when his/her employer’s group medical coverage ends as a result of changing job. The customer is entitled to up to 6 months of temporary coverage under a full medical plan for up to three times before reaching the age of 652.
Medical Advances Lead to Earlier Cancer Detection and Treatment
Specialist in clinical oncology Dr. Maverick Tsang Wai-kong said at the media conference, “Effective screening tests are available for various types of cancer – breast, cervix, lung, colorectal, liver and prostate. Research has shown that with screening of high risk population for lung cancer with low dose CT scan of thorax, 50% of the participants who were subsequently diagnosed with lung cancer had Stage I disease. With chest x-ray screening, only 30% of the participants would have Stage I disease. For Stage I lung cancer, the survival rate will be about 60% which will drop to 15% for Stage III disease. Thus, the chance of survival of lung cancer patients with CT thorax screening will be significantly higher. With the advance in targeted therapy and immunotherapy, patients with Stage IV lung cancer will survive significantly longer for more than two years on average.”
Specialist in Radiology Dr. Kevin Lau also noted, “Cutting edge equipment such as the new generations of CT has substantially reduced the radiation dose to patients. Take coronary angiograms for instance, the radiation dose of the examination has gone from 10 – 20mSv to as low as 0.1 – 0.3mSv, which is similar to the amount of radiation exposure with a return flight from Hong Kong to London. This makes early detection easier and more effective for coronary artery diseases and cancers. On the other hand, 1.5T MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can provide full-body scans more quickly and with steadier images compared to older equipment. The imaging is so clear that it can differentiate different tissues, with over 90% accuracy in cancer detection. In contrast, traditional blood screening tests for tumour markers only have 30 – 40% accuracy. This newer technology definitely helps with diagnosing cancer, especially at early stages.”
Securing Cancer Protection at Modest Premiums
Saving Resources for Pursuit of Dreams
Paul Tse of FWD added, “The lifestyle and career pattern of the younger generation are constantly changing. They might hope to devote more resources in pursuit of dreams and goals, while facing the risks of rising medical costs. The annual salary of a university graduate with two to three years of working experience is about HK$250,000 while the annual treatment cost for colon cancer can reach HK$350,0006. With an intent to disrupt the traditional framework of medical insurance, through the CANSurance series we hope to encourage the public, especially the younger generation, to secure protection early at modest premium levels when they are still healthy, and may convert permanently to a full medical plan at retirement to be more comprehensively prepared for post-retirement medical needs.”