With modern times comes a change of lifestyle, where medical advancements allow us to enjoy longer life spans and a higher possibility of surviving critical illnesses.


Unfortunately, not all of us are prepared to carry the consequences that come with the financially damaging medical bills.


If you plan on purchasing an insurance plan to stay protected, it is extremely important to be aware of the coverage it offers and not assume that it takes care of everything. No one likes the harsh reality of being told that his or her policy does not offer sufficient coverage, especially during critical times! Consider the following headline of an article that appeared in Singapore’s The New Paper on 31 August 2010:

What is a critical illness insurance  plan?

A critical illness insurance plan is basically an insurance policy that protects you and your loved ones financially should you be down with any critical illnesses. Most critical illness insurance plans in Malayrsia cover 36 common  critical illnesses (refer to table on the right).


Unlike regular life insurance plans that cover Death and Total and Permanent  Disability (TPD), a critical illness insurance plan covers you from diseases that may not be curable or require much higher funds to be treated. Regular health insurance, on the other hand, provides reimbursement for hospitalisation as well as medical supplies and services expenses only.

List of Covered Critical Illnesses at Great Eastern

- Heart Attack

- Angioplasty And Other Invasive Treatments

For Major Coronary Artery Disease

- End Stage Kidney  Failure

- Major Organ / Bone  Marrow Transplant

- Multiple Sclerosis

- Blindness / Total  Loss Of Sight

- Deafness / Total  Loss Of Hearing

- Loss of Speech

- Major Burns

- Severe Cardiomyopathy

- HIV Due  To Blood  Transfusion

- End Stage Liver Failure

- Major Head Trauma

- Muscular Dystrophy

- Encephalitis

- Brain  Surgery

- Other Serious Coronary Artery Diseas

- Coronary Artery By-Pass Surgery

- Stroke

- Cancer

- Fulminant Viral Hepatitis

- Paralysis  / Paraplegia

- Primary Pulmonary Arterial


- Heart Valve Surgery

- Surgery To Aorta

- Alzheimer’s Disease / irreversible

Organic Degenerative Brain  Disorders

- Coma

- Motor Neuron Disease

- Parkinson’s Disease

- End Stage Lung  Disease

- Chronic Aplastic Anemia

- Benign Brain  Tumor

- Loss Of Independent Existence

- Bacterial Meningitis

- Systemic  Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

with Lupus Nephritis

- Full Blown  AIDs

How does it work?

A critical illness insurance plan will enable you to receive a lump sum payment  upon diagnosis of a critical illness. This allows you and your loved ones to enjoy peace of mind as you can then seek immediate treatment, pay for your medical bills, as well as settle mortgages and loans - all while maintaining current standards of living!

What are the general exclusions and limitations of a critical illness insurance plan?

Just like any other insurance plan, there is a list of general exclusions and limitations to a critical illness insurance plan that you should be aware of.

Pre-existing Condition  / Illness

They are conditions and illnesses experienced by you prior to applying for an insurance policy. For Medical and Health Insurance, these conditions and illnesses would be excluded from coverage by your insurance company. Do check with your insurance company regarding the terms and conditions of the Pre-existing Condition / Illness for the policy that you intend to buy.

Qualifying / Waiting Period

Most critical illness insurance plans carry a waiting period, which means that eligibility for benefits under the policy will only start after a specified number  of days from the effective date of the policy. This can range from 30 or 60 days, depending on the type of critical illness.

Read Your Policy Contract Carefully

Ensure that a copy of the original application is attached to the policy, and that it is complete and accurately reflects your medical information. Review the schedule of benefits and make sure that the information is correct and is what you are expecting. There should be no missing pages and no unexpected riders or exclusions in the policy.


You should note that critical illness insurance plans in general do not pay upon early diagnosis of a critical illness. For example, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), an early form of breast cancer is normally excluded from most critical illness insurance plans and will not qualify for any claim payout. However, the good news is that there is already one critical illness insurance plan in Malaysia that pays at the early stages of critical illness. Check out Great Eastern’s Smart Early Payout CriticalCare.


With a critical illness insurance plan in hand, you and your loved ones can enjoy the extra protection should the unexpected happen. After all, there’s nothing  like staying prepared and living life to the fullest.

Note: The term "Great Eastern" shall refer to Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad.