14 of The Biggest Changes To Critical Illness Plans in 2020

2020 marks the end of the decade. As we set off fireworks to usher in the coming years, we revel in the joyous atmosphere and think little of the future. If you currently have Critical Illness Policies in force and want to know what are the changes being made, read on to find out!

In the third quarter of 2019, the Life Insurance Association revised the definition of “Critical Illness”. Of the 37 on their list, 14 have had their titles changed with 21 of them having their definitions altered. 

So what changed?

Here ‘s an overview of the CI headers and their respective changes in bold. An asterisk has been appended to critical illnesses with changes to the wording of their definitions. We’ve gone ahead and simplified some of the changes made in their definitions. 

  1. Major Cancers*

Only when a tumour is malignant will it be considered. Major cancers refer but are not limited to leukaemia, lymphoma and sarcoma. Verifiable evidence is needed.

  1. Heart Attack of Specified Severity*

Death of heart muscle due to ischaemia with any 3 symptoms of a new occurrence of a heart attack.

  1. Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit*

A cerebrovascular incident resulting in a permanent neurological deficit. 

  1. Coma*

Medically induced comas and those resulting from drug or alcohol abuse are excluded. 

  1. Multiple Sclerosis*

The verified diagnosis that must be supported with investigations that provide undeniable evidence and multiple neurological deficits.

  1. Muscular Dystrophy*

Consultant neurologist must make the diagnosis. 

  1. Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease*

The inability for the affected to perform 3 of 6 daily functions and cannot control the disease with medication. 

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease / Severe Dementia*

Deteriorative or loss of cognitive function. 

  1. HIV Due to Blood Transfusion and Occupationally Acquired HIV*

Blood transfusion has to be done in Singapore and the institution has to be able to track the tainted blood. 

  1. Severe Viral Encephalitis*

Must have been documented for 6 weeks and supported by confirmatory diagnostic tests.

  1. Blindness (Irreversible Loss of Sight)*

Blindness must not be able to be corrected by surgery, implants or any other means.

  1. Other Serious Coronary Artery Disease*

Must be proven by invasive coronary angiography. Diagnosis by CT or MRI scans are not accepted.

  1. Poliomyelitis*

The diagnosis must be confirmed by a consultant neurologist or specialist in the relevant medical field.

  1. Loss of Independent Existence*

Unable to perform 3 of 6 daily functions. Company doctor must confirm the condition with non-organic diseases being excluded. 


For more information, look up their 2020 Critical Illness Framework.


TLDR; Critical Illness plans now have less of a “grey area”. Their requirements are more specific which means that claims need more legitimacy and have to meet more specific conditions to be approved.

However, insurers have up to 26 August 2020 to make changes to their plans. In between now and then, any Critical Illness plans sold will follow the pre-amended definitions. That means if you want to get your hands on the older plans you’ll only have until 26 August 2020 to do so. 

If you need help in picking a Critical Illness plan or have concerns about your current plans, feel free to contact our friendly representatives here at PolicyPal. Contact us at +65 3163 9184 or [email protected]. Alternatively, you can message us on WhatsApp at +65 8750 0688.



PolicyPal is here to help you make informed and savvy financial decisions through the good times and the bad.

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