Axa Hong Kong and Macau is launching a critical illness (CI) plan for survivors of heart attacks, stroke and cancer and those with other significant health risks, that includes a health activity programme and regular check-ups.
It is aimed at lowering barriers to protection for those with health risks, including the three highs of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as the elderly and critical illness survivors.
The CareForAll Critical Illness Plan is designed to bring peace of mind to the underserved communities facing health risks, the insurer said.
“With relaxed underwriting requirements, CareForAll aims to serve customers living with chronic disease, the silver-haired segment and critical illness survivors, enabling them to access critical illness insurance as needed,” it added.
“Individuals with existing chronic conditions or survivors of critical illnesses are often denied coverage by traditional critical illness protection plans due to stringent underwriting requirements or expensive premiums, leaving them and their families vulnerable and uncertain about their future.”
Axa aims to provide comprehensive coverage access to those living with diabetes and chronic conditions known as the three-highs, the growing elderly population, as well as survivors of cancer, heart attack or stroke.
The coverage for this plan can reach up to HKD2m (£209,177) and includes wellbeing support services.
Key features of the CareForAll include relaxed underwriting requirements and process. There are as few as three health underwriting questions which focus mainly on applicants’ health conditions in the past two years without the need for medical examinations.
There is also a premium rebate of up to 30% for customers who stay committed to the plan and the health programme.
If customers complete the free medical check-ups provided in the first, third and fifth policy years, they will get a medical check-up bonus, which equals to 10% premium rebate of that policy year.
And if customers reach the minimum number of achieved days in the Axa Goal (Lite) programmes, they can get a premium rebate of up to 10% each year.
That programme includes achieving a daily step count goal of 10,000 steps for at least 125 days in a membership year.
Starting from the 10th policy anniversary and continuing with each subsequent policy anniversary, customers can also get a loyalty bonus which is equivalent to 20% of the annualised premium.
The plan also offers guaranteed renewal, even if there are any subsequent changes in health condition – until the insured reaches age 100. The premium rate will not be affected by the insured’s age within each policy term.
The number of elderly people aged 65 and over is growing in Hong Kong and is set to almost double, reaching 2.74 million people within the next two decades.
By 2046, it is estimated this demographic will make up more than one in three Hong Kongers.
Elderly people are highly prone to chronic diseases and critical illnesses, with 75% of those over 65 dealing with conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
Additionally, there is a concerning trend of younger population suffering from chronic disease such as diabetes and those three highs.
A customer survey, commissioned by Axa showed it was not just the elderly who faced hurdles to getting critical illness insurance, but 30 to 49 year olds as well.
Two thirds (67%) of respondents over 30 said they found it difficult to purchase critical illness insurance due to pre-existing conditions, while 71% believed that, considering their age and health conditions, the relatively high premiums for CI caused financial strain on them.
More than 30% of 30-to-49-year-olds said they were denied coverage due to failed underwriting or risk assessment, a higher proportion compared to other age groups.
And complex underwriting requirements and procedures were the two primary reasons discouraging those aged 50 and above from getting CI.
As life expectancy increases and medical technology advances, more than 70% of respondents worried that the current health insurance offerings have not adequately accommodated these changes, leaving some people in need without enough critical illness coverage.
Sally Wan, CEO of Axa Greater China (pictured) said the insurer was committed to innovation and forward-thinking in designing products and services.
“We continuously strive to meet not only our customers’ current needs but also prepare them for the future,“ she said.
“With the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, cancer, heart diseases, and strokes, coupled with the growing aging population, we are deeply concerned that more and more customers will face these health issues, resulting in a widening gap in their future health coverage.”