AIA Beyond Critical Care Review – My Thoughts On Mental Illness Cover

I'd expand more on the topic of mental illnesses which is good for anyone to know.
It is also what I believe the AIA Beyond Critical Care plan is most useful for.

What AIA Beyond Critical Care Plan gives you

Firstly, this plan covers 43 Critical illnesses for you.

That is 6 more than the usual 37 critical illnesses offered in a traditional CI plan.

It does NOT cover for early critical illnesses.

Secondly, this plan covers you for rediagnosed or recurred critical illnesses
What this means is that if you have a heart attack, you can still claim another 100% of the sum assured you bought for a second heart attack if it happens more than 12months later.

Similiarly for stroke and cancer.

These are common illnesses that are known to have a high relapse risk.

For the first 2 points of  CI coverage, you may compare it against 2 plans mentioned with a previous post of mine

Tokio Marine Multicare or AVIVA MyMultipay CI plans

Thirdly, this plan provides you with death coverage.

In the event you bought a plan that is $200,000 sum assured, with the special compassionate benefit of $10,000, your total death coverage will be $210,0000.

It is the sum assured + $10,000 if no critical illnesses have been claimed.

In addition, you get a health screening benefit of up to $200 for every 3 years.

This benefit will start from the 4th policy year onwards and works on a reimbursement basis.

It needs to be with a clinic or medical facility approved by AIA.

Coverage for mental illnesses

The AIA Beyond Critical Illness plan covers the following 5 illnesses which I will explain in detail more.

Coverage will be 20% of the sum assured that you bought.

If it is $200,000 sum assured, claims for mental illness will be $40,000.

For 1 condition, it can be claimed only once.

Below is the definition for claims.

1) Major depressive disorder (MDD) A.K.A clinical depression

What is depression?

It is NOT your usual sadness and it is NOT simply by a measure of degree.

You won’t experience any permanent sense of worthlessness or guilt as you might with depression.

One of the diagnostic features of depression is repeated self-diminishing and negative thought patterns.

BUT Clinical depression is a MORE SEVERE STATE which can last for two weeks or longer.

In Singapore, one in seventeen people will have a Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression at least once in their lifetime according to IMH. 

But for claims, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) must be also used as a treatment!

For a layman, ECT is really mild electric shock!

Yes electric shock, Surprised?

According to KKH, ECT is the most effective treatment for depression where rapid reduction of symptoms is required.

ECT is only indicated for those with severe depression who have not responded to treatment or are highly suicidal.

Which age group is most susceptible to major depressive disorder (MDD)?

According to reports, women aged 40 to 59 have the highest rate of depression (12.3 percent) of any group based on age and gender in the U.S.

For Singapore, the illness affected over 57,000 adult men and about 102,000 adult women during their lifetime.

I used to think it was the elderly man category.

2) Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD typically begins in adolescence, but it may start in early adulthood or childhood.

According to IMH, one in 33 people are affected by OCD in their lifetime.

I haven't seen the underwriting guidelines yet especially since OCD symptoms usually WORSEN WITH AGE.

We see for a second time the DSM-5 criteria which seems like a common clinical standard.

5 of the following issues.

  1. depressed mood nearly every day
  2. loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  3. significant weight loss or weight gain
  4. poor sleep or over sleeping
  5. agitation / irritability / restlessness or feeling slowed down
  6. feeling tired easily or loss of energy
  7. feeling worthless or having excessive guilt
  8. poor concentration, difficulty thinking or forgetfulness
  9. suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts

In the criteria, there must be an uninterrupted 180days of treatment before claims.

3) Schizophrenia

As shown in the chart above, schizophrenia is largely diagnosed by age 20.

I haven't seen the underwriting guidelines yet but it is likely that if you had schizophrenia symptoms before, you would not be able to buy the plan.

If you are past age 40 and you do not have schizophrenia yet, it is unlikely that you will develop it when you age.

4) Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder between the two extremes of mood – depressed (‘low’) and manic (‘high’).

I've seen Bipolar Disorder depicted in TV 8 drama before.

A role played by Fann Wong where she was a high-flying career women I think.

Just as a description, Bipolar disorder can start really at any time in your life

but the most common age of onset of the illness, is young adulthood in the late teens and early 20s.

1.2% of the adult population in Singapore suffered from Bipolar Disorder. It affected men and women equally.

5) Tourette syndrome

Coverage for this condition is for someone less than age21.

Hence, if you are buying AIA Beyond Critical Care plan as an adult to cover for future mental illnesses, you may ignore this coverage.

Premiums and looks of the AIA Beyond Critical Care Plan

I think covering for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is something that is very real to you.

Will it affect you ability to work?

Your CI plans and Early CI plans will not pay out for such a situation and your income may be lost.

You can apply for AIA Beyond Critical Care only if you are age less than 60.

This plan covers till age85 or for a minimum coverage period of 30 years,

For $100k coverage

Premiums for a 40age lady will be about $230/m till age85

Premiums for a 40age man will be about $257/m till age85

That is weird. Usually CI premiums are more expensive for females!

And as shown above, major depressive disorders (MDD) affect women just as much.

Maybe men have more mental illness risk in general?

The premiums do seem expensive for a term plan because there is a potential refund of premium.

Kind of like a no-claim bonus.

According to policy words "We will pay in 1 lump sum, an amount equivalent to 100% of the Total Annual Premiums at the end of the policy term, without interest, after deducting any benefits paid under the policy."


I hope that this post has helped you understand not only this AIA Beyond Critical Care plan but also mental illnesses in general.

If you are keen to know more on AIA's other critical illness plan, you may check


Research appendix

- abcnews.go.com


-  https://www.imh.com.sg/uploadedFiles/Newsroom/News_Releases/SMHS%20news%20release.pdf

- https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-ocd-2510663

- https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Histogram-of-bipolar-disorder-onset-ages-in-Argentina-and-the-United-States-Green_fig3_275350155

There may be errors or omissions during my review of this plan and considerations on how to use it.

Last updated on August 31st, 2019 at 10:00 pm

Josh Tan Jian Liang (CHFC) Principal Author

REVIEWS: https://www.theastuteparent.com/josh-tan Practising financial planner with Promiseland Independent Pte Ltd. EXPERIENCE: More than 13years. Josh Tan is a young parent, speaker, author and founder of TheAstuteParent.

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