WHEN critical illness occurs, people can find their lives upended, and finances drained.

A 2018 Healthy Living Index Study conducted by Philam Life’s parent company AIA Group showed that 78% of Filipinos surveyed expect the government to shoulder the cost of treating critical illness.

Philam Life also cited data showing the average cost of critical illness is P2 million, but the average actual claims in 2018 stood at P350,000.

“If someone gets critically ill, he needs to spend around P2 million. So if you don’t have P2 million saved, saan ka aasa, ‘di ba? (What will you going depend on?),” said Philam Life Chief Marketing Officer Leonardo D. Tan Jr. during a company event last June 19 at the Ayala Tower, Makati City.

This prompted Philam Life to introduce AIA Critical Protect 100, which offers comprehensive health and protection benefits from 0-100 years old. It offers coverage for up to 100 minor and major illnesses, including cancer, heart attack or stroke.

It covers P1 million or more depending on the premium and has options to include increased coverage for gender specific cancers and recovery benefits.

“Anyone from 0 to 65 can enrol into this program. And what we do is that this is a program that covers a hundred critical illness(es)… up to a hundred years and we have done it quite innovatively, it’s as low as P100 a day,” said Philam Life CEO Kelvin Ang.

The program’s premium varies with the individual’s age. A 36-year-old male, for example, has to pay P113 daily for 20 years for a coverage of a million pesos. The insured can choose from 10 years or 20 years for paying the policy.

Mr. Tan said that the program is perfect for millennials who can enjoy the Philam Vitality program part of the policy. AIA Critical Protect 100 is also powered by the company’s Philam Vitality program which incentivises members for healthy behavior.

“What we want to also do is to educate millennials that while you enjoy the current, you also have to plan for the future, for the what ifs,” he added.

“It’s just not all about protection. There’s that prevention piece because while you are protected, you don’t want to get sick…we came out with this science-backed wellness program that allows you to know your health, improve your health and enjoy the rewards,” said Mr. Tan.

Mr. Ang also said that they are hoping to launch a microinsurance program by next year.

“We are trying to see how we can do some of these insurance product really affordable, innovative so that the members can purchase.” — Katrina T. Mina