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healthworks

‘Critical Illnesses Is An Old People Thing’ And 3 Other Health Myths You Should Stop Believing

Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to our health.
03 Jan 2022, 12:57 PM
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‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock; Edited by LITE

In this turbulent day and age, we’re beginning to face increasing costs in medical treatments (between 10% and 15% annually) and rising rates of illnesses and deaths, which in return, raises the fear and paranoia among all of us.

This may be a tough pill to swallow, but you should be aware that Malaysians are facing greater risks of lifestyle diseases—we’re looking at your nasi lemak and teh tarik suppers—and critical illnesses too.

Yet, there are some myths about critical illnesses that have been travelling around for years, which must be stopped now. So, let’s debunk a few, shall we?

Myth #1: I’m still young; I won’t get critical illness. Only older people get it.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock

At the prime of your life, you may think that you wouldn’t have to worry about critical illnesses until you’re much older. Well, we have some bad news for you—this isn’t true. As with any diseases, critical illnesses don’t discriminate age, gender or status.

In 2008, we learnt about a 13-year-old boy from Lukut, who lost his life because of a heart attack. Then in 2011, we were shocked by the story of a two-year-old Canadian girl, who was diagnosed with breast cancer—and fortunately, survived it. Plus, it has been revealed that more young adults in their 20s are suffering from heart attack.

It’s common to assume that some diseases and illnesses are hereditary. However, this isn’t the only contributing factor. Regardless of our demographic, our non-hereditary influences such as diet, lifestyle and stress (which most of us suffer from), play a part in deteriorating our health too. Hence, it’s important to get a critical illness insurance when you’re still young and healthy.

Truth: Critical illness can strike at any age.

Myth #2: If I get diagnosed with critical illness, it basically means I’m getting a death sentence.

Staying positive and optimistic isn’t the easiest thing to do if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness. However, as unrealistic as some may call it to be, being diagnosed with a critical illness really shouldn’t be the end of the world.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock

The earlier you start treatment, the greater your chances of surviving. Here are some convincing numbers:

  • The golden hour of treating a heart attack is within the first two hours—up to 80% of patients can survive it if they receive help by then
  • The survival rate for stroke victims can go as high as 80.3% (for those with ischaemic stroke - blocked arteries) and 62.2% (for those with intracerebral haemorrhage - bleeding within the brain tissue) if they are treated within 3 hours.
  • If detected early, cancer patients have an 80% survival rate. Meanwhile, those who are diagnosed during Stage 4 have a 60% survival rate.

Of course, the brutal truth remains—medical treatments won’t come cheap… especially if you require long term-care.

A rough calculation by a local financial comparison site estimates that a domestic helper can set you back at RM1,000 a month. Similarly, private nursing can amount up to RM5,000 and alternative treatments can require another RM1,000.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock

Add this to the fact that many critically ill patients may be forced into taking extended sick leaves or worse, not be able to work again. For example, did you know that 24% of heart attack patients who had returned to work, left their jobs within a year?

Before you lose hope though, know that there is help available out there. Start planning your health (and financial) protection and look for critical illness plans that offer early treatment coverage such as Allianz’s Prime Care+.

Truth: Early treatment can increase chances of survival, but the recovery journey will take time and cost money.

Myth #3: I don’t need critical illness coverage if I already have medical insurance.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via LITE

It’s important to have medical insurance, whether it’s your own or provided by your company. Moreover, you’ll be very thankful for it if you find yourself in a situation where you have to cover hospitalisation and surgical costs in the event of an urgent treatment.

Here’s a setback that some may not be aware of—a regular medical plan can’t act as your income replacement or emergency funds. Instead, a critical illness plan, such as Allianz’s Prime Care+, can.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Allianz Malaysia (@allianzmalaysia) on

Unlike a medical plan, it pays out a lump sum amount upon diagnosis—whether in the early, intermediate or advanced stage—to help you in your recovery journey. This will be a tremendous help if you’re not able to return to work post-recovery, reducing the financial burden on yourself and your loved ones.

Truth: A critical illness plan is different from a medical plan, but they can complement each other if purchased together.

Myth #4: The critical illness plan I had since I was a child is more than enough.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock

Do you really think that your current critical illness plan that was purchased over 20 years ago is good enough? Let’s do a quick comparison:

In the 1990s, the common critical illness plans only covered up to 36 critical illnesses which does not include the early stages. Today, critical illness coverage like Allianz’s Prime Care+ extends to more than 150 critical illness conditions across various stages.

So, which do you think can do a better job at keeping you protected?

Truth: An updated critical illness plan ensures you get sufficient coverage.

With this global pandemic that has been taking over everyone’s life the past year, the words ‘health’, ‘sickness’, ‘life’, and ‘death’ have been on everyone’s minds more frequently. If you’ve never given much thought about your health and insurance, you really should start now.

‘critical illnesses is an old people thing’ and 3 other health myths you should stop believing

Image via Shutterstock

Prevention is better than cure and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst. One of the steps to do that is to protect yourself and your loved ones with a critical illness insurance plan.

Allianz’s Prime Care+ is a comprehensive critical illness plan that offers extensive coverage for over 150 critical illness conditions from early to advanced stages.

Other key benefits include:

  • Diabetes and Cancer Recovery Benefit
  • Catastrophic Critical Illness (CI) Benefit
  • Juvenile Critical Illness Coverage for those under the age of 19
  • Coverage for Angioplasty and Other Invasive Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease

Remember what we said about receiving a lump sum amount upon diagnosis? This can really help you with your daily expenses if you lose your income, gain access to early treatments and post-treatment care, as well as act as an emergency fund so you don’t have to liquidate your assets or tap into your savings.

Being critically ill is already stressful enough without all the money issues. Let Prime Care+ act as your financial safety net in times of uncertainty so that you can focus on getting better. For more info, click here.

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