4 Dec 2014
- SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) underscores NTUC Income’s commitment to provide solutions for the special needs community
- The new policy is the second in the series of SpecialCare products for a segment that is usually denied insurance protection
- Annual premium starts as low as $198 and policy covers 24-hour global protection against injuries due to accidents and 17 infectious diseases
SINGAPORE, 4 DECEMBER 2014 – NTUC Income has announced that it has unveiled an insurance policy for children and youth with Down Syndrome.
SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) is the only policy in the market designed for children and young people with Down Syndrome. It is the second policy in Income’s SpecialCare series after Income’s inaugural SpecialCare (Autism) which was launched in August 2013.
SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) is modeled after SpecialCare (Autism) and is available to children and youth between the age of 15 days and 30 years old. Renewable up to the age of 75, the policy provides outpatient medical and hospitalisation coverage due to accidents and 17 infectious diseases.
Applicants only have to undergo a simplified underwriting. Annual premiums start from $198.
“NTUC Income developed SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) as part of our social mission to make essential insurance accessible and affordable. That was one of our foundational purposes and it is a commitment we made that is part of our coporate DNA today,” said Mr Ken Ng, Chief Executive of NTUC Income.
“People with Down Syndrome form a segment that is usually denied insurance. Just as SpecialCare (Autism) has provided financial relief for families of children and youth with Autism in the event of an accident, we hope that SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) will likewise provide peace of mind and help in the expenses of families of children and youth with Down Syndrome.”
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21. It is associated with a range of developmental difficulties, including delayed motor and cognitive skills.
People with Down Syndrome experience delayed motor skills in sitting, crawling and walking in infancy, and delayed cognitive skills in speech, language acquisition and short-term memory abilities. They may also have impairments and developmental delay ranging from mild to severe.
Although there is no clear data on the number of people affected by Down Syndrome in Singapore, the Health Promotion Board estimates that Down Syndrome affects one in every 700 babies. Based on Singapore’s current population of 5.47 million, this would put an estimated population of more than 6,000 people affected with Down Syndrome in Singapore.
Ms Margaret Goh, 55, whose now-20-year-old son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome as an infant, welcomed the new initiative.
“SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) is a long overdue product. The premium is affordable and it will definitely help to relieve some financial burden in the event of a medical crisis that requires hospitalisation or post care,” said the homemaker who had to give up her business to provide dedicated care for her son.
She added, “I would have certainly taken up a policy like this if it had been available at that time. I would definitely advise parents of Down Syndrome children to take up a policy like this to help defray unexpected medical expenses from illnesses, ailments or accidents.”
NTUC Income launched its first SpecialCare policy, SpecialCare (Autism), last year. To date, some 420 policies have been taken up, with claims being paid to dengue fever and outpatient expenses due to accidents.