The cost of private healthcare in Malaysia can be on the high side with prices increasing every year when it comes to some services. However, much of the burden from healthcare expenses can be shifted by simply purchasing medical insurance.
Why is Medical Insurance Necessary?
Because there may be a situation you may not be able to afford private healthcare if (God forbid) you fall ill and need to be hospitalised. You may end up depleting your savings, borrowing to cover your hospital bills.
I See... How do I Apply?
The application process isn’t complicated and depending on the coverage, even the premiums payable can be inexpensive or made through instalments. All that’s left to do is apply! Here is your step-by-step guide to getting health insurance:
1. Research plans and providers available
Shop around to see what types of policies and plans are available as well as which ones apply to you. For instance, women can choose from special policies that cover related illnesses like ovarian cancer and pregnancy complications.
Be sure to learn more about the policies you are interested in and pay special attention to the annual limit, coverage period, premiums payable, renewal options, additional benefits and the terms of exclusions i.e. situations where your policy will not pay out. Also check that the provider is licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia.
2. Choose a plan
Once you have the information you want, decide on the amount of coverage and level of comprehensiveness needed. Basic coverage is usually cheaper to buy and upkeep but also comes at a lower sum insured and with fewer benefits.
Extensive coverage will understandably cost more now but could save you an even larger sum in the future if your medical costs are heavy. The best plan of course, is the one that you can afford, so remember to stay within your means when choosing.
3. Decide whether to buy direct or from an agent
Most times you will have the option to purchase directly from the insurance company or through an agent. Going with an agent can simplify the process and be most helpful when you want to make a claim. Where else going direct could mean you may have to handle your own claims process in a time of need.
4. Submit your application
If you are going direct, you can usually submit an application online, which often includes a questionnaire about your medical history.
If you have an agent, he or she will help you fill out the necessary information and make the submission. Depending on the policy and terms, you may need to obtain a medical check-up first to get your policy approved.
5. Pay the premium
Once your policy is approved, you can make the premium payment in a lump-sum amount or follow a payment schedule. Some providers offer bi-annual, quarterly and even monthly payment options. If you don’t pay the premium after the grace period (30 days after the due date) however, your policy is liable to lapse and your coverage may cease.
As stipulated by Bank Negara Malaysia, you are allowed a cooling-off period of 15 days where if you decide you do not want your policy, you will still be refunded 90% of the payments made minus any medical check-up costs incurred.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget that up to RM3,000 of your medical and education insurance premium combined is claimable for tax relief.
While we all would like to think that nothing bad will happen to us healthwise, it pays to be prepared for the worst. After all, some premiums offer comprehensive coverage without denting your income much at all. If you're keen to know which one is right for you, do a little research first with our medical card comparison tool!
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