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Health Protection

Health Protection

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While public healthcare in Malaysia is relatively affordable when compared to other South East Asian countries, private healthcare is still very much necessary due to the fast growth of demand. Sure, most people don’t want to fall sick but that’s sometimes easier said than done. With that, it pays to be fully protected against the alarming rise in medical costs by getting health insurance. In fact, health insurance doesn’t just cover costs; it ensures that you receive timely care, leading to better outcomes.

In addition to ensuring you’re covered when it comes to high medical costs, particularly unexpected ones, here are some of the benefits that health insurance offers:-

  • Health insurance creates a safety buffer between your assets and investment, pre- and post retirement.
  • Health insurance allows you access to more treatment options, including a second opinion, by securing you a guaranteed fund for these options.
  • Health insurance allows you to be better prepared in the event that you require long-term care. In fact, this is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that your health care needs do not threathen your future financial security.

As with life insurance, there are many types of health insurance, but most can be categorized as one of these listed here. Let’s take a look at them.

HEALTH INSURANCE PRODUCT GENRES

A stand-alone medical plan provides you with comprehensive medical coverage at a relatively low premium. However, these premiums are based on an age band, gender, as well as on the type of insurance plan you take out. Typically, the premiums will increase as your age goes from one age band to another and the increase will be in accordance to a preset schedule. Furthermore, whilst the schedule is preset, it is not fixed and can be subject to change as time passes. Here are the key features of a stand-alone medical plan:-

  • Provision of comprehensive medical coverage which typically includes coverage for costs incurred before, during and after hospitalization.  
  • Low entry premiums.
  • Typically features overall annual limits of up to RM200,000 and overall lifetime limits of up to RM800,000
  • Cashless benefits – depending on the type of plan, this would allow you to seek medical help without paying cash upfront.
  • Flexibility of seeking a second opinion – although this is dependent on the type of plan you have.
  • Coverage for outpatient treatment.
  • Would typically allow you to seek medical help (hospitalization) at all major hospitals.

For whom would a stand-alone medical plan be suitable? A stand-alone plan is worth considering is you want:-

  • Comprehensive medical coverage for the short to medium term.
  • Low entry costs.
  • More medical coverage (top up).

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As implied by the name, an investment-linked medical plan is usually attached to a basic

investment-linked plan (ILP). Just like an ILP, an investment-linked medical plan is flexible; removing, adding or upgrading benefits are allowed, enabling you to adjust your policy to suit ever-changing needs. Thus, this sort of plan is ideal for the long term, where adjusting is allowed to account for every stage of life. An investment-linked medical plan also gives you access to a whole host of medical riders (additional benefits at an incremental cost) so that you can pick and choose in ensuring you’ve gotten comprehensive medical coverage. As always, let’s see what the key features of an investment-linked medical plan are:

Key features of a basic investment-linked plan (to which you can attach medical riders):-

  • Comprehensive medical coverage which includes coverage for costs incurred before, during and after hospitalization.  
  • Has an investment mechanism to cushion rising medical insurance costs.
  • Typically features a high annual limit of  RM200,000 and lifetime limits of up to RM 2,000,000.
  • Typically incorporates a bonus if no claims are made within a certain period (eg. 3 years).
  • Flexibility of seeking a second opinion – although this is dependent on the type of plan you have.
  • Cashless benefits – depending on the type of plan, this would allow you to seek medical help without paying cash upfront.
  • Option to have co-pay or not within the plan. Under a co-pay option, the insured party pays a certain amount for the medical services that he or she receives whilst the insurance provider takes care of the rest.
  • Option to include take home drugs benefit within the plan.

What would the key features of a typical medical rider be then? Well, here they are:-

  • Typically includes an option to increase your medical coverage annual limit. Depending on the type of plan that you take out, this can be up to RM 2,200,000.
  • Option to convert your current policy to one with no life time limit. A no life time limit means that your coverage will not run out throughout the span of your entire life.
  • Usually does not feature a co-pay option.
  • Option to include additional hospital income benefits. An example of this benefit would include providing you with a hospital allowance, and this is on top of covering the actual medical fees. Option to include coverage for the cost of a daily guardian if one is needed.

Bearing these in mind, is an investment-linked medical plan right for you? They probably are if you want:-

  • Long term comprehensive medical coverage.
  • Medical insurance with costs that decrease over time.
  • A buffer for your retirement fund.
  • Protected medical insurance.
  • A top up to your existing medical coverage.
  • The option to upgrade your current medical benefits.

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