//The lowdown on medical and health insurance / takaful

The lowdown on medical and health insurance / takaful


IN pursuit of the quality of life, it’s important to live it to the fullest, to take chances and explore opportunities that come our way. However, there are some things that are simply not worth risking. Take our wellbeing, for example, and the stress we’re likely to face should anything untoward happen to us, sans medical and health insurance. Indeed, knowing we are sufficiently covered would be assuring not just for us but our loved ones too.

While medical care and treatment at government hospitals are generally affordable, the average Malaysian will oftentimes choose to seek care from private hospitals, as service and care are perceived to be better, and the waiting time much shorter.

However, medical cost has been ascending at a rate exceeding 12 percent per annum – making the cost of seeking treatment at such facilities a little out of reach for some. Getting medical insurance has therefore become essential. As it stands, the insurance penetration rate in Malaysia is currently around 41 percent, which makes it crucial for Malaysians to be better informed on the need to get protection.
Before deciding on the kind of coverage needed, it is a good idea to understand the basics of insurance to have a clearer picture. With so much industry-specific jargon floating around, the concept of insurance and the mechanics that go behind it may be a little hard to grasp for most people. To help you along, we’ve listed some key terms that you will encounter in your quest to find an insurance coverage that’s best suited to your needs.

Medical Card: Generally, an individual medical insurance coverage offers a medical card facility for hospital admission. The types of coverage vary with the products which may range from comprehensive to budget cover and includes expenses for surgeries, room and board, in-hospital related fees (operating theatre, hospital supplies and services, anesthetist, pre- and post-hospitalisation fees, among others).
The medical card provides you with insurance coverage. Upon presenting the card, the hospital will contact and inform the insurance company of your admission, diagnosis and prescribed treatment. The insurance company will then review and, upon confirmation of eligible coverage, issue a guarantee letter to the hospital for the expected expenses.
This card often saves the need for paying large deposits and filing your claim after you’ve settled the bill. For non-emergency cases, you can save time and hassle by obtaining your hospital guarantee from the insurer/takaful operator a few days ahead of admission.

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