Kuala Lumpur, 27 February 2019 – The Ministry of Finance’s reveal yesterday of further details of the mySalam insurance scheme should be viewed with concern by all stakeholders, particularly those from B40 households with pre-existing conditions.
“Plugging the insurance protection and coverage gap by ensuring that a higher proportion of the population, especially those in the B40 group, is financially insured against the event of a health need or serious medical conditions such as cancer and stroke, has been a major objective of this scheme,” Galen Centre’s Chief Executive Azrul Mohd Khalib commented today.
“However, the qualifiers and lack of adaptation of this critical illness scheme to the needs of the Malaysian B40 group call into question whether this objective can be achieved.”
“There are several problems with MySalam’s existing framework as we know it, but what is of particular concern, is the exclusion of pre-existing conditions.”
“By limiting the payout of RM 8000 to those who were diagnosed with critical illnesses beginning January 1 this year and onwards, the scheme marginalises and denies coverage for those who sought earlier diagnosis and treatment for the same conditions and illness stated in the mySalam schedule. Why are they left out and what happens to them?” asked Azrul.
“Though the industry standard for critical illness coverage is at least two and a half years of annual income, the payout of RM8000 will certainly help this group, particularly the families of those afflicted by these illnesses. However, getting this assistance seems to require you to have the right age, right kind of illness, and right time of diagnosis.”
“Unfortunately, this issue as well as the age prerequisite of 18-55 years, omission of key non-communicable diseases and illnesses which disproportionately affect the B40 such as diabetes and mental health, reinforces the perception that the arrangement protects the interests and limits the liabilities of Great Eastern Holdings, rather than prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable among the B40.”
“Many of MySalam’s potential shortcomings could have been addressed, or prevented if the government had sought out input through rigorous consultation and discussion, and taken the time to address these concerns.”
— END —