Understanding The Best Medical Cards in Malaysia
Understanding The Best Medical Cards in Malaysia
Because Malaysia does not have the most extensive health care covered by the government (unlike most western countries), we are required to take care of our own medical expenses. In most cases, these expenses are a few hundred to a few thousand ringgit, however there is also that slight chance that it can be more than that. In fact, in some cases (though rare), it can be millions.
In other words, if you or a loved one ever gets hit by one of those illnesses (knock on wood), it could cripple the whole family.
However, there is another option, and that option is to get insurance. In other words, it would be to get a medical card. Like it or not, a medical card can either be the reason you are constantly worried in the future, or the reason why you will never worry about the what ifs.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as buying a medical card, or worse, buying the cheapest medical card. You see, every single insurance company offers a bunch of different medical cards and each of those medical cards give you different benefits.
Although we cannot cover every single benefit, here are the most common benefits that you should consider when deciding what medical card to get. We have also compared the top 4 medical cards in each of these criteria for you to have an idea as to what you can get.
Hospital Room and Board
If you or a loved one is admitted to the hospital, the hospital room and board will be used to pay for your accommodation. There are two main things to consider when selecting hospital room & board. The first one is how much it will cover you for (which ultimately allows to pay for a type of room (shared with 8 others or a private suite) and how many days it will cover you for.
How much do different hospital room and boards cost
It can be as low as RM 60 per night (if you are okay sharing the room with 3 other people) to as high as RM 900 per night (if you are staying in a suite).
Here's an idea of what's available:
Room and Board for Intensive Care Unit
If you or a loved one needs intensive treatment (for serious diseases or injuries), you will be placed in the intensive care unit and will be constantly monitored and supported by a specialised team. Because you are in constant need of support and care during this time, intensive care units (also known as ICUs) tend to be more expensive than the normal room and board.
That said, you want to make sure you have a policy that will cover the duration you are in the intensive care unit, as well as the costs of being in the ICU as well.
If however, your need to be in the intensive care unit is over, but you still need to stay in the hospital, you will start using your hospital room and board and not your ICU days.
How much do different room and boards for ICU cost
The best ICU room and board rates offered by insurance companies
When it comes to ICU room and board allocation, the best rates are:
- Great Eastern will offer to pay for your whole ICU room and board for up to 180 days within a policy year
- Allianz will offer to pay for your whole intensive care unit room and board for up to 150 days within a policy year
- AIA will also offer to pay for your whole intensive care unit room and board but up to 120 days within a policy
- Prudential will offer to pay for your whole room and board for the intensive care unit but only up to 90 days
Even if a different part of your policy will cover you more, the annual limit will stop the insurance company from paying out. The number shown is assuming you get the highest coverage the company has to offer.
The annual limits for the offered by the insurance companies
- Prudential comes out as number one as it has no limits
- Great Eastern's highest annual limit is RM 2,000,000
- Allianz's highest annual limit is RM 1,800,000
- AIA's highest annual limit is RM 1,500,000
Pre-hospitalisation consultation and tests
This benefit allows you or a loved one to go around and get different consultations and tests from different professionals before you commit to any of the doctor’s recommendations.
So long as the consultations and tests are related to the same illness of what you end up getting hospitalised for and are within the time period that the medical card gives, you will be covered.
For example, if you start noticing some sort of pain in your foot and go to your first doctor and find out that there is something wrong that requires surgery (which would be covered by your medical card), you will have a set amount of time to get second or third opinions on how you can treat the issue. So long as you get admitted to a hospital before your consultation time is up, your medical card will cover you for all the different visits.
How long does each insurance company give for pre-hospitalisation consultation and tests
- Allianz will give up to 90 days for pre-hospitalisation consultation and tests
- AAI, Great Eastern and Prudential all give up to 60 days for pre-hospitalisation consultation and tests
In some cases, you would still need to go back to the hospital for either treatment of consultation after your initial treatment. These expenses can be claimed under the post-hospitalisation treatment so long as the reason you are going back is still related to your initial illness that required you to go to the hospital in the first place.
How long does each insurance company give for post-hospitalisation treatment
- Great Eastern leads this one by offering up to 180 days for post hospitalisation treatment
- AIA offers 120 days for post hospitalisation treatment
- Prudential offers 90 days for post hospitalisation treatment
- Allianz offers 90 days for post hospitalisation treatment
Home nursing care
If you or a loved one requires a nursing home or home care due to some disability / condition, your policy may cover you to be admitted to it up to a certain amount of days.
Although the home nursing care will not last for long, this benefit is meant to give your family a chance to arrange for longer term options, whether that is having someone stay home to take care of the loved one, or to find someone who can take care of he loved one.
How much and how long does each insurance company offer for home nursing care
- Prudential will offer to pay as much as it costs for up to 180 days (ie there is no limit with Prudential home nursing care)
- Allianz will pay as much as it costs for up to 180 days for home nursing care
- AIA will pay up to RM 10,000 for up to 180 days
- Great Eastern will not pay for any home nursing care
Daily Guardian Benefits
If you or a loved one gets admitted to the hospital, a family member or a friend will be able to get reimbursed a certain amount of money for food and accommodation to accompany the person who got admitted to the hospital. This will make accommodating you (or your loved one) much easier as some of their expenses will be covered.
How much and how long does each insurance company offer for daily guardian benefits
- AIA will cover up to RM 280 a day for up to 120 days within a policy year for daily guardian benefits
- Great Eastern will cover up to RM 200 a day for up to 180 days within a policy year for daily guardian benefits
- Both Allianz and Prudential will not provide any daily guardian benefits
Now that you have a a general overview of some of the most important benefits with medical cards, you can see how complicated it can be. After all, none of the most popular medical cards comes out ahead in every aspect. Moreover, this is by no means an extensive list and there are many terms and conditions that would really matter when you are choosing a medical card.
That said, if you would like to get some advice on your medical card needs, or if you already have a card and are not sure if you're fully covered, let us know and we'll put you in contact with a few people we trust for our own needs.