Can You Afford Healthcare Without Insurance?
It’s an unfortunate truth that many of us still lack health care coverage. The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, conducted by the Ministry of Health, revealed that only 22% of Malaysians have personal health insurance.
Some 43% of those surveyed said they couldn’t afford personal health insurance. This points to a large gap in health coverage in Malaysia that needs to be closed.
Given the situation, what can you do if you don’t have medical insurance?
Malaysians are fortunate to have a public healthcare system where public hospitals and clinics provide medical treatment for all at a subsidised rate. Malaysian citizens are charged a nominal fee of RM1 for an outpatient visit to any government hospital including clinics (and even this is waived for those who qualify). This makes them extremely popular among those who generally cannot afford healthcare.
With a large number of the population without personal health insurance, many of them have no choice but to turn to public hospitals. The NHMS survey showed that 75.3% of those admitted to hospitals were admitted into public institutions.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that there is a backlog of patients seeking treatment and long waiting times in government health facilities. A study conducted by the Malay Mail Online discovered that a majority of people waited four hours before being able to see a doctor at a public clinic. Some even said that they waited as long as eight hours before receiving medical attention.
Needless to say, some patients opted to self-medicate (the NHMS survey showed 22.8% chose this option) instead of sitting in a hospital waiting room for most of the day.
With over three-quarters of those needing hospitalisation in Malaysia ending up in government hospitals, this option is still the most popular and least expensive way to get healthcare in Malaysia.
Employee medical coverage
Those without their own health insurance can also make use of their employment insurance coverage. Many employers offer some sort of medical coverage for their staff. This could come in the form of a company-sponsored medical card and reimbursement for hospitalisation, or simply allowing employees to claim expenses for GP visits.
It’s a great benefit that every potential employee should ask about during interviews, especially if you don’t have insurance coverage of your own. In fact, this is almost as important as negotiating for your salary.
However, the downside is that you only retain these benefits while you are employed. Once you leave (whether by choice or not), you are back to having no health insurance coverage. This could further strain your financial situation if you need urgent medical treatment while you’re between jobs.
In more unfortunate cases, if you are diagnosed with a critical illness that may require you to leave your job, you will be left without coverage and you will likely not be covered by an insurance company for that particular illness, or at all.
Your employment insurance will also not cover you once you retire. However, it should also be noted that you will want and need more, and not less, insurance coverage when you retire. Most people in their 60s and 70s are at greater risk of health complications that may make it difficult to get insurance coverage at a time when they need it the most.
Friends and family
According to the NHMS survey, 11% of Malaysians relied on money borrowed from friends and family to fund their medical treatments in 2019. This is a substantial number of households that are unable to finance their own healthcare, even with government subsidies available.
While the statistics show that people who cannot afford healthcare always know people that can, it is far from an ideal system. Healthcare procedures for critical illnesses can cost quite a bit, especially if you’re opting for a private hospital. For example, treatment for a heart attack averaged RM30,000 back in 2015. Similarly, cancer treatment would set you back RM300,000 or more.
These are significant amounts of money, and you may not be able to borrow enough to cover all the costs. Particularly as it may require your loved ones to dip into their own emergency savings.
However, depending on family and friends should not become a burden for those closest to you.
Loyalty programmes and discounts
An easy way to get access to affordable healthcare essentials is to look for healthcare-related loyalty programmes or membership benefits.
For instance, chain pharmacies often have loyalty programmes to attract return customers. These programmes are usually loaded with potential discounts on medication and health supplements. Other discount programmes may also offer deals on health screenings, especially if you book in groups.
While they won’t help with bigger medical issues, they do help with maintaining your health. As we know, prevention is better than a cure; which makes these free benefits extremely valuable to your well-being.
Today you can take charge of your own healthcare needs with a little help from Allianz Malaysia.
Allianz Malaysia is your friend in tough times
The Allianz We Care Community is a public service initiative to help Malaysians & Permanent Residents get healthcare benefits for free. You just need to sign up to get access to complimentary services, and the best thing is you do not need to be an Allianz customer to get these benefits.
While getting medical attention is one thing, Allianz believes that not falling sick in the first place is more important. When you sign up for the Allianz We Care Community, you can immediately claim a pharmacy e-voucher, a discount on general health screening package, and get a free digital health coaching programme.
The goal of these freebies is to provide the framework you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Practicing healthy habits means that you are less likely to need medical assistance, and are therefore in a better position to do all the things you want to do in life.
Apart from that, Allianz also has you covered if something does happen and you need a doctor. The Allianz We Care Community offers free online doctor consultation and online physiotherapy sessions should you need help with any ailments.
|Pharmacy e-vouchers||Discounted general health screening package||Free online doctor consultation||Free online physiotherapy session||Free digital health coaching programme|
Extra complimentary coverage for COVID-19
Allianz We Care Community’s efforts also extend to providing assurance & peace-of-mind to Malaysians in facing COVID-19 pandemic through its complimentary COVID-19 relief. As a bonus, Allianz is offering cash relief up to RM6,000 if you & your family have a confirmed diagnosis of the coronavirus; all you have to do is sign up for free with the Allianz We Care Community.
This coverage also includes an additional up to RM20,000 lump sum death benefit due to COVID-19.
Allianz Malaysia is your friend who keeps on giving
New healthcare benefits are being added all the time to the Allianz We Care community.
As we prepare to take the new normal in our stride, having a friend you can count on helps us to take charge of our life with more confidence, even if you cannot afford to pay for medical insurance right now.