Which health insurance should I choose as an expatriate ?

Expatriate health insurance is one of the first things an expatriate should think about. Malaysia has been attracting more and more expatriates over the past few years. Malaysia has become a very important financial hub in Southeast Asia. At the same time, it has become an essential destination on the Asian continent. If you would like to know more about living in Malaysia, we invite you to read our article living in Malaysia.

Expatriate health insurance Malaysia is constantly improving. In 2019, International Living ranked Malaysia number one in terms of healthcare. Malaysia stands out for its medical schools and high-end hospitals. Moreover, Malaysia’s hospitals offer excellent health care services. If you want to know everything about expatriate health insurance in Malaysia, this guide is for you.

Expatriate health insurance : eligibility criteria

Health insurance is not usually the first thing expatriates consider when moving to Malaysia. You should know that Malaysia has a very good medical infrastructure and an excellent health system. As an expatriate, it would be wise to consider health insurance as one of your top priorities. Having health insurance will give you a sense of peace of mind against the vagaries of life.

Before buying health insurance, you should know several things. Firstly, the treatment of expatriates costs more than what locals pay. Still, it’s cheaper than health care costs in Europe. Secondly, you can also seek treatment in a private hospital. Even though, private hospitals in Malaysia are more expensive, they have several advantages. For example, they have shorter waiting times and very comfortable facilities. On the other hand, public hospitals in Malaysia are cheaper, but have longer waiting times.

Thirdly, you should know that public hospitals in Malaysia are called general hospitals or UMUM hospitals. Public clinics are called polyclinics or Poliklinik. Fourth, the Malaysian government subsidizes public health care in Malaysia. If you can get subsidized public health care, treatment in public health centers will be very cheap. Moreover, you can get a waiver or a reduction of health care costs in government hospitals and clinics. One of the conditions is to stay in Malaysia for 182 days or more per year. One of these two conditions must also be met:

  • be a tax-paying resident, or
  • Be a resident of the MM2H program, and have a monthly income of RM40,000 or more.

Expatriate health insurance : types of insurance (international and travel)

For most expatriates, health care in Malaysian hospitals is cheap enough. But this is only valid if your life is not in danger. Keep in mind that medical care in Malaysia is expensive. If you have health insurance, you won’t have to pay for expensive medical care. Having health insurance gives you the peace of mind that you are covered in case of an emergency. Now the question that arises is “What are the most effective and popular types of insurance in Malaysia?”. To answer this question, we have put an exhaustive list at your disposal:

  • International Insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Social Security Insurance (SOSCO)
  • Takaful Insurance
Health insurance in Malaysia
Health insurance in Malaysia

I. International Insurance

International insurance is the most popular option for expatriates in Malaysia. International insurance also covers COVID-19, and without many limitations. If you purchase international expatriate health insurance, you can also choose to include medical expenses covered in Malaysia and the rest of the world. This will allow you to be covered no matter where you are.

II. Travel insurance

Travel insurance is an insurance offered by some insurance companies that provides medical coverage for a few weeks or a few years. Be aware that most of these travel insurances only reimburse after you submit the claim. Generally, the application for travel insurance is made from your home country. Be aware that travel insurance plans tend to be inexpensive, far less than what you would have to pay for long-term coverage. Travel insurance can be a good option for a short vacation in Malaysia. However, if you plan to stay in Malaysia for a long time, it would be wise to take out health insurance.

Expatriate health insurance : types of insurance (SOSCO and TAKAFUL)

I. Social Security Insurance (SOSCO)

Social Security Insurance (SOCSO) covers people who are sick and unemployed. SOCSO insurance covers you for work-related and commuting accidents. It also covers occupational diseases. In addition to coverage, SOCSO also offers a free health screening program. To take advantage of the free clinic exams, you must be 40 years old or older. The exams cover cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes and cervical and breast cancer. In some cases, you do not have to contribute to social security insurance.

Here are the three cases:

  1. If you are independent;
  2. If you own a business; Or
  3. If you work for the government.

II. Takaful Insurance

Takaful insurance is one of the best choices for private health insurance in Malaysia.
Generally, local citizens take out either conventional insurance or Takaful insurance.
Takaful insurance is an Islamic insurance offered as an alternative to conventional insurance.

Malaysia Takaful Insurance
Malaysia Takaful Insurance

It should be noted that in Islam, conventional insurance violates certain Islamic restrictions.
For example: interest and uncertainty are violations of the principles of trade in Islam.
In this case, conventional insurance policies in Malaysia violate Islamic principles.

Health insurance companies invest in bonds and stocks and use the profits to pay claims.
This violates Islamic law.
Takaful insurance differs from conventional insurance in its intent.

If you take out Takaful insurance, you are contributing to a fund that can help others to take care of in case of emergency.

Even if health insurance is expensive, it is still an excellent way to avoid the hazards of life.
Malaysia has several types of insurance that will meet your needs.

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