Malaysians could pay by up to 30% more for medical insurance this year, as major insurance companies point out a rise in healthcare costs.
According to a report by Free Malaysia Today, both insurers and agents have said that rapid inflation in medical and hospitalisation costs in recent years made the increase "inevitable".
"With the number expecting to rise further and outpace the general inflation rate, we have to make the necessary adjustments to your medical plan's premiums so that they can keep up with healthcare inflation," said a notice sent by AIA Malaysia to its clients.
We have to make the necessary adjustments to your medical plan’s premiums so that they can keep up with healthcare inflation"
An insurance agent with AIA confirmed the increase to FMT, while another from Zurich Malaysia said the company had started to inform clients of the revised rates. "We have received calls from our clients asking why they are required to pay more for their medical plans," he said.
A 2019 survey on medical trends by Willis Towers Watson found that Malaysia had among the highest expected increases in medical costs in Southeast Asia, the report said.
The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) had reported that total health expenditure in 2018 was RM60.147 billion ($14.77bn), of which 52% was funded by the government and the rest paid by private households (35%), private insurance (7%), corporations (4%) and other agencies (2%).
"If healthcare costs are not contained, the increase in premiums for medical and health insurance will be inevitable," PIAM had said.
"If medical insurance is no longer affordable, it will drive more patients to seek treatment at government hospitals," it added.
Last month, the insurer and CIMB Bank Bhd rolled out Sun Prestige Health (SPH), a non-participating universal life plan. Targeted at the mass affluent, the product provides protection from early to advanced stage illnesses and access to medical treatments abroad, along with full concierge services.