Health Insurance Plans for Malaysians Abroad
The World Bank Data estimated that at least 800,000 and up to 1.4 million Malaysians are currently living abroad. Popular destinations are Singapore and other Asian countries, but also the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. While healthcare in Malaysia is not universal, Malaysian citizens are accustomed to good quality healthcare (at least in the cities) for a minimal price. Public healthcare in Malaysia is subsidized, and a visit to a General Practitioner costs 10 USD or less. Malaysia is known worldwide for being one of the top medical tourism destinations in Asia and worldwide, and the healthcare services are considered of very good quality.
Malaysian Public Health Insurance While Living Abroad
In general, if you travel outside of Malaysia, Malaysian health insurance won’t cover you abroad. However, since the private healthcare system is a massive part of the overall Malaysian healthcare system in the country, many Malaysian citizens have in place a private medical plan. If this plan is local – only covering you in Malaysia – then you won’t be able to use it abroad. If you have purchased international health insurance while living in Malaysia, depending on the policy’s terms and conditions, you might be covered overseas, too.
Private Global Insurance for Malaysians Living Abroad
Malaysians living abroad should have international health insurance to protect themselves from the high medical costs they can encounter abroad. While the Malaysian healthcare system is comprehensive, of good quality, and heavily subsidized to their citizens, it doesn’t mean that Malaysians abroad can access other countries’ public healthcare systems on the same terms.
Having private health insurance for Malaysians living abroad is highly encouraged. It is relatively easy to buy expat health insurance while living abroad. Expats can choose from multiple international health insurance providers and have the liberty to pick and choose coverage benefits and levels. International health insurance plans are comprehensive in nature and extremely useful to those who do not stay in one place for the majority of the year. In addition, many expats chose global health insurance so that it can also be covered back in their home country, as receiving medical care in your country of origin is usually the preferred way for many due to the ease of communication and understanding of local processes.
Best Medical Insurance Plans for Malaysians Living Abroad
- The flexibility to tailor a plan to suit your individual needs
- Access to Cigna Global’s trusted network of hospitals and doctors
- The convenience and confidence of 24/7/365 customer service
- William Russell plans cover you internationally, both in the country you reside in and wherever you are traveling to (addons required for USA)
- Their network includes 40,000 hospitals around the world.
- Plans have comprehensive cancer coverage, including genome testing.
Best Health Insurance for Malaysians in the US
Malaysians arriving in the US should be aware that the cost of healthcare in the US is one of the highest in the world. In Malaysia, you have been accustomed to the heavily subsidized healthcare, and there is no such thing in the US, not even for US citizens.
When choosing the best health insurance for Malaysians in the US, what’s extremely important is the medical provider’s network. Most hospitals and medical facilities in the US are private and what is quite unusual is that each hospital and medical center establish their own pricing. This is not regulated on a national level. Malaysians living in the US and when choosing private health insurance should consult with an insurance broker to understand the ins and outs of the US health insurance for foreigners. Checking price lists or calling the hospital before accepting the treatment is a good way to find out whether your benefit limits are enough for this particular medical facility.
- Premium Benefits, Coverage and Service
- Define your deductible and prescription benefits
- For Foreigners in the US or US citizens abroad
Paying For Healthcare Overseas
Costs in recent years for private treatment in Malaysia have been rising for several reasons, such as the country’s increasing popularity as a medical tourism hub. However, what Malaysians are accustomed to paying at home, even if at a private hospital or clinic, will be less than what they may be charged in other countries that are known for more expensive healthcare services, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, many European Union countries, and the US.
When applying for an international health insurance policy, Malaysian abroad can choose between options to pay for the healthcare they receive abroad. While private health insurance abroad can be expensive, many people chose to lower their premiums (cost of the health insurance policy) by agreeing to one or two of the options: copayments and deductibles.
A copayment is a form of sharing the costs of healthcare with your international insurance provider. For example, if your insurance policy has a copay (or co-insurance) clause of 10% and your medical bill has amounted to USD 5,000, you will have to pay USD 500 out of your own pocket, and the insurer will cover the remaining US 4,500 of the bill. While this puts you in the position of paying an out-of-pocket part of the medical bill, copay does lower your plan’s annual medical insurance premiums.
Another payment option that is common within the private health insurance sector is called the deductible. A deductible is an agreed amount you will pay in a policy year out of pocket before the coverage kicks in. For example, if you have a USD 1,000 yearly deductible, you’ll need to pay the first USD 1,000 of your total eligible medical costs before your plan helps to pay. After the deductible is reached, and depending on your plan, you either receive all further covered benefits paid in full, or the copayment scheme will apply.
One last thing to mention when it comes to private health insurance plans is direct billing.
Direct billing is a payment method where a private hospital or private clinic has partnered with an insurer to streamline the payment process, and therefore your access to treatment. This means that by showing your private medical insurance card, you don’t pay for the medical treatment upfront – the insurance provider and medical provider deal with it directly, and you don’t need to spend time and stress dealing with health insurance reimbursement processes.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been a part of the Malaya and the Malaysian people’s maintaining health and well-being for many centuries. It is being enrolled in the public healthcare system, and the GovernmentGovernment regulates it. While back at home in Malaysia, you might be accustomed to using the Traditional Chinese Medicine services for your chosen ailments, access to TCM in other countries may be limited. If you are a Malaysian expat living in another Asian country, your chances of finding a TCM practitioner there are higher than in Western countries. You can check with the insurance provider whether they provide Traditional Chinese Medicine benefits. However, it is not common for international health insurance plans to offer minimal Traditional Chinese Medicine benefits; most often, this is for chiropractic care or acupuncture.
Government Recommendations for Malaysians Abroad
Malaysia’s Government provides online information about their embassies and consulates around the world. The consular information in a specific country’s embassies includes travel advisory information, e-consular services, a notice of halal restaurants, and processes for Malaysian citizens abroad in a situation of a lost passport, reporting a missing person, and information and processes in case of an emergency of any kind abroad. The portal also lists all the news and information for Malaysians living abroad in regards to procedures, including the need to register for certain permits to return home and quarantine information.