6 Key Tips to Critical Illness in Malaysia

Critical illness in Malaysia refers to a category of severe and life-threatening medical conditions that can significantly impact an individual’s health and well-being.

These illnesses often require intensive medical treatment and can have long-lasting effects on a person’s quality of life.

Critical Illness in Malaysia

What is critical illness in Malaysia?

Common examples of critical illnesses include cancer, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and major organ transplant, among others.

What sets critical illnesses apart is their potential to cause profound physical, emotional, and financial challenges for both patients and their families. The medical expenses associated with critical illness treatments can be exorbitant, and the recovery process may require extended periods of time, leading to potential loss of income and financial strain.

To mitigate the financial burden and provide support during difficult times, critical illness insurance has become a valuable safeguard. This type of insurance typically offers a lump-sum payout upon diagnosis of a covered critical illness, allowing the policyholder to use the funds for medical expenses, rehabilitation, or other necessary needs.

What is even more worrying is according to the national health and morbidity survey in 2019 indicates that the number of Malaysian adults with high cholesterol levels, hypertension, and diabetes are on the rise.

How much does it cost to treat critical illness in Malaysia?

The cost of treating critical illness in Malaysia depends on the type of critical illness involved and where the treatment is sought. When treated at a private hospital, the costs could range from RM15,000 to over RM80,000.

Treatment would generally be cheaper at a government hospital, but if you’re in urgent need or attention or surgery, you might not have the option of waiting for your turn to be treated at a government hospital.

Can anybody purchase coverage for critical illness in Malaysia?

In general, most individuals can purchase coverage for critical illness in Malaysia, but eligibility and availability may vary depending on the insurance provider and the specific policy. Critical illness insurance is typically available to individuals within a certain age range, often between 18 to 65 years old.

What is extremely important would be to ensure that critical illness coverage is purchased prior to the diagnosis of it.

How can a diagnosis of critical illness to myself impact my loved ones?

A diagnosis of critical illness can have a profound impact on your loved ones, extending beyond the individual who has been diagnosed. Here are some ways in which a critical illness diagnosis can affect those close to you:

  • Emotional Stress: Your loved ones may experience intense emotional distress and anxiety upon learning about your critical illness. They may feel overwhelmed with worry, fear, and uncertainty about your health and future.
  • Caregiver Responsibilities: Family members or friends may take on the role of caregivers, providing physical and emotional support during your treatment and recovery. This responsibility can be demanding, and it may affect their daily routines, work schedules, and personal lives.
  • Financial Strain: The costs associated with treating a critical illness can be substantial. Your loved ones may need to allocate funds for medical expenses, transportation, and accommodations during hospital stays. This financial strain can create additional stress for them.
  • Impact on Work and Career: If a family member becomes a caregiver, they may need to take time off work or reduce their working hours to provide the necessary support. This can lead to loss of income and potential career setbacks.
  • Family Dynamics: A diagnosis of critical illness can alter family dynamics and relationships. Stress and emotional turmoil may lead to conflicts or strained interactions among family members.
  • Psychological Impact: Your loved ones may experience feelings of helplessness, guilt, or sadness, especially if they cannot directly alleviate your suffering. Seeking professional counseling or support groups can be helpful for them to cope with their emotions.
  • Uncertain Future: The uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the illness can create a sense of apprehension and fear for the future. It may also lead to discussions about financial planning and end-of-life decisions.
  • Time Constraints: Caring for someone with a critical illness may leave your loved ones with limited time for their own personal pursuits, hobbies, or social activities.
  • Impact on Children: For families with young children, a parent’s critical illness diagnosis can be especially challenging. Children may struggle to understand the situation and may experience emotional distress.

What should I look out for in a critical illness plan?

When considering a critical illness plan, there are several key aspects to look out for to ensure comprehensive coverage. For example, Prudential’s PRUMy Critical Care covers 160 conditions. First and foremost, check the list of covered critical illnesses to ensure that it includes the most prevalent and high-risk conditions, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

Additionally, pay close attention to any specific exclusions or limitations within the policy, as certain pre-existing medical conditions or lifestyle factors may not be covered.

Assess the waiting period before making a claim, as shorter waiting periods can be advantageous.

Consider the payout structure of the plan, whether it provides a lump sum or multiple payments based on the severity of the illness.

Look for policy features like riders or add-ons that offer additional benefits, such as multiple critical illnesses coverage, partial payouts, or coverage for specific medical treatments.

Lastly, evaluate the premium costs and affordability of the plan, ensuring that it aligns with your budget while providing the necessary coverage to safeguard your financial well-being during critical times.

How much critical illness coverage should I have?

The amount of coverage you need depends on your personal and financial situation, but a general rule of thumb is to have at least 10 times your annual income. This can help you cover the costs of treatment, recovery, and living expenses, as well as protect your family from financial hardship.

What is worrying is that a survey by Bank Negara Malaysia indicates that about 32% of Malaysians can only cover a week’s worth of expenses if they lose their source of income. Not only that, more than 75% of Malaysians find it difficult to raise RM1,000 in the event of emergencies.

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