What is a Medical Card?
A medical card is a type of insurance to cover the cost of your medical treatments or surgery, when you are hospitalised. With a medical card, you will be reimbursed for your medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.
Hospitalisation costs and medical fees can be costly. With healthcare costs increasing every year, it would be wise to make sure that you and your family are insured and protected to get comprehensive medical care when needed, instead of having to worry about money when the time comes.
With so many medical cards in the market, which one should you get? Read on to learn some of the things you should know before getting a medical card:
- Waiting Period
Most insurance policies have a waiting period, which is a length of time before you can claim some or all of the policy benefits. Waiting periods and terms and conditions differ for each policy and insurance company. Usually, the waiting period is around 30 to 120 days, but some policies may offer a no-waiting period for certain coverage. It’s good to be clear about the terms and duration of the waiting period of your medical card, so you’re able to use it when you need to.
Exclusions are specific risks under certain conditions that are not covered by the medical card. These are usually listed in the policy. There are usually two different types of exclusion – general exclusion, which is the risks that are not covered by this policy and applies to everyone; and specific exclusion, which is the risks that are not covered only for you. For example, cosmetic surgeries or dental conditions are types of general inclusion. Whereas if you are already suffering from a pre-existing condition, like kidney issues, this could be a specific inclusion in the next medical card you purchase. Exclusions are extremely important and should not be ignored when you are purchasing a medical card.
- Standalone vs Rider
A standalone medical card is a policy that provides coverage for medical treatments, hospitalisation, or other medical benefits only. On the other hand, a rider medical card is an additional medical coverage plan to your existing health insurance or an investment-linked policy.
It is important to be clear what type of policies you are signing up for, because of their differences. Generally, standalone policies are cheaper than rider policies, because it only covers medical benefits, therefore having a lower premium, whereas the total premiums may be higher for a medical rider on top of an investment-linked policy based plan. It is also important to note that rider medical cards also tend to offer richer medical benefits, and the investment returns from the investment-linked policy, while not guaranteed, may help to offset your premiums on the medical card in the future.
So, the jury is still out on which medical card is better, but you can determine which is the most suitable plan for your current situation. If you are unsure whether to get a standalone policy or a rider, you can contact our medical card specialists to get advice on what type of medical cards you should go for.
Medical cards with a deductible is a way to reduce the cost of your medical insurance. With a deductible, you would need to pay a specific amount, before your medical card will cover your medical costs. For example, if you purchase a plan with a RM10,000 deductible, and your hospital bill is RM15,000, you will have to pay RM10,000, while your insurer covers RM5,000. Conversely, if you choose a zero-deductible policy, you don’t have to pay anything when you are hospitalised, as your hospital bill will be fully covered under your plan. So, if you are admitted under a zero-deductible medical card, with a RM15,000 hospital bill, your medical card will cover all of your hospital bills.
Understandably, deductible policies will have a lower premium than zero-deductible policies. If your company buys insurance for you, you should check how much is the coverage to see whether you need any extra insurance. If you do, you can save up to 70% of the premium amount, with MSIG FlexiHealth Insurance if you purchase a deductible policy.
Last but not least, it is important to know what are the limits of your medical card. Most medical card policies have room & board, ICU, annual and lifetime limits that determine how much you can claim from this policy. You should always be clear on your claim limits, and whether your limits will increase as you grow older. Sub-limits of your insurance are room & board limits, which refers to the costs for your hospital accommodation, depending on the type of room you choose and how many days you are admitted. The same goes for admissions in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
If you do not want to worry about the limits of your insurance claims, you can look out for as charged policies that have no sub-limits for different bill categories. In other words, your insurance will cover your whole medical bill, subject to your annual and lifetime limits. Of course, the higher the limit, the more your bills will be covered, but you might also need to pay a higher premium. So, do your research and find the best coverage at a premium that you can afford, or speak to our medical card specialists, who can advise you on the most suitable medical card.
It’s crucial to get the best medical care when you have medical emergencies, but you wouldn’t want your hard-earned savings to be drained just to pay for it either, or even worse – to compromise on the quality or quantity of treatments because you can’t afford it. That’s why it’s best to get comprehensive protection early, so that you can get a good coverage at an affordable premium.