Last year, the Malaysian government announced a new healthcare initiative that aims to provide free health insurance to the B40 group. MySalam, a collaborative effort with Great Eastern Holdings, was initially targeted to those who were recipients of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), between the ages of 18–55. When initially announced, as reported by our colleagues over at SoyaCincau BM, the initiative cost the government a RM2 billion allocation, with 36 critical illnesses covered.
Now, the scheme is set to cover 8 million more Malaysians, with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announcing that the scheme has been extended to the M40 group. This means that those who have an annual gross income of RM100,000 and below are now eligible for MySalam coverage, while the age limit has also increased from 55 to 65. Additionally, BSH recipients who are not married and disabled people will also now be covered, and the number of critical illnesses covered has been increased to 45.
The new changes have been made effective on the January 1st of 2020, with M40 applicants now eligible for a one-time payment of RM4,000 and a daily hospitalisation of RM50 for a maximum of 14 days or RM700 a year, while B40 applicants will be entitled to a one-time payment of RM8,000.
“The government is concerned about the financial challenges faced by the M40 group, especially in facing healthcare emergencies, and has decided to extend the scheme to those earning less than RM100,000.”
Newly-eligible individuals in the M40 group can register up till the 31st of March, with 4.3 million Malaysian between 18–55 (and spouses) registered for BSH 2019 and MySalam last year.
“A total of 9,662 individuals have received assistance amounting to RM13.7 million. Of the total, 1,448 individuals received critical illnesses benefits and the remaining 8,214 individuals received hospitalisation allowance.”
The expansion of the scheme is now expected to cover 8 million individuals by the end of 2020, the Finance Minister expects. And the original allocation of RM2 billion for MySalam will be sufficient, according to Lim, despite the additional coverage now offered.
The rise of the gig economy in Malaysia is expected to grow, with a study finding that 38% of the workforce in the country is expected to enter the gig economy within the next 12 months—perhaps the renewed terms of MySalam is reflective of that trend. For “contractors” who work with companies like Grab, medical coverage and allowances for off-days are certainly hard to come by, and this could come in handy.
To register, head over to MySalam’s official website, and if you have a claim to make, prepare relevant medical documents as well. Meanwhile, patients who have been warded with the COVID-19 coronavirus are also eligible for a RM50 allowance—up to 14 days in the year.
To find out more, have a look at MySalam’s FAQ section here.