Why do I need my Medical Card or Health Insurance plan? Ask Angela Felix. Angela, who is an expert Googler wrote a Linkedin article, which had absolutely nothing to do with her career expertise but all to do with watching her own father wither away his lifelong earnings due to medical conditions. For the article she wrote, she received 3,294 likes and 281 comments as at 28/11/2017.
These are 5 important reasons you’d need a medical card or health insurance plan.
1. The Umbrella: Many people have this to say about medical insurance. “I have my company medical cover already” or “I am too young to buy medical insurance”. Let me share with you a personal story. A family friend of mine lost their only son to a heart attack. He was only 24 years old. When he went to the bank for a job interview and secured the job, he was asked to go for a medical check-up, which is standard practice for new employees. The attending doctor highlighted that he had an alarming rate of cholesterol levels.
His parents chose to ignore this fact saying that he was young and exercising should bring it down and that his staff medical benefit was good enough and he could get medication if necessary. He worked with the bank for only 7 months when ill fate struck this young boy one early morning while getting ready for work with a heart attack. He died instantly.
If he had survived the heart attack, he would have been bedridden for life in the worst-case scenario. Imagine the amount of medical bills, that his parents had to bear just to keep him alive. It is never too early to start your own medical plan by keeping yourself secured.
On the other hand, we have people having this false sense of security about their company medical cover, which is limited. If you have a prolonged illness or disease, the group medical scheme under your company group policy will have its limits in aiding your medical bills. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have your own basic medical plan for a start. Have your umbrella ready at all times, you never know when you will need it, for a rainy day or for an extra hot and humid sunny day.
2. Hole In The Pocket: In 2014, the debt management agency in Malaysia (AKPK) published the top 10 reasons for mismanagement of finances by Malaysians resulting in getting blacklisted and declared bankrupt. 3 out of the 10 were related to lack of insurance coverage. But what brought my attention to know further was when I noticed that the 2nd highest reason for bad debts were due to medical bills.
It is 2017 now, and I don’t think this has changed much. Why? Government hospitals have reduced their subsidies, leaving a lot of people in the limbo as to fund themselves for the equipment, operations and medication necessary to get better. The report also showed the effects of prolonged illness and heavy medical bills towards getting people into bad debts.
It is said that smart people learn from other people’s mistake and avoid them, stupid people tend to learn from their own mistakes. No doubt that technology has improved healthcare and wellness allowing us to live longer, however our lifestyle has increased the chances of falling ill at an earlier stage in life. Without proper and adequate personal medical card or health insurance, we will end being another visitor to AKPK Malaysia. Don’t create holes in your pocket, when you are trying to fill it with hard earned money.
3. Family Matters: Take a good look at your family. Talk to your parents, uncles and aunties whom are directly related to you. Talk to your grandparents. Find out about their medical conditions. 90% of illnesses are due to hereditary factors. 10% are based on our inactive lifestyle. Let me give you a broad base guide.
If your dad has high blood pressure, diabetes or bad cholesterol, the chances of you getting it is close to 99%. But the age at which you’d get these illnesses can vary based on your lifestyle. If your mother has these common illnesses, then your chances of getting them is very high.
However, heredity diseases can also skip one generation, which means what your grandparents have may not be present for your parents, but they may creep up on you. So, why take the chance in things which is beyond your control? What is within your control is taking responsibility of your health and get yourself a medical plan to begin with and not depending on family and friends for financial support you should the worst happen. In your decision to purchase a medical plan, look for benefits that have your matter matters in mind.
4. Cents Wise, Ringgit Foolish: Being young has many advantages including purchasing medical card or health insurance. Don’t take my word for the truth. Go do a little research on this. Let me give you another broad-base guide.
Look at the medical plans offered by our insurers, just take three quotes.
Look at age gaps for each one of them, 20’s – 30’s, 30’s – to 40’s and 40’s to 50’s. You would immediately identify one significant change, and that is in it pricing. A 10%-15% hike in the 30’s- 40’s age group compared to that of the 20’s, and a 30% high or even higher in the 40’s-50’s age group. If this does not look like a great opportunity for you to get your own medical plan at a young age then, I have yet to see what the advantages you look for in life being a Gen-Y or a millennial.
It is also a benefit to you, if you know of your family medical history. While you are still young, the hereditary illness may not be appearing now, but as you grow older it can appear much earlier than expected. To avoid disappointment in having too many restrictions on your medical plan due to poorer health, getting your plan at an early age allows you for better planning in case of an unforeseen medical or emergency situation arising. Why spend more in the future when you can purchase it now at a cheaper rate, be ringgit wise and not cents wise?
5. It Is a Lifestyle Choice: When a young person gets a job, his or her choices in life is to be in-trend with everything. From clothes to who gets the latest news the fastest, who has the latest mobile phone, globetrotting and experiencing life at its fullest.
It is also a lifestyle choice to be well equipped financially with the salary that you are getting now. Let me give you a rule of thumb to be guided by. Your monthly expenditure into maintaining your lifestyle should not exceed 40% of your salary, which means paying for rental, car, mobile phone bills and partying with friends. 30% of your salary must go into saving mode of cash in bank or cash equivalents like insurance and investments. The balance 30% is for daily living expenses.
Now that is what I call a person living a lifestyle with maturity and responsibility.
Let me leave you with this story. I employed a young man back in 2000 as he was tech savvy. He made many of my operational matters easier to manage, but had little knowledge in insurance.
He had a medical condition with his heart, which was brought to my attention upon giving him his appointment letter. The human resource department was reluctant to have him on board due to his heart condition. I said to take him in as his skillsets and abilities overpowered his health situation. He had difficulty buying medical card or health insurance at an early age of 24 years old then, and when he was able to, there were many exclusion clauses in his policy.
Not many of us will have the chance of move up in our careers if we do not make an affirmative lifestyle choice to manage our unforeseen medical conditions that may arise. Make medical card or health insurance a lifestyle choice for yourself.
Convinced? Now, check out the first online medical card or health insurance in Malaysia, ever! 100% online, fast, easy and affordable Medical Card for Malaysians aged between 16 to 39 years for as low as RM32 per month. This product is renewable up to the age of 80. What you waiting for? Click here to learn more!
Written by Gordon Herath of FPPCONSULTANCY.