We hope to provide you with a basic understanding of medical and health insurance (MHI) so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a MHI policy.
What is MHI?
A MHI policy is generally designed to cover the cost of private medical treatment, such as the cost of hospitalisation and healthcare services, if you are diagnosed with covered illnesses or have had an accident. The coverage is provided by a licensed insurance company, in exchange for which you pay premiums. Make sure that you deal only with a licensed insurance company or its authorised agents or a licensed insurance broker when you buy a MHI policy.
Why should I buy a MHI policy?
A MHI policy will help you to pay for the various hospitalisation and medical expenses that you will incur, if you become ill or injured. These expenses will include hospital room and board, professional and surgery fees and medical supplies and services. A MHI policy will also help you if you are not able to work because of illness or injury.
Types of MHI policies
There are four main types of MHI policies:
Hospitalisation and surgical insurance provides for hospitalisation and surgical expenses incurred due to illnesses covered under the policy.
Dread disease, or critical illness insurance provides you a lump sum benefit upon diagnosis of any of the 36 dread diseases or specified illnesses.
Disability income insurance provides an income stream to replace a portion of your pre-disability income when you are unable to work because of sickness or injury.
Hospital income insurance pays you a specified sum of money on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, subject to an annual limit, if you have to stay in a hospital due to covered illness, sickness or injury.
An insurance company may offer you these products individually or in combinations. You need to be very careful when choosing one to suit your needs and therefore, always take time to discuss with the insurance company or its agent about the MHI policy that you are planning to buy.
You should understand the scope of cover provided under the policy, the various terms and conditions and the cost of the insurance cover. You should also be aware of what will happen if you want to switch your policy from one insurance company to another, or if you want to transfer from one type of policy to another. For example, you may be subject to new terms and conditions of the new policy or of the new insurance company.
Benefits covered under a MHI policy
The payment of benefits will depend on the type of policy that you buy. You must check the policy contract for details of the benefits, such as what is and what is not covered, when benefits will be payable and how they will be paid.