Minister: Only those diagnosed from Jan 1 onwards eligible for mySalam scheme

Lim (centre) speaks during a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya February 26, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lim (centre) speaks during a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya February 26, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 26 — The government’s health insurance scheme mySalam will only pay out benefits to the poor who are diagnosed with critical illnesses from January 1 this year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced today.

The ministry also said recipients who were diagnosed with one of the 36 critical illnesses at a private medical facility but were receiving treatment at a government hospital are entitled to make a claim with Great Eastern Takaful Berhad, like those who got diagnosed or treated at any government hospital.

“The official mySalam website has been operating since 26 February 2019. Registration can be done online and eligible recipients can file their claims through the same channel,” Lim told a press conference here today.

Benefits of the government-run mySalam, which aims to cover 3.69 million people in the bottom 40 per cent (B40) aged 18 to 55 and their spouses, include a one-time RM8,000 cash payout upon diagnosis of one of 36 critical illnesses and RM50 daily hospitalisation income replacement up to RM700 per annum at any government hospital.

Some doctors and patients have said that the RM8,000 lump sum payment will not be able to cover certain treatments, such as cancer, even at public hospitals.

Lim said in response: “RM80,000 is also not enough. We’re trying to do what we can.”

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad, who was also at the press conference with Lim, said oncologists have told him that the mySalam protection was “significant”.

He also cited a Khazanah Research Institute study that found B40 families have less than two weeks’ worth of savings if their breadwinner could no longer work.

“mySalam comes in a very big way to help the financial shock and impact, especially when critical illnesses like cancer or stroke occur, when they’re immobilised and cannot work. So this is a very important programme based on research, it’s evidence-based. Their ability to survive in terms of income is very much affected. So mySalam is a real help for them,” said Dzulkefly.

Those eligible for mySalam will be notified via SMS from March 1, who can file their claims through the mySalam portal or in person at locations that the government will announce soon.

“All claims must be submitted along with the required documents verified by a doctor from a government hospital,” states the mySalam website.

Great Eastern is administering the mySalam scheme as the Singapore-based company gave the Malaysian government RM2 billion in exchange for not having to divest 30 per cent of their shareholdings to local investors. The government is using the RM2 billion contribution to pay back to Great Eastern the mySalam premiums at cost for 3.7 million people over five years.

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