The government will expand healthcare coverage under the national health protection fund for the B40 group to cover 36 major critical illnesses, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said over the weekend.
This is an expansion from the initial four critical illnesses announced in the 2019 Budget, reports the Bernama news agency.
The social health insurance scheme for the bottom 40% of the population will be rolled out on 1 January next year.
Mr Lim said that under the scheme, those in the B40 group who are hospitalised in government hospitals could apply to get MYR50 ($12) daily for a maximum of 14 days or MYR700 a year.
He said, “This will be given free to the B40 group and they need not pay for insurance. This is the first time the government is rolling this out to the B40 group as we know they can't afford to pay for health insurance.”
The social health insurance scheme for the B40 would be managed by Bank Negara Malaysia.
“There is no need to fill any forms as everything will be conducted online,” he added. “The patient needs to prove that he or she is warded and suffering from one of the critical illnesses.”
He said Bank Negara would launch a website on the social health insurance scheme for the B40 next month, which will enable the target group to get more information about it.
Great Eastern Holdings (GEHL), which owns 100% of Great Eastern Malaysia, will contribute MYR2bn to the medical scheme, in lieu of cutting its stake in the Malaysian subsidiary down to at most 70%. Other foreign insurers which have wholly owned Malaysian units are expected to follow suit.