MII Wants Additional Tax Relief To Boost Medical Insurance Adoption

The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) wants additional tax relief in Budget 2018 to encourage more consumers to subscribe to medical insurance.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman, said the move would help ease the public healthcare system which has been under strain as more patients started to move to public hospitals from private hospitals.

“Although the public healthcare caters to categories like the ageing population and the financially-challenged, patients shifting to public healthcare from the private system are beginning to put a strain on it,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Medical and Health Insurance Seminar 2017 here today.

The one-day seminar attracted over 100 professionals and key players discussing topical issues of the day and new developments in the medical and health insurance industry.

On another note, Syed Moheeb said, although there had been an increasing trend of premium contributions and higher subscription rate in the market, insurance claims were also on the rise.

“The industry is concerned with the increasing number of claims which is currently at 71.6 per cent, which means that three quarter of premiums collected goes to claims.

“There are also other expenses, including handling costs and expertise, thus it is probably either a break-even or a loss situation for the medical and health insurance providers,” he added.

On a recent news report which claimed that the implementation of Goods and Services Tax had led to a high number of policies being surrendered in the last four years, Syed Moheeb said, the tax was not a contributing factor to the high lapsation rate.

The report had quoted National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance and Family Takaful Advisors President, James Bong.

“In my view, the consumers would have been subscribing or paying for life insurance policies for a long time and they wouldn’t want to let the small increase affect what they have saved over the years.

“I do not think it is in our nature to actually let the previous savings go to waste,” he said.