Here are 8 things you must know before choosing any health insurance in Malaysia …

It goes without saying that health is of paramount importance. There is perhaps no sector in a country that needs more looking after than healthcare. One can spend the best of his energies to garner enough wealth but if not blessed with the best of health, one cannot take in the pleasures of life. This is why it is of utmost importance that one looks after the health of oneself as well as the health of the family members.

Good health in reality ensures a good quality of life. All the civilized nations of the world thus put great emphasis on delivering the best healthcare to its citizens. In this article, we will concisely brief about the important aspects of Malaysia’s health insurance system.

Q&A – Health Insurance in Malaysia for foreigners : Answers to the most asked questions in 2021

🤔 Should I opt for private or public healthcare when I move to Malaysia?

It generally depends on your finances and how often you are planning to visit the hospital. Nevertheless, we would advise opting for a private medical insurance that is usually offered by the company a foreign employee works in.

💰 Will I have to pay anything extra apart from the insurance itself?

Sometimes you will need to pay for single visits, procedures or consultations depending on the insurance plan you choose.

🇲🇾 Will I get the same insurance as the local Malaysians?

You can, but we would recommending going for an International insurance as it provides more coverage for expats.


The healthcare system in Malaysia is quite developed as the government has taken extensive measures over the years to slowly but steadily improve the infrastructure. The improvements are considerable enough that they put them on an equal level with some of the best services around the world.

health insurance and coverage in malaysia

The government takes great credit in being able to render such magnificent facilities. A facility is only as good as the individual operating and bearing that in mind the staff is trained in state-of-the-art colleges to make sure the citizens are treated by the best doctors available.

Public Healthcare

Access to public healthcare is available only for Malaysian nationals, be it the locals or expat citizens. The public healthcare system works on the money that is collected via the taxation system. The big, universal ambition of this healthcare system is to provide low-cost and wholesome, comprehensive services. The Malaysian government has aided the public hospitals to a greater extent in recent years to cover the cost of ever-increasing expenditures of medical and surgical treatments.

social security in malaysia for healthcare

This has been of great benefit for overseas retirees who are permanently residing and have a fixed source of income, which in most cases is the pension. This subsidized healthcare is available to every tax-paying resident.

Private Healthcare

The private healthcare system does have some advantages over its public counterpart but it does come at a greater load on one’s pocket. If someone is willing to pay for this greater cost, then he will have access to world-class professionals. The public healthcare sector is overcrowded whereas this is not of any nuisance to one who chooses to go the private route. The sheer number of doctors and other paramedical staff working in private institutes is greater due to better-paid jobs. The cost is very acceptable when compared to the services provided. The most basic private insurance coverage should not set one back by any more than four hundred US dollars. A single visit to private general physician costs about 5$ whereas specialist charges about 30$ as consultation fee.

Private Medical Insurance

Since the government currently does not offer a national medical insurance program, it is fundamental to buy private health as well as life insurance for foreign citizens who are not nationals. If one has obtained nationality and local citizenship then they do fall under the ambit of public insurance schemes. In most of cases, private insurance is taken care of by the companies in which the employees work. One may however feel the need to buy separate private insurance to avail better facilities at the time of need. The package usually includes services such as routine checkups, consultation for common ailments, hospital bills, and medication. If a certain procedure costs more than the amount stipulated in the insurance package, then only the agreed-upon amount will be reimbursed and the extra charges will have to be paid additionally.

International insurance

This insurance is the most ideal one for expatriates living in Malaysia as it has the least number of limitations. Unlike FWHS (Foreign Workers Hospitalization and Surgery) and social security, it provides much better coverage. The option to buy a package that covers cost in not only Malaysia but the rest of the world is also available.

Foreign and Travel Insurance

Malaysia has become a very sought-after place for investment amongst foreign health care insurance companies because of the exceptional standard of treatment available. A lot of expatriates are touring Malaysia just to get treatments and procedures done as the costs are comparatively very low.

expat and travel insurance in Malaysia

But in order to be applicable to acquire these services one must buy their insurance plans so that one doesn’t have to face any complication after arrival. Some companies operating in Malaysia also provide the facility of a short-term need basis insurance packages. This ranges from a few weeks to a few years and is termed as travel insurance.

Malaysian Social Security

The social security system of Malaysia is called SOSCO (Social Security Organization). Like in most countries of the world it helps people who are unemployed and sick. Locals, foreign workers, and companies everyone contributes to it unless if someone’s self-employed.

Takaful Insurance

The choice for local insurance in Malaysia boils down to two options which are, the conventional form of insurance and takaful insurance. Takaful insurance is based on Islamic principles and it is offered as an alternative to the conventional form of insurance. The conventional form of insurance violates certain Islamic restrictions such as interest, gambling, and uncertainty which takaful upholds.

The basic difference between the two forms is of intent. A takaful terms of agreement contract states clearly the nature of risk and period of coverage. This is however not religious exclusive. If someone feels inclined to buy this form of insurance, they are encouraged to do so. It must be said though that this is not as popular amongst the citizens of Malaysia as is the more risk-free, profit-driven conventional form.

All in all, there is a multitude of options from which one can select from while considering buying health insurance coverage in Malaysia. All of them are very good value for money and are designed to take the best care of the interests of people of Malaysia.

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