Getting Health Insurance

My wife and I need health insurance. Our current plan expires in a few weeks when I become 70 and nobody wants to insure us (69 and 73) or it's prohibitively expensive.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to get comprehensive insurance for people living in Malaysia with perhaps the possibility of obtaining treatment in Singapore as well (but not necessary)?


The Malaysian policies definitely cover up to 80 yrs these days but, as you say, they are expensive.

They may cover up to age 80 but you cannot get into them if you are over 69

Then looks like you will have to self-insure. Malaysian general policies only cover hospitalization.


What does that mean?   ...That I should set up my own insurance company and make myself the very first insured member??

No you set aside funds to cover health needs and invest low risk such as a fixed deposit or anything that is attractive

Excuse me, we are talking $30,000 annually to cover us both. Where do I go to find the funds to "set aside"?

That's the point of self-insurance - you don't pay premiums, you use available cash to set aside and fund treatment when necessary. It's just an option a lot of people use these days. MM2H allows you to also withdraw RM50,000 against healthcare receipts, I believe.

"self-insure" is a polite term for "you pay everything yourself by whatever means you can scare up."

Its been said 1000 times or more but Malaysian policies dont cover what one expects from a western policy. And, following a claim, that area of coverage would be excluded later. Get the flu in 2018 which you report on your annual report forms, in 2019 the entire respiratory system will be excluded from coverage. And, in the initial application in which you list all prior ailments in your life, all of those areas of coverage are excluded. You literally start off a new policy with very little coverage if you have been honest about your medical history. All of this happened to me. So I didnt take any policy and I self-insure.

In policies that work internationally, since you mentioned Singapore, yes as you said they are extremely expensive and still dont cover everything.

I'm not against you in any way, but what you are asking for doesnt exist in the world. There is no such thing as a cheap policy that covers everything and works in various countries. I realize that it SEEMS such a product should exist but it doesnt.

For American expats or anyone else having a similar insurance system, if you are on Social Security, you take Medicare and a Supplement policy. Then while in Malaysia you cash-pay for small problems and fly home for big problems. That would be the dirt-cheapest way around the problem. If you are caught in Malaysia with a stroke or heart attack and cannot travel, you are in big trouble if you dont have the savings account to pay the bills from.

Having said that, there was an expat in this group who recently said they paid about USD700 a month for a good-coverage international policy. Please google international health insurance and start applying in order to find out the costs.

Health and health insurance is the sore point, bane and the weak link of an expats life.  Over the years I've many times proposed that expats INDEED start an insurance company but nobody has ever expressed any interest.

In years past I asked Blue Cross in US to create expat policies under which coverage would ONLY apply out of the country and I never heard from them. But last year someone in US said there was foreign insurance available. I didnt follow it up, maybe thats a good possibility for people now? All the companies in an expats home country would have to be polled now and see if there is anything today for expats.

Thank you, cvco, for your incredibly helpful advice and interest.

There seems to be another way to go: travel insurance. This covers your 'big trouble' scenario. There are several companies that offer this and, believe it or not, according to people who have experience, it works!

You do have to take it out in another country (which is no problem). The concept is that since you are not living in your country of origin, you are deemed to be 'travelling' if you find yourself elsewhere (Malaysia, for example). They offer 7-day, 30-day, 90-day, 6-month and annual policies. In our situation we would obviously select the annual policy. IMG offers such a plan as does Seven Corners. It does give you emergency cover but you're on your own for outpatient and ongoing treatment for which you apparently have to 'self-insure' (indeed, a ridiculous concept as you allude to, if ever there was one!)

Read the small print, as often there is a maximum time to be outside "base" country travelling. The policy can be valid for a year, but the individual trips can have a maximum length.

In the cases of the companies whose policies I have studied, they do not.

Please PM me, I can assist you, thank you, hear from you soon, Cheers

All the policies I looked at only cover you for trips of up to 90 days if the trip starts from country of origin. So travel insurance would work if you go back at least once in every 90 days. I asked about extending when you're already in the country, and it is possible, but expensive. I suppose it depends on age and previous health conditions just how expensive.  But certainly over RM 600 per month.  Although that's probably cheaper than going back to the country of origin every 90 days, depending on where you're from!

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