Vincent Lee from Penang generously shares an idea to use your EPF. This is what he shares with me in an email:
For some unknown reasons, the EPF board refused to allow contributors to use money in Account II to purchase H&S insurance. However, as you know, withdrawal to pay for major hospital bills is allowed for own self. Now, isn’t it mind boggling? Withdrawals which have potential to wipe out savings are allowed but withdrawals to pay for H&S insurance premium are not favoured. May be more time is needed to study its implications which I can only think of positive ones. It helps to preserve fund, wider net of coverage and good for the insurance industry. (By the way, i am not from insurance industry).
Medical costs are increasing at over 15% per annum. Our medical funds will never be able to catch up. We don’t know whether EPF will ever allow for withdrawal to buy H&S insurance. However, we can do this. The EPF approves withdrawals to reduce housing loan and here is my suggestion.
When the EPF cheque for lump sum prepayment is issued, make very sure that the cheque is paid to reduce the ORIGINAL LOAN AMOUNT by giving them a written notice and wait for the bank to reply with a written approval (regardless of type of loan ie flexi or non flexi). After confirmation from bank is obtained, bank in the cheque.
Next step, ask the bank to restructure your loan tenure so that your new monthly instalment is reduced. With the reduction, the extra cash flow can now be used to pay for monthly premium for H&S insurance. Please do not use it to upgrade your car or your LCD TV.
Just my two cents worth.
Well, we can also use the extra cash flow from EPF Account II by applying to withdraw to pay housing loan installment. As long as there is RM600 in account II, provided that you also have a housing loan, EPF members can receive RM100/month for the period of 6 months. That money is supposed to be used as your housing loan installment. But since the money is paid directly to your saving account, it is an extra cash flow as long as you keep paying your housing loan and also payday loans.
Vincent’s suggestion to let EPF members to withdraw account II fund in order to pay Hospitalization and Surgical Benefit Insurance premium is a very practical measure. Instead of funding the medical cost of serious illness, it is better to limit the severity of financial damage by transferring the risk to insurance companies.
What do you say?