Having medical insurance is like walking around with a bulletproof vest. It promises to take care of all your medical costs so that you can live a long and healthy life. Sounds too good to be true? The truth is, it’s not what you think, trust me. I have been selling insurances since 2003. Although I’m inactive now, my clients still call me from time to time to ask about a medical insurance upgrade.

So why should you upgrade your medical card? Isn’t it permanent?

Why Upgrade Medical Card?

I think it’s pretty obvious that the medical costs are continuously on the rise and to keep up with medical inflation, you NEED to revise your insurance plans. Your old coverage is simply not as comprehensive as the latest one. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want any loopholes in my insurance!

New plans are introduced to cope with the new changes in medical needs. It can be because there is a HUGE level of competition in the insurance market now. Just take a look for yourself here. Some offer daily cash allowances and reimbursements while others reward you for staying healthy. They all offer such attractive features and most are within a very reasonable yearly cost range. So unless you are very picky, it’s almost impossible to distinguish them!

Nowadays customers are charged higher for daily room and boarding, and therefore, are incurring a higher medical cost. Old policies simply don’t cover enough and their limits were simply too low. You need a higher limit due to rising medical costs, which is why customers were extremely inconvenienced by the old medical insurance plans. For example, the average limit on old packages was around RM50k, which just won’t cut it now. Customers simply want this “limit” GONE!

New Changes to the Latest Coverage

Lifelong Coverage
If you look at the older coverage, they mostly used to cover only up to 70 years of age. But with newer medical advances, people’s life expectancy is rising and now people want coverage of up to at least 80-100 years. Thus, nowadays, you can find plans that give coverage for a longer period of time.

Increasing annual limit
With the rising cost of healthcare, you never know how much coverage you’ll need. Accidents don’t inform people before happening. So the size of the medical bill depends on the size of the injury. So having an annual limit is pretty much redundant. However, if you compare Medical Cards here, you’ll see that most of them have an annual limit. Some have a higher limit than others while a handful don’t have any annual limit at all.

Zero co-insurance and deductible charges
As if having to pay premiums wasn’t enough, you used to be charged various fees, such as co-insurance and other types of deductibles. In reality, if you think that you can lay in your hospital bed and have no worries about your medical bills, you are DEAD wrong! Most insurance plans used to come with deductibles which is a minimum amount YOU have to pay for your medical bills.

If that wasn’t enough, there is also something called ‘co-insurance’, which is a medical cost sharing between you and your insurance company. For instance, the old coverage requires customers to pay a minimum of RM300 or 10% of the medical fee. Now, most insurance companies have dropped one or both of these extra fees. This is good news because all these new changes mean you won’t be burning a hole through your pocket anymore!

Limit Booster
Did you think I was done? Nope, there is more! Here’s a tip: when choosing a medical insurance, try to go for ones that have no lifetime limit or increase your medical protection with a higher annual limit. We simply can’t see the future, so there is no way of telling how much coverage we’ll need by the time we are 100 years old! Luckily, medical insurance nowadays offers such options for you. There are insurance companies that offer the limit booster rider, that reimburse everything in excess of your medical card limit.

So you should really consider upgrading.

What you should do now?

The first thing you should do now is to READ your policy to find more about your existing coverage. Read it thoroughly because a lot of the time people make the mistake of not reading the fine print before they put their name on the dotted line. For instance, did you know that some insurance companies put different limits on inpatient procedures and outpatient procedures? So if you don’t read the fine print, you are very likely to get into trouble!

The second most important thing is to COMPARE the benefits to the ones mentioned above. One plan might give you all sorts of benefits but others might give you a limitless annual or lifetime coverage.

For your convenience, here you can compare some good medical plans available today.

At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for you. To make this choice easier for you, you can get an actual quote, all in one place and that is www.insurance-saver.my. Don’t overlook the importance of upgrading your medical card, so spend some time and carefully select your plan, because it can take care of your life and financial health.


Personal finance author and trainer

    6 replies to "A Brief Guide to Upgrading Your Old, Neglected and Obsolete Medical Card"

    • Mas

      Hi Kc,

      I’ve been paying for my medical insurance for several years now. Now that I can afford it, should I upgrade the medical coverage limit on the existing policy, or buy another insurance policy from Company B (double claim in mind)? Which option makes better financial sense?


      • KCLau

        Hi Mas, there is no “double claim” for hospital charges. If you spend RM10k, you can only claim max up to RM10k for hospitalization, unless it is other rider that pay “income” for hospitalization, such as the “hospital income plan”(HIP) that are commonly sold through telemarketing by bankers. The HIP pays for each day you stay hospitalized.
        Since there is no double claim, then it is better to upgrade with the same company because
        – most companies waive the waiting period for their existing customers
        – it might be more cost efficient because you might get to maintain the same policy (if it is attached to Investment-linked policy)

    • Alvin

      Hi KC Lau,

      We always advice client to review their old policy and consider upgrading their medical card as the cost of medical keep arising from time to time. So upon upgrading, what can we advice client on their old medical card?can we advice them to surrender the old policy after the new one met the waiting period? Or continue pay for both policy? It could be a burden to customer if they have to pay both policy, i am struggling on providing client the most appropriate answer on this. Hope you could advice.



      • KCLau

        Hi Alvin,

        Good question!
        Client can choose to upgrade with the same insurance company. Most companies will waive the “waiting period” for their existing customers.
        But if the client is switching from Company A to B, then it is best to overlap for a certain period – say 6 month to 1 year so they are not caught in the middle, just in case something unfortunate happen during the “waiting period” and “exclusion period”.
        Hope this helps.

        • Grace Chua

          since you are giving advice on medical insurance plan. do you help people to buy the insurance plan? Thanks

          • KCLau

            Hi Grace, if you are interested to talk to one of my trust associates who can give you the advice on this matter, please send your mobile number to me via email.

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