GEORGE TOWN: For coffee shop assistant Woo Kwee Fatt and his Indonesian wife Ely, the MySalam insurance protection scheme will go a long way to ease their financial burden.
The couple, who are from the B40 group, have five school-going children, including triplets, aged between 10 and 15.
Woo, 69, said his daily wage was about RM50 and his 41-year-old wife, who works as a housekeeper, earns around RM1,300 a month.
He said his children fell sick in the past few weeks due to the bad weather.
“We usually go to the Penang Hospital to get treatment as we only need to pay RM1.
“Although there is always a long queue, we accepted it because of our financial status,” he said.
Recipients of the MySalam insurance protection scheme will receive a one-off payment of RM8,000 if they are diagnosed with one of the illnesses in the schedule.
Woo, who underwent heart bypass two years ago, said the money would come in handy as he would not need to fork out a large amount of money for deposit.
“The RM8,000 can also cover the family’s expenses for about one month,” he said, adding that they spent around RM70 to survive each day.
Recipients will also receive daily payments of RM50 up to 14 days as income replacement in the event of hospitalisation.
“I work from 11am to 9pm everyday and I only get paid on the days I work.
“With the RM50 per day, it will be of great help to the family,” he said.
He said pocket money for his five children cost around RM40 per day including meals and bus rides.
Woo urged the government to find ways for news about the scheme to reach “people like me who don’t know where to get more information”.
In Johor Baru, housewife K. Jayaletchumi said the insurance scheme would really be helpful for those who are diagnosed with diseases needing constant medical care.
“My husband is the sole breadwinner of the family as I am unable to work after being diagnosed with diabetes and kidney failure two years ago.
“I need to go for dialysis three times a week. I spend RM13 at government-run dialysis centres.
“For a family like mine that earns only about RM1,200 per month, it is impossible for us to afford any insurance,” she said, adding that the new scheme would allow them to have some financial protection.
Stall trader Sarimah Jasmin, 50, hoped the government would explain more about the insurance scheme.
“My concern is that there may be some hidden charges or trouble in claiming for financial assistance when we are hit by any illnesses,” she said.
She added that the concern arose because of past bad experience with insurance coverage, and the fear still lingered.