KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 40 NGOs and 46 individuals have handed over a memorandum to the Prime Minister asking the government to put the MySalam insurance scheme on hold until an actuarial assessment is done.
The group handed over the letter addressed to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday (March 20).
While welcoming the government’s effort, they claimed there were several matters in the scheme for the low income B40 group which were worrying.
“There are several matters in the scheme that create hardship and anxiety for us. One of them is the fact that the government has not carried out an actuarial evaluation on the package," the memorandum said.
The MySalam scheme, which was launched on March 1 provides for a one-off payment to individuals from the ages of 18 to 55 in the B40 group if they were diagnosed with any of the 36 types of critical illnesses.
Eligible individuals, however, can make claims for conditions diagnosed from Jan 1.
Each person will also be paid RM50 a day up to 14 days a year if admitted to a government hospital for treatment.
The memorandum said that several exclusion clauses in the MySalam scheme prevent patients from receiving its benefits.
It said the scheme will not offer benefits to patients above age 55 who were diagnosed before Jan 1 and for some illnesses, compensation would only be paid when patients could no longer carry out activities of daily living (ADL).
It said because of these exemptions, it's not possible for a patient with Parkinson’s, for instance, to receive the RM8,000 compensation within five years because this illness often hit those above age 70.
It said that it would take 10 years for the disease to reach the stage of incapacity, adding that new cases diagnosed after Jan 1 will not reach the stage of ADL incapacity in five years.
The memorandum also said that conditions set for receiving benefits for ADL incapacity could also prevent many patients with meningitis, encephalitis and head injury from receiving the MySalam benefits.
Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, who handed over the memorandum, said there were many grey areas and an actuarial assessment will tell how many people will actually be covered by the scheme.
If the quantum (that can be claimed) is far lesser than the RM400mil that the government has to pay for the scheme, we should cancel the scheme and look for another way to utilise the RM2bil fund for the B40 group,” he said.