KUALA LUMPUR: Housewives and stay-at-home mothers will soon be able to enjoy insurance protection against injuries for as little as RM10 a month.
The Housewives Social Security Bill (HSS), which was tabled for its first reading by Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, will see housewives below 55 eligible for the voluntary insurance scheme to be managed by the Social Security Organisation (Socso).
The voluntary scheme will also cover housewives below 55 who are permanent residents in the country.
Under the scheme, husbands will have to pay RM120 in advance to Sosco to provide protection for their wives covering a 12-month period.
The contributions could be made through deductions by the employers of the husband.
A husband who has voluntarily registered for the scheme but fails to make the contribution could face a RM10,000 fine.
However, a husband could escape liability if he informs Socso in writing that he is unable to make the contributions due to the loss of income or other reasons.
However, housewives could choose to make their own contributions if their husbands elect not to sign up for the scheme.
The scheme offers a range of medical benefits and compensation payments of between RM300 and RM50,000 to housewives depending on the seriousness of their injuries sustained while at home.
For example, those who suffer total permanent disability such as the loss of a hand or foot including severe facial disfigurement, loss of eyesight essential for work or afflicted by absolute deafness, will be eligible for RM30,000 in compensation payment.
Compensation of RM300 would also be paid out to housewives who lose part of their toes.
Also provided is a RM250 monthly allowance for housewives who require constant aid following their injuries.
This includes RM200 a month for dialysis treatment for those who suffer from end-stage renal failure.
A housewife will also be entitled to a maximum of RM50,000 for physical rehabilitation due to her injuries.
Families of a deceased houswife will also be provided with a one-off payment of RM2,000.
The proposed law also addresses the issue of fraud or those who intentionally provide misleading information when making claims under the scheme.
Those convicted of such offences under the proposed law could face a maximum two-year jail sentence or a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or both.
A tribunal will also be set up to hear claim applications and its decision may not be appealed in court.
Saravanan had previously said that an insurance protection scheme was needed to provide a safety social security net for housewives who are also seen as contributing to the well-being of the nation.