During the past few months I have had some friends who were hospitalized for varying lengths of time, one had multiple surgeries and hospitalizations before eventually passing away and another broke an ankle and remained in the hospital for a few days. I got to thinking of my hospital insurance at the same time my own policy was up for renewal, along with my home and car insurance. Also at this time I received a comment on Retired in Malaysia from Roy Steven Ung Keng Soon, a Prudential Insurance agent.
The year before I moved here, when I was 59, I talked with a Prudential agent about health insurance. She told me that I would have to sign up by the following day or else I would be too old and not eligible for health insurance. As happens quite often here in Malaysia, when you are purchasing something or signing up for a service you are told that it is a special promotion which will expire the next day. I did not want to be pushed into something as I was unsure of the exact time frame for my move here. Subsequently when I moved to Penang I signed up for Kurnia medical insurance and have been with them ever since. My Kurnia policy states that I can renew my policy at the age of 65 and up until I believe I am 80, with the permission of the company. My home insurance and car insurance have been renewed, but I am still waiting on my hospital insurance.
Last year when my insurance came up for renewal I checked with my neighbor's Prudential agent and was told that at 64 I was too old. I renewed again with Kurnia. When I exchanged emails with Roy, from Prudential, he explained that their insurance will indeed cover a person beginning at the age of 65 and beyond. Now I was confused as to why the other 2 agents told me I was not eligible.
Most of the expats I know here who are over 60 either have local insurance or have none, wishing to pay cash if needed. In Malaysia you are considered a senior citizen at the age of 55 and insurance may be difficult to obtain. There are a number of international insurance companies that advertise to expats on the more commercial retirement blogs on the web. I do not know anyone who has one of these policies as they are very expensive and their coverage is way above what one would need here in Malaysia. I think it may be time to take another look at all insurance companies' offerings.
When I first received a comment from Roy I considered it as spam, as I don't want people commenting just to advertise their products or services. I since changed my mind and that is why I am writing this post. As most people who are reading this blog, with the intentions of retiring and moving here, are near or above the age of 65, it is important that they receive true and correct information regarding this very important topic. I invite any expats with hospital insurance to share their stories and thoughts here. I also am inviting any insurance agents, who offer coverage for older expats, to share their products and information here. Hopefully we can clear up any misinformation and misunderstandings.