The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association (Fomca) has urged insurers to stop increasing the premiums of medical insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic as it will impact the affordability of premiums for policyholders, reported The Sun Daily.
“Notices are being sent to policyholders at the time when consumers are still struggling to make ends meet which is very unjust and unfair,” said Fomca president Dr Marimuthu Nadason in a statement.
“Fomca advocates for the deferment of repricing rollout by insurance companies which was initially intended to take effect in 2020. However, due to the severe economic disruption caused by the pandemic, the one-year postponement does not provide enough breathing space for policyholders who remain burdened by economic and employment uncertainties,” he said.
Dr Marimuthu noted that hospital occupancy had decreased tremendously due to COVID-19. Thus insurers will have a lesser payout compared to previous years.
He cited data from the Association of Private Hospitals which reported that private hospitals and clinics had seen a drop of almost 70%, thus resulting in a healthier loss/claims ratio as well as improved overall profitability for insurers.
“With many losing jobs and taking pay cuts, it is both an emotional and financial stress for policyholders keep up with the current premiums, what more if the insurance industry goes ahead with the repricing exercise we fear that many policies would be surrendered or lapse due to premium increase,” he said.