Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that the public health protection scheme, mySalam, has been expanded to cover nine more critical diseases including polio, taking the total number of illnesses covered to 45 with effect from 1 January this year.
He said that changes to the scheme also include an increase in the age ceiling to 65 from 55 previously, Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) recipients who are single and disabled persons. BSH is a cost of living assistance scheme that the government established to aid the B40 group whose members are in the bottom 40% income bracket.
The scheme is also extended to the Middle 40% (M40) income group whose members have an annual gross income of up to MYR100,000 ($24,000).
The takaful protection includes a one-off payment of MYR4,000 and daily hospitalisation allowance of MYR50 for a maximum 14 days for those admitted in a government hospital, university medical hospital and army hospital, he said.
“The government expects the expansion of the Mr scheme will benefit some 8m individuals by year-end,” Lim said last week.
The scheme previously offered cover for 36 critical illnesses, with beneficiaries entitled to receive a one-off payment of MYR8,000 and a daily hospitalisation allowance of MYR50 at any government hospital, university medical hospital and army hospital for a maximum 14 days or MYR700 per annum.
He said that 4.3m individuals aged between 18 and 55, and their spouses, registered for BSH 2019 and were protected under mySalam in 2019.
“A total of 9,662 individuals have received assistance amounting to MYR13.7m. Of the total, 1,448 individuals received critical illnesses benefits and the remaining 8,214 individuals received the hospitalisation allowance,” Mr Lim said.