The National B40 Protection Scheme worth RM2 billion will be offered free to the Bottom 40 (B40) group starting Jan 1.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the scheme will provide health insurance and takaful protection for free to qualified low-income households or B40 as assistance to cope with hardship arising from health issues, critical illness and hospitalisation may adversely impact their households.
“As announced in the Budget 2019, the government is establishing the National B40 Protection Scheme on Jan 1, 2019, with an initial fund size of RM2 billion.
“The scheme will provide free medical coverage to qualified recipients against 36 critical illnesses,” he said in a statement.
Recipients will receive payment up to RM8,000, with disbursement over a period that will be announced.
The scheme, he said, also gives daily payments as income replacement in the event of hospitalisation for up to 14 days at RM50 per day or RM700 per year.
“The scheme has an initial fund size of RM2 billion, which will provide medical coverage for 5 years to the targeted recipients, benefitting individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 within the 4.1 million B40 households.
“Coverage under the Scheme commences Jan 1 next year, and the scheme’s registration and customer support services will be in operation from March 1, 2019,” he said.
Lim said registration could be made electronically over the internet without the use of paper forms and no medical examination was required for qualification checks.
All qualified recipients under the scheme will be notified through short message service (SMS) messages.
“Further information on the mechanism and implementation of the scheme will be disclosed when it is officially launched.
“This scheme is a significant step taken by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to establish a comprehensive social safety net from the aspect of inclusive health insurance and takaful coverage for low-income groups for free.
“This scheme, the first of its kind in Malaysia, is guided by the PH Election Manifesto to improve access to much-needed health services, lighten the cost of living burden, and improve the rakyat’s wellbeing,” he added.