AIA Malaysia expands product to cover mental illness

Additional coverage for mental conditions comes without an increase in premium rates

AIA Malaysia expands product to cover mental illness

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

AIA Malaysia has expanded its A-Plus Health medical plan to cover mental illnesses, amid heated public discussion regarding the subject.

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH), 4.2 million individuals suffer from mental health problems. These statistics indicate a more than two-fold increase in prevalence over the past decade, rising from 10.7% in 1996 to 29.2% in 2015, a statement from the insurer said.

In May, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, patron of the Malaysia Psychiatric Association, called for more government attention on mental health, and stated that insurers should cover mental illnesses, as well. For its part, the MOH said that mental illness is indeed a major problem, but it was up to the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, to mandate insurers to cover mental illness.

A-Plus Health, launched in 2018, is a medical rider that can be attached to AIA’s regular premium investment-linked plans, A-LifeLink 2 and A-Life Joy 2. The rider comes with the Health Wallet feature, in which an amount will be credited to the policyholder’s health wallet for every year they do not make a claim.

The customer can use the amount accumulated in the Health Wallet for various services and expenses that are typically not covered by most medical plans. Meanwhile, the mental health benefit expansion, which comes without any increase in premiums charged, covers six conditions – major depressive disorders, post-partum depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and tourette syndrome – and up to MYR1,500 (around SG$500) annually in psychiatric consultation fees.

“We know that there is a rising need for insurance plans that cover mental health conditions in this country – and I’m optimistic that as the insurance industry works collectively with medical professionals, health experts and regulators, we will be able to develop the best solutions to meet the needs of Malaysians,” said Heng Zee Wang, chief marketing officer of AIA Malaysia. “At AIA, we continuously challenge ourselves to push the boundaries of our industry and take the lead in extending protection to new heights. A-Plus Health was the first product in the market that actively rewarded our customers for living healthy and now with the additional mental health benefit, we hope to continue to empower Malaysians to live more fulfilling lives.”

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