KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — AIA Malaysia has decided to cover mental illness, believed to be the first Malaysian insurance company to do so.
The insurance company now provides coverage for depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, and bipolar disorder and postpartum depression.
At yesterday’s AIA Malaysia’s Annual Mid Year Congress 2019, AIA Malaysia chief marketing officer Heng Zee Wang announced that the company would now include mental health as part of its coverage.
I’m so proud that AIA Malaysia FINALLY covers Mental Health!!! ♥️♥️♥️ it is truly so important in this generation. I’m so happy to be part of this amazing company as a Life Planner! ?? #AIA #BestInsuranceCompany #HealthierLongerBetterLives #TotalHealthSolution pic.twitter.com/vGw9Qglv4Z— Melanie Augustin ? (@mellyyyyyyy23) July 3, 2019
A source from AIA Malaysia also confirmed with CodeBlue separately that the company would now cover mental illnesses, effective immediately.
In Singapore, AIA launched the country’s first insurance policy offering coverage for mental illnesses early this year. However, it does not include postpartum depression.
Just last May, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye called on insurance companies to provide coverage for mental health.
He stated that as mental health was a major problem here, such coverage would not only be useful for those needing assistance, but that it would also help create awareness on the importance of caring for that part of health. Lee also pointed out that treatment for mental health could be quite costly.
Malaysia Psychiatric Association patron Lee Lam Thye had earlier called for the Ministry of Health to work on providing insurance coverage for mental health care and treatment.
One area of concern is the state of mental health among young people.
The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017 on mental health among youths revealed that one out of five adolescents felt depressed; two out of five felt anxious; 11.2 per cent had suicidal ideation and 10.1 per cent had attempted suicide.
A 16-year-old girl from Kuching killed herself last May after her followers voted on Instagram for her death, triggering a nationwide debate on mental health.
There were 5.5 million adolescents in Malaysia as of 2018.
A press release received late Thursday evening from AIA Malaysia spells out the details of its coverage for mental health.
“…utilise this benefit without any increase in premiums or insurance charges and will be able to claim up to RM1,500 per year in psychiatric consultation fees when visiting any private or government hospitals. “
The insurance benefits for mental health are covered under the Health Wallet feature available as part of AIA’s A-Plus Health medical plan. For every year that a customer does not make a claim from A-Plus Health, an amount will be credited into their Health Wallet, up to 10 times.
All new and existing customers of A-Plus Health will be able to utilise the mental health benefit without any increase in premiums or insurance charges, and will be able to claim up to RM1,500 per year in psychiatric consultation fees when visiting any private or government hospitals.
The benefit will cover the earlier announced six mental health conditions.
It is also offered under the shariah-compliant version, A-Plus Health-i.
AIA Malaysia has ventured in this area before when in 2017, it introduced A-Life Lady360 which covers Psychotherapy Treatment for Anxiety and Depression as well as A-Plus BabyCare which covers Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).