B40 national protection scheme to benefit 4.1 million individuals

PUTRAJAYA: The B40 National Protection Scheme, which will provide free health insurance and takaful protection, is expected to benefit 4.1 million individuals aged between 18 and 55 within the B40 category, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

In a statement, Lim said the scheme, which will kick off on Jan 1, 2019, with an initial fund of RM2 billion, would also provide eligible recipients with free medical coverage against 36 critical illnesses for five years.

He said the scheme would be offered to qualified low-income individuals within the B40 households as an assistance for them to cope with hardships arising from their health issues, critical illnesses and hospitalisations which could affect their households’ flow of income.

“The recipients will receive a maximum of RM8,000 which will be disbursed within a period which will be announced later.

“The scheme will also provide income replacement in the event of hospitalisation at RM50 per day for a maximum period of 14 days or RM700 a year,” he said.

Lim said coverage under the scheme would commence on Jan 1, 2019, and the scheme’s registration and customer support services would be in operation from March 1, 2019.

“Registration can be made electronically over the internet without the use of paper forms and no medical examination is required for qualification checks.

“All qualified recipients will be notified through short messaging system (SMS). Further information on the mechanism and implementation of the scheme would be elaborated when it is launched early next year,” he said.

Among the critical illnesses covered under the scheme are Alzheimers, bacterial meningitis, blind/full vision loss, cancer, chronic aplastic anemia, coma, final stage liver failure, lung disease, heart attack, heart valve surgery, kidney failure – dialysis or kidney transplantation, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and third stage burns.

Lim said the scheme was an important step taken by the government to establish a comprehensive social security network in terms of free health insurance and takaful coverage for low income groups.

“The scheme, which is the first of its kind in Malaysia, is guided by the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto to improve access to the much-needed health services, alleviating the burden from the rising cost of living , and improving the wellbeing of the people,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Kubang Pasu, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said the assistance announced by the government was not meant to gain popularity, but was done based on the government’s capability to fulfil the needs of the underprivileged.

He said it was also part of the government’s responsibilities to ensure the wellbeing of the people.

“We have listened to the people’s problems and we have studied our financial position before announcing anything ... it has nothing to do with wanting to gain popularity because the next general election is still far away,” he told reporters after attending the Back to School programme for his Kubang Pasu constituency, here today.

At the event, over 1,000 students from less-fortunate families received new school shoes and uniforms as preparations to enter the new school session next year. Seventy six students also received cash reward for their excellent academic performance in this year’s Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). — Bernama

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