Why is it important to get health or medical takaful and how to choose one?

31 March 2023 | Kuala Lumpur

What was the best thing you did for yourself today? Are you one of the many Malaysians who neglect their own wellbeing while managing family and work commitments? Perhaps this is a sign for you to think about caring for yourself financially in the event of a medical emergency.

Only 22% of Malaysians have personal health takaful or insurance plan and 50.1% have no supplementary financial coverage and rely on existing tax funded healthcare, according to the National Health & Morbidity Survey (NHMS).

Inflation in the medical industry is usually the highest due to medical advancements and higher life expectancy which result in more medical treatments being required. Therefore, the importance of medical insurance/takaful cannot be overstated.

What is medical takaful?

Medical takaful pays for your medical treatment at any healthcare facility especially for any covered diagnosis, illness or accident. Although similar to conventional health insurance, takaful operators abide by Islamic laws that give importance to sharing and shariah-compliant business practices.

By selecting a medical takaful, each member contributes to the pool, which is then used to pay for the medical expenses of any member who becomes sick or injured. By this way, medical takaful is like a cooperative or mutual aid society. These costs will cover hospital accommodation and meals, doctor and surgeon fees, as well as medical equipment and services.

Why is it important to get medical takaful?

More and more Malaysians are choosing to be treated at a private facility rather than a government facility because of the staff specialties and newer specialised equipment provided to them. To support this, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) states that in Malaysia, takaful plans are structured to cover the actual cost of treatment in a private hospital.

Medical takaful or Islamic medical insurance is a plan for the socially aware to mutually contribute to providing financial protection to its members.

It is important to have a good health insurance/takaful plan in place before any major illness or injury occurs. It is also important to make sure your medical takaful covers the costs of treatments for chronic diseases, which are usually excluded from health insurance/takaful coverage. It also has a lower contribution, meaning you will pay less for your monthly contributions.

How to choose a health or medical takaful?

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a health or medical takaful provider. As various types of health and medical takaful are now available, make sure the provider offers a plan that meets your requirements.

  1. Coverage offered by the takaful provider

    The first factor is the level of coverage offered by the provider. Make sure to check what type of coverage the takaful provider offers in their health and medical takaful plans. There are basic and comprehensive plans to choose from. A basic plan may not cover certain conditions and have a limited sum covered. A medical takaful coverage will also affect the cost of the contribution, therefore it is important not to overpay for a basic plan. Bjak shares that contributions should cost between 3 – 10% of your monthly take home income. Takaful providers may also provide additional benefit rider for their medical and health takaful plans. Therefore, it's always wise to look at bonus benefits and pick a provider that covers pre & post hospitalisation treatments. After all, recovery is a very important part of healthcare.

  2. Compare to other available plans

    While it is important to look at what is being covered and offered by one provider, you should also make it a point to compare the plan among different takaful providers. This will turn you into a wise consumer who knows where their money is going. You may want to compare the annual limits, lifetime benefits, terms and conditions against the contribution amount so that you can get more value for your money.

  3. The takaful provider’s reputation

    Once you are happy with the choice you have made, you should also check the provider’s reputation and financial stability. This is important because you want to make sure that you are choosing a provider that is reputable and has a good track record to ensure that they can meet their financial obligations.

  4. Claims process

    Apart from a good reputation and financial stability, you should also look at the claims process of the takaful provider. Choosing a provider with a simple and efficient claims process, will make your healthcare experience better during emergencies and stressful periods. Check your takaful operator’s list of panel hospitals to ensure you can enjoy a cashless transaction, without having to reach for your wallet.

  5. Customer service

    Finally, a good customer service desk will essentially be able to help you with any questions regarding your contract and claims procedure. Therefore, you should select a takaful provider that provides excellent customer service. Ultimately, you will want to be able to get the help you need at the time you need it most.


Choosing a good health or medical takaful plan does not have to be complicated and stressful. With an online product, you may not need an agent's help to understand what's being offered or how the plan works. By following the list above, you can now do your own research in the comforts of your own home and get the medical or health takaful coverage you need online.


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