In response to Zika reaching Malaysia, Great Eastern Life Assurance Bhd, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd and AIA Bhd are now providing health insurance that covers the virus.
However, all three insurers do not cover microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in newborn babies, which is believed to be caused by the virus, as it is considered a congenital condition.
Great Eastern’s Zika policy will cover hospitalization expenses, including pregnant women who are infected. Death benefits are also covered, as long as the definitions in the policy contract are fulfilled.
For Prudential, policyholders of plans with death and Total Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits would be covered, including hospitalization and surgical expenses. Pregnant women are also covered. Parents of babies suffering from mild cases of microcephaly can still apply for cover, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
According to AIA chief marketing officer Thomas Wong, holders of A-Plus MedBooster and A-Plus MedBooster-i plans are covered against Zika, but only on an outpatient basis. Hospitalization costs and death benefits are covered, but the company will not cover pregnancy risks and complications due to the virus.
However, none of the three companies have received any claims for Zika. Since September 1, seven cases of Zika were reported across Malaysia, with 163 individuals showing symptoms of the disease, but they tested negative.
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