fomca logoJune 6, 2021 1:54 PM
PETALING JAYA: A consumer group said senior citizens have been severely affected by the sharp increase in their medical premiums, based on a recent survey it carried out.

And now the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) wants Bank Negara Malaysia to step in to protect the community.

Its secretary-general, Paul Selvaraj, said senior citizens relied on their savings to meet their daily expenses.

And very often, he said, their primary savings are from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Yet, data shows that over 50% of EPF contributors aged above 54 have savings of below RM50,000, while 67% of contributors do not have a minimum of RM240,000.

To compound matters, Selvaraj said the cost of living, especially the cost of food and other essential items, had been increasing substantially.
“The sharp and unjustified increases by the insurance companies put pressure on senior citizens to lapse in paying their premiums and thus they lose their coverage,” he said in a statement.

According to the survey, 42% of the respondents saw a 20% to 230% increase on the premiums they had been paying.

And with no regulator to protect the consumers’ well-being, Selvaraj claimed that these insurance companies were free to “increase their premiums whenever they liked and by how much they liked”.

These could inveitably lead the elderly to forgo their coverage, he added.

“This is a cruel approach towards senior citizens. But without protection by the regulators, it appears that consumers, especially the senior citizens, are at the mercy of the insurance companies if they want to maintain their coverage.”

Selveraj requested that the central bank regulate the industry to ensure greater justice and fairness for the people, especially the vulnerable groups.