Tuesday, February 24, 2009
HOW CAN WE USE OUR MEDICAL CARD WITH CARE?
I have explained the importance of using our medical card with care in my previous post titled WHY MUST WE USE OUR MEDICAL CARD WITH CARE? (February 4, 2009). In order to make sure that there is enough limit or fund in our medical card when we need it the most at older ages, we must use it rationally.
What we can do is we just use it when we really have to use it. We should never stay in a hospital just because of a minor illness or injury. Some of us may think that we have already paid the premium and there is no reason why we must not use it whenever we want. In fact, there is a very strong reason why we must use it with care. When we buy a medical card, we pay the premium and are entitled to a lifetime limit of RM 200,000, for example. As long as we are still paying the premium, the RM 200,000 is still ours. So, when insurance companies pay our medical bills, they actually use our money or lifetime limit.
Besides that, we can achieve the objective by bargaining with doctors about our medical bills. How? When we are hospitalized, we tell the doctors that we have no medical card and ask them about the cost of a treatment. After that, we, as rational consumers with good bargaining skill, should use this skill in negotiating with the doctors about our medical bills. They will usually give us a discount if they know that we have no medical card. As a result, we can save our money. After the treatment, we pay our medical bills first and make claims from insurance companies later. Of course, if we are hospitalized due to a very serious injury or a critical illness, we must not bargain with the doctors. In this case, our life is more important.