An essential coverage

Allianz Diabetic Essential gives comprehensive protection as well as personalised healthcare to Malaysians with diabetes.
Giving diabetics better medical coverage ... (from left) Gross and Yeoh both believe that the Allianz Diabetic Essential plan will provide numerous benefits to customer.

ALLIANZ LIFE INSURANCE Malaysia Berhad recently launched a medical plan designed especially for those afflicted with diabetes.

The Allianz Diabetic Essential plan is targeted at those with Type-2 ­diabetes who do not have a ­medical plan, while those with an existing plan can also top up their coverage with this plan.

Allianz Diabetic ­Essential offers ­comprehensive ­medical ­coverage, with a choice of four medical plans that cover the cost of ­hospitalisation and ­surgery as well as ­Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ­admission, obtaining a ­second ­medical opinion, and more.

The plan also provides ­access to outpatient treatment for ­cancer, kidney dialysis, dengue and enteric fever treatment, as well as emergency accidental outpatient treatment.

Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad chief executive officer Joseph Gross and chief strategy and product officer Yeoh Eng Hun recently shared some insights into what this plan has to offer.

Gross said that as an insurance company, they have to ­evaluate what types of coverage they want to ­provide, the risks they want to take – and whether it is fair value for money, both for the customer and the company.

As to why they designed this plan for diabetics, he said it is natural for insurance companies to look out for market segments that are not yet covered in the country.

"We at Allianz believe that every Malaysian deserves to have better medical coverage.

"One out of every five ­Malaysians [has] a diabetic condition. ­

"Typically, diabetics will find it difficult to purchase medical plans, because there are certain health risks that come along with [the ­condition] that can lead to more serious health issues."

While most other insurance companies choose not to cover this pre-existing condition, Gross said that he and others at ­Allianz asked themselves whether this was really fair, considering there are many people out there who want to better manage the ­disease to live a healthier and longer life.

"When you think of that ­segment of the market who want to take responsibility, and take better care of themselves, this will provide Allianz the ­opportunity to provide coverage and a partnership," Gross added.

Yeoh emphasised that ­Allianz is extending coverage to ­customers who are actively making changes to ­improve their lives.

"We need to work with ­customers who are aware of their medical condition and are taking care of their health," Yeoh said, referring to their target ­customers.

­Allianz Diabetic Essential also gives policy holders extra motivation to live a healthier ­lifestyle, with potential discounts on ­premiums each time they submit a medical report.

Yeoh explained: "We provide an annual free medical checkup so that customers will have an indication of how well [they are] controlling [the] condition.

"Using the results, we can then offer discounts."

For example, if you send in a fairly good medical report when you initially sign up for the plan, you may receive a 20% discount off their premium.

The following year, if you ­focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and submit a better medical report, your premium discount can even go up to 40%.

If, however, your ­medical ­results have deteriorated by the ­following year, you will still get a 10% discount for submitting the report.

When consumers make the effort to go to a panel clinic for a medical checkup, it shows they are taking the first step to being responsible, and making a change for the better in their healthcare.

The initial discount given is a trigger point for them to ­continue on this path.

"Our objective here is to get ­Malaysians to say: 'I want to change, I want to make an ­improvement', and then do it," said Gross.

"If you go to a doctor for a ­regular checkup, it shows that you are making changes to your ­behaviour."

The Allianz Diabetic ­Essential plan also incorporates ­personalised care for customers.

Through a unique ­collaboration with Advance Medical, ­a global leader in expert medical opinions, Allianz is spearheading a ­Diabetics Care Programme for customers, where a licensed ­physician will be assigned to individual customers, as their very own health adviser.

This will allow customers to work with their physicians to come up with a health programme that is more suited to them.

Gross added: "I cannot stress enough when I say that at Allianz Life, protection is our business but we are very much more ­invested in enhancing the quality of life of Malaysians.

"That's why we have come up with products that will ultimately protect and serve Malaysians."