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International Health Insurance for Expats in Malaysia

Learn all about international health insurance plans for expats in Malaysia as well as their healthcare system so you can be protected abroad.

Health Insurance for Expats and Foreigners in Malaysia

Expats moving to Malaysia are required to purchase private insurance. Public and subsidized healthcare services are only available to Malaysian citizens. Working expats in the country can enroll in the Foreign Worker Hospitalization and Surgical Scheme. 

International health insurance is an excellent private insurance option as it provides security against costly medical bills. Care in private hospitals can get very expensive, yet is still the safest option compared to the uncertainty of local health care.

Keep reading to learn all about insurance options for expats in Malaysia as well as the details of the country’s health insurance system.

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Malaysia’s Healthcare and Health Insurance System

Malaysia does not have a universal health insurance plan and instead offers subsidized medical care costs for its citizens. This subsidization is funded by income tax and lowers the cost of healthcare services significantly for Malaysian citizens.

Quality of care in Malaysia depends on location, with hospitals in major cities staffed with English-speaking doctors and highly-trained specialists. The country’s medical reputation has made it a medical tourism hotspot. 

Rural hospitals can differ in care from city hospitals, with a concerning lack of resources and adequate hospital staff. The quality of care you receive is dependent on region. 

The experts at Pacific Prime are prepared to help you choose the right health insurance for your time in Malaysia. Contact us today for a free quote! 

Healthcare in Malaysia and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine is commonly used in Malaysian healthcare. Malaysian citizens will receive these traditional treatments at a subsidized cost, but not expats. Expats should speak with their insurance providers about coverage for traditional Chinese medicine.

Qualifying for Health Insurance in Malaysia

Expats working in Malaysia qualify for the Foreign Worker Hospitalization and Surgical Scheme, and non-employed expats qualify for private health insurance. Health insurance can be bought from local companies or international providers. 

Foreign Worker Hospitalization and Surgical Scheme: Expats who qualify for this scheme will be enrolled by their employers. This scheme offers fixed costs for treatment at public hospitals. It covers ambulance fees, overnight hospital stays, and surgeries. It does not cover outpatient services.

Malaysia Health Insurance Considerations

Expats who qualify for the Foreign Worker Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance Scheme should consider the limited coverage of the insurance scheme and the quality of care from the public health sector. The scheme has narrow limits and coverage, which can leave expats unprotected. 

Public healthcare facilities in Malaysia have varying levels of care across regions. Expats could be waiting for hours for a procedure in a public hospital. Purchasing a private health insurance plan gives you access to private facilities with faster care. 

International health insurance is a popular choice amongst expats because of the global coverage it offers. This ensures they will be protected against medical accidents and crises wherever they go.

International Health Insurance for Expats in Malaysia

Pacific Prime is partnered with the top international health insurance providers that offer health insurance solutions to expats in Malaysia. They provide plans with comprehensive and customizable coverage and benefits, expansive geographical coverage, and varying prices for different budgets.

These international health insurance providers are listed below: 

As an insurance broker, Pacific Prime negotiates between customers and different insurance companies to find them the best possible plan for their needs. Because we aren’t tied to one specific insurer, we can give impartial advice as we help you compare plans.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance in Malaysia

The right health insurance for expats in Malaysia will have customizable benefits and comprehensive coverage. When selecting a plan, expats should remember their specific health needs and priorities.

International health insurance plans provide inpatient treatments and emergency care to expats globally. Local health insurance typically has low coverage limits and only covers expats while they are in the country’s borders. 

International health insurance plans are customizable with additional benefits, like dental or optical. This lets expats tailor their plans according to what they need.

International Insurance in Malaysia - Plans and Coverage

Expats have a vast selection of international insurance companies for coverage in Malaysia, such as AXA, Allianz, and more. We will cover each provider below with an overview of the features of their respective plans.


AXA global health insurance offers expats in Malaysia differing levels of coverage and customizable additional benefits. They offer short-term and long-term plans, with comprehensive coverage for any medical needs. 

Some examples of shared coverage by all AXA insurance plans include: 

  • Hospital charges and surgery
  • Emergency coverage
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Cancer treatment


Allianz offers comprehensive insurance plans in Malaysia for all expats’ needs. Riders are available to be purchased and attached to any basic policy that Allianz approves. These riders can offer coverage for additional benefits such as dental and optical.

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes: 

  • Inpatient costs
  • Diagnostics and laboratory tests
  • Surgeries


Aetna is a Fortune 100 company in the USA and offers coverage in over 200 countries. They offer flexible and comprehensive benefits plans with additional options for medical, vision, dental, and pharmacy coverage. 

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:

  • Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment (up to 90 days)
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Emergency dental and optical treatment

Pacific Cross 

Pacific Cross Health Insurance offers expats a variety of affordable plans and packages, as well as accessible round-the-clock service. They provide 9 different insurance plans for expats with different needs. 

The basic coverage of all their plans includes: 

  • Emergency treatment 
  • Inpatient treatment
  • COVID-19 coverage


Cigna provides flexible insurance plans to expats in Malaysia as well as 24/7 access to a customer care team. Cigna has a silver, gold, and platinum plan with different levels of coverage.

 All three of these plans share several common key coverage benefits: 

  • Hospitalization 
  • Inpatient and daypatient treatments
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Accidental death or total permanent disability compensation

NOW Health

NOW Health International offers expats abroad comprehensive health insurance solutions, as well as providing plans for international students. They offer online claim processes through a mobile app and provide other prompt online support.

They have several different tiers of plans, but these are the shared features across all of them: 

  • Inpatient and daypatient care
  • Evacuation and repatriation
  • Cancer treatment
  • Rehabilitation


Geoblue offers international health insurance coverage to expats and their families across the world. They offer different levels of plans and coverage to best tailor their health insurance to expats’ needs. 

Some shared features across all levels of plans are: 

  • Diagnostic lab work and X-rays
  • Surgery
  • Inpatient medical emergencies
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation

April international

April International provides both comprehensive and flexible plans to expats during their time in Malaysia. They provide varying levels of coverage, fully customizable policies, and a wide direct billing network. 

Some of the shared coverage across their plans are: 

  • 24/7 Evacuation, repatriation, and assistance services
  • Hospital and Surgeries
  • Cancer treatments 


Bupa Global offers their members tailor-made plans and guaranteed lifetime renewal. They provide high-quality service with a personal relationship manager available for their members. 

Some of the features Bupa’s plans offer include: 

  • Inpatient coverage
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation 
  • 24/7 access to medical advice through the Bupa Global service center
  • Direct access to specialists without referral 

IMG Global 

IMG provides comprehensive insurance policies, with multiple plans and payment options to fit any expat’s budget. They provide superior services to their members like crisis support and preventative care.

Some of the shared features across their varied plans are: 

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Surgery
  • Labs and diagnostics
  • Cancer treatment

William Russell

William Russell offers insurance plans that are globally portable across countries to protect expats while they’re abroad. They also renew their contracts on an annual basis, so their members never feel like they’re locked into long-term contracts.

The basic features of all their plans are: 

  • Hospitalization treatment
  • Cancer treatment and care
  • Emergency evacuations
  • Diagnostics
  • Post-hospital physiotherapy

Additional Benefits and Coverage

Basic international health insurance plans cover inpatient treatment costs and hospitalizations, but most insurance providers also allow additional coverage options to extend your benefits. This could cover things like dental, optical, maternity, and more. 

  • Dental: You can have dental check-ups, cleanings, and major dental procedures covered by customizable, additional benefits when selecting your international health insurance plan.
  • Maternity and family coverage: Expats looking to expand their family can purchase international health insurance plans to cover prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care. There are also additional benefits to cover the newborn.
  • Preventive care: Certain health insurance plans will offer regular health checkups and screenings, along with vaccinations and wellness programs. These resources will help expats keep themselves healthy as they begin their new adventure abroad.

Pre-existing Conditions

Expats with pre-existing conditions may have limited coverage options when purchasing international insurance but there are still alternative solutions available. You can choose a plan with a pre-existing condition exclusion, a moratorium, or coverage with loading.  

Here is a general overview of what each term means: 

  • Exclusion: The insurer will not pay or reimburse the policyholder for medical bills related to the condition if they choose to buy a plan from them.
  • Moratorium: The insurance company offers health insurance but excludes and observes the pre-existing condition for a certain time known as the waiting period. This period is usually 24 months, and the insurance company reviews its decision.
  • Coverage with loading: Insurance companies may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, but only with higher premiums. Not all pre-existing conditions are eligible for this kind of coverage, and not all companies offer this option.

Retirees Seeking International Healthcare in Malaysia

Expats retiring in Malaysia should purchase an international health insurance plan that offers comprehensive and flexible coverage for their specific medical needs. This may include coverage for cancer screenings, chronic conditions support, and preventative health support. 

Reach out to Pacific Prime to hear all of our international insurance plans for retirees in China. We can help secure a plan that will provide excellent coverage for your needs, as well as provide access to all the best private hospitals and care.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are foreigners able to buy health insurance in Malaysia? 

Foreigners can buy health insurance through a private health insurance policy, and they can purchase one through a local Malaysian insurance company or international providers. 

2. Is universal healthcare available in Malaysia?

Universal healthcare is available to Malaysian citizens through public hospitals and subsidized healthcare costs. Subsidized healthcare is not available to expats unless they qualify for the Foreign Worker Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance Scheme.


Expats in Malaysia should choose an international health insurance policy if they want quick and reliable access and care in private hospitals and clinics and customizable coverage. Since there is no public health insurance plan, expats will want to protect themselves against large medical costs. 

If you are hoping to move to Malaysia soon, or even if you have already settled and need to find quality health insurance coverage for yourself and your family, Pacific Prime can help with the process of selecting and comparing different plans.

Pacific Prime has more than 20 years of experience with helping expats find plans that work with their budget and unique needs. Contact our team of insurance experts today for a free plan comparison and personalized advice!

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