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Industry experts attributed the growing demand to healthcare costs escalating at between 13% and 15% each year, longer life span and more patients turning to hospital wards to avoid long queues at public hospitals. As most employers do not provide post-retirement medical coverage, more working people aged between 25 and 50 are taking up private medical insurance policies to avoid exhausting their cost savings should they be stricken with a major illness. “Each medical plan posseses an annual state limit.

If one is hospitalised and the expenses exceeds the prevailing limit, the individual must pay the remaining amount from his own pocket if she or he does not have a second policy,” he told The Star. Heng said more insurance companies were now offering policies that covered a longer time as Malaysians were living longer due to improved living conditions and medical advancement. “The average life expectancy of a Malaysian woman and man was only 55.8 years and 58.2 years in 1957 respectively. Today, it is 71.9 years for men and 76.9 years for ladies.

“By 2050, the common lifespan is expected to increase to 77 years for men and 82 years for ladies. This upward development presents a dependence on insurance firms to provide medical plans that would cover the policyholders beyond the existing life span,” he said. A 70-year-old customer who buys the PRUhealth plan can pay about RM480 a month as superior (for cover expiring at age group 80), or RM611 for cover expiring at the age 100 based on the cheapest plan PRUhealth100.

For those aged between 26 and 30, a month the superior for the program with cover expiring at age group 80 starts from RM94 a. “Malaysians have found private treatment to become more expensive,” he said, adding that medical policies now contributed 15% of the company’s home-based business. “It’s good to buy when you are healthy and have a medical cost savings plan in case of a rainy day. When the covered retires, this is the age that the medical condition will currently have transformed and treatment will be needed most,” he added.

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The stock price impact of the legislation will be minimal even for companies with large stuck cash balances. The day after the taxes holiday companies will get back to accumulating more international cash and waiting for the next tax holiday. If the cash is released, what will happen? As talk of taxes fix fills the new air, proponents of the tax holiday are considering what they see emerging in the aftermath already, with each combined group viewing their preferred option winning out.

1. The first group is convinced that the freed cash will be utilized by companies to make new investments and “create jobs”. In my view, that isn’t going to occur! US companies have plenty of cash on hand already and are not taking new investments. Why would increase the hoard change that? The origins for sagging real investment in America are in a stagnant overall economy with surplus capacity on most fronts, where good investments are scarce.

I know that there is talk of linking a big change in the taxes legislation to “forced investment”, where companies will have to invest remitted cash into job-creating investments to qualify for the tax benefits. Which will create more harm than good. 2. The next group is convinced that they will see stock prices pop-up for companies with significant cash amounts, as the special discounts that markets have put on the stuck cash disappear.

That too is a misconception. To the level that the expectation that the taxes regulation will be transformed has already been built into market prices, the real change (if and when it happens) will not be a surprise. 3. The third group views the released cash as potential dividends and buybacks. History shows that they have some good reason to be optimistic, since that is exactly what happened the last time there was a tax holiday for foreign cash. As the higher buybacks and dividends will increase cash returned to stockholders, it will be partially (or simply even completely) offset with a decrease in equity value as cash leaves these companies.