As any one of my Facebook followers can attest, it’s not often I praise the U.S. Government for anything. Allowing for one exception, however, I’d like to personally thank them for the multi trillion-dollar bailout of AIG, the world’s largest insurer. Deemed “too big to fail”, they bailed AIG out of bankruptcy back in 2008 and now it thrives all over the world as a result. Expressing personal thanks to the taxpayers, Diane and I conveniently reaped the benefits by obtaining medical insurance this week. Normally not needing insurance in a country with inexpensive healthcare, one of the “Stage 2” requirements of finalizing our MM2H visa is purchasing medical Insurance that covers hospitalization in Malaysia for a one year minimum. While this may seem easy enough, Malaysians follow rules to the letter and the immigration ministry is quite specific about what they need to see as proof. Since we lIve in Penang on a fixed income, we don’t have extra days to waste waiting for a company in Kuala Lumpur to issue a policy so we decided to shop around ourselves.
Presented with several choices, I stumbled across Allianz, another big financial firm, who happens to have an office in downtown Georgetown. Familiar with the company name from my financial services background, we walked into the office and asked about obtaining insurance. Unfortunately, they said they can’t issue a policy for MM2H holders without seeing the conditional letter of approval that’s in Kuala Lumpur, a few hundred miles away. Although we can use a Malaysian company that Joy-Stay recommends for its applicants that need help, the process is so tedious it becomes impractical. Including back and forth emails about height, weight and medical conditions, a doctor’s appointment, a report from said doctor, more emails back and forth, a fee and an annual premium twice as high as bigger companies, we decided to try AIG. Additionally, we’re in the country on a 90 day visitor visa so we really need to get the MM2H process completed soon. Choosing to travel back to KL late next month, we also have to go for a quick medical exam that Joy-Stay sets up, travel back to our bank to set up the fixed deposit and then meet our agent at the ministry’s office of immigration in Putrajaya. Easily one of the most tedious visa processes on earth, we really just want to get it done and not think about it for ten years. That’s where the “too big to fail” mantra helped out.