In this article
  • MedKad is a medical benefit management system that has its own mobile application which allows employers to efficiently manage their staff’s medical benefits.
  • They currently have over 1,300 panels with 5,000 users from 60 different companies.

Falling sick can be troublesome especially when you’re employed. Most of the time, you already won’t be feeling well and you still have to make your way to a clinic and register yourself, and then wait for the doctor to call you in.

On the other hand, with the traditional medical benefit system, employees might take advantage of these procedures by falsely claiming for medical leave and benefits. In 2014 alone, an estimated RM8 billion was lost due to employees taking fake MCs (medical certificates).

Realising that there was a problem in the existing system, a Malaysian company called MedKad is looking to change that by creating a mobile app which will enable employers and companies to cost-effectively manage their staff medical benefits with speed and efficiency.

Improving The System

The idea for MedKad came about in June 2016 when the co-founders met up to discuss ways to improve and manage corporate medical benefits as well as to help solve problems of late payments made to the panels with their existing system. The mobile application “MedKad” was released in September 2017 and was officially launched in January 2018.

The core founders consist of four main people: Ezuan Yaacob, the CEO; Ahmad Azlan, the Chief Strategy Officer; Abdul Malik, the CFO and Fareez Idham, the COO.

MedKad CEO Ezuan Yaacob/ Image Credit: MedKad

The team has previous experience in the medical benefit system with Ezuan, Azlan and Malik having past working experience with GLCs. They were frequent users of their company medical benefits which were managed by a Third-Party Administrator (TPA). As for Fareez, he previously worked for a TPA company and was in charge of his company’s medical benefits in-house.

“MedKad is designed based on our own bad experience as patients, as HR, and also as a panel,” said Ezuan.

Hence their solution to that was emphasising on better control, better monitoring and increased transparency, which will lead to an improved utilisation of company medical spending.

According to the MedKad team, the market for this industry is estimated to grow to RM156 million in 2019. With their current target market ranging from startup companies with less than ten employees to SMEs and big corporations.

“We started in January 2018 with mostly startup companies and by Q3 2018 we secured companies with staff in the number of hundreds and in Q4 2018 we secured companies with staff in the number of thousands,” he added.

Their current future goal is securing a company with staff in the numbers of five digits (tens of thousands).

What Is MedKad?

To use it, employees will have to download the MedKad mobile app which is available for both iOS and Android. Then when the mobile app is opened, it will generate a QR Code for verification during their visits to MedKad panels (GP Clinics, Hospitals, Dentals and Optical Centers) nationwide.

Once the credentials are verified by their panels using the web application, the employees will then be able to proceed with the consultation and receive their medicines as prescribed; no payment is required.

Hence, for employers, the benefits of using MedKad compared to traditional methods is that there are no hidden fees and no capital expenditure required—it’s based off a self-funding pay per use model. Employers will also get real-time notifications when an employee uses the MedKad platform at any of the panels.

For employees, they won’t need to carry around physical cards as everything is done through the mobile app and you can find the nearest panel through the app.

As for panels, the biggest problem that panels face are that it can take a while for them to get payments. Reimbursement can take place anytime from 3 to 12 months after the doctor has seen the patient. Some Managed Care Organisations MCOs and Third Party Administrators (TPAs) only pay when prompted, while others “inadvertently” miss a payment or two in between. Then the doctor is tasked to audit and trace all pending payments and in extreme cases, beg for payment.

Explanation Time: An MCO/TPA will monitor, receive, audit and consolidate all medical bills from panel clinics, specialist clinics and hospitals prior to billing the company. The MCO/TPA will monitor the medical benefits usage to ensure that the employees receive the best medical service at their panel clinics and hospitals.

Which is why as an MCO, MedKad guarantees that the platform will have faster disbursement of claims of up to 5 business days.

The Path Forward

The business has seen an increase in investment across the years. Since it was established, the founders invested RM250,000 towards the development of MedKad with further grant support coming in from Cradle Fund, TERAJU and SME Corp, bringing the total amount of investment to RM850,000. On top of it all, MedKad also received RM500,000 angel’s invesment in 2017.

Being a part of Cyberview’s Living Lab Accelerator Programme, MedKad managed to gain access to Cyberjaya’s community and were able to further validate their services and features.

“With CLLA, MedKad has managed to cover 80% of panels and we currently have more than 500 users in Cyberjaya. On top of that, CLLA provides mentoring and coaching sessions for the founders towards building a successful startup,” said Ezuan.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the team as there were obstacles faced especially when they had to convince clinics and hospitals to become their panels.

“We faced resistance due to the various problems in relation with the current systems,” he explained.

However, they focused a lot of effort on securing their early adopters (panel clinics) and made sure that they made the disbursements within the five business days as agreed.

Ezuan explained that the secret to expanding to more panels was thanks to the good service and commitment to their promises. Word spread fast and sure enough they started to secure more clinics on board due to recommendations from their early adopters.

MedKad currently has over 1,300 panels, 5,000 users from 60 different companies, and are continuously working hard to increase this number nationwide.

Based on the markets response, Ezuan foresees huge potential in MedKad, which is why he has set their target to have 20,000 users in 2019.

“2019 will be an exciting year for us as we plan to expand our services outside Malaysia since we have received demand to be present in neighboring countries,” said Ezuan.

  • If you would like to know more about MedKad, you can check out their website here

Feature Image Credit: MedKad

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)