Q: Can we buy a health plan? We have to pay a premium on a monthly basis and the plan cover’s certain types of medical expenses upto a limit.
If one pays a hospital a monthly fee for providing a service and whenever one falls ill, the hospital itself in lieu of the money taken treats the patient and there is no other impermissible factors or clauses attached to it, it will be permissible. However if one deals with an independent company (e.g. a medical aid scheme or hospital plan) who does not offer any medical treatment to the client but merely pays out hospital bills on behalf of the client, then this is not permissible. There is no difference between the workings of a medical aid scheme, hospital plan and an insurance policy. In the event of an accident the insurance company will settle the bills either more than the invested amount or less. Similar is the case with regard to the medical aid schemes and hospital plans. In the event of illness they will settle the bills. Hence, since the elements of qimaar (gambling) and interest are found in all (medical aid scheme, hospital plan and the insurance policy) it is impermissible for one to involve himself in it.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.