Frequently Asked Questions
What is health insurance and how does it work?
Health insurance coverage pays for medical, surgical, prescription, and sometimes even dental and maternity expenses. Your insurance policy may reimburse for health expenses or directly pay the health care provider. When it comes to purchasing a health insurance policy, the first choice is an individual health plan - which only covers the applicant. Family health policies are available that protect the primary applicant along with their spouse and children. Employers can purchase group health insurance and offer medical coverage as an incentive to attract employees. Purchasing the right health insurance plan for your needs is important so you can make the most out of your policy. Many experts recommend that you start by comparing multiple policies so you can find one that best matches your requirements.
Do I need health insurance in Hong Kong?
Unlike countries such as the United States and Switzerland, health insurance is not required by law in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the cost of healthcare in HK is among the highest in the world. While the public healthcare system is highly subsidized and offers services almost free of charge, it is known for its long queues. Furthermore, certain types of care such as non-emergency dental care are not available in the public healthcare system and you’ll definitely need to be treated at a private hospital. Buying private health insurance in Hong Kong allows access to private healthcare facilities where services are rendered quickly and you can choose which doctor to work with.
Who is eligible for health insurance?
Health insurance in Hong Kong is available to almost everyone. However, some companies will place restrictions based on factors such as age and medical history. The insurance underwriting process involves a review of your medical information to help the insurer evaluate insurability, risk potential, and premium rates. If you have a pre-existing health condition, you’ll still be able to access health insurance but the insurer will add an exclusion for that preexisting condition. Individuals who may be what would be considered high-risk applicants (those with a pre-existing condition, ‘adverse’ lifestyle factors such as smoking, or a dangerous occupation) may be better off working with an experienced insurance professional to find the best options.
How much does health insurance cost?
The cost of health insurance in Hong Kong will vary greatly from one person to another based on factors such as age and current health status. Specific policy preferences such as the level of benefits desired and geographical coverage will have an impact on the cost of a health insurance plan. More so, different companies have varying pricing for their health insurance products. Working with an online comparison service such as Quotelion is the best way not just to figure out the cost of health insurance but also to compare pricing from multiple companies.
Why should I take health insurance?
Health insurance provides an important financial backup to shield against unforeseen medical emergencies. Health uncertainties and risks are a part of life. Ongoing shifts in our lifestyle, including wrong eating habits, hectic work schedules, quality of food, and rising levels of pollution have predisposed modern societies to a plethora of health disorders. The ever-rising cost of medical care is another reason why you should take medical insurance as an extra layer of defense from unexpected (and possibly overwhelming) health expenditure. Medical policies available in the market are flexible enough to suit unique coverage needs for individuals, families, and employees.
At what age should I get health insurance?
There is no right or wrong age to get health insurance. It all depends on your unique health coverage needs. People who are young and still considered to be qualified dependents may not need an individual health plan if their parents already have a family policy. Most experts recommend that you purchase a medical policy as early as possible when premiums are low and there’s less chance that pre-existing conditions will be excluded. Keep in mind though that nobody is too old to get medical insurance. Senior citizens, including those who are as old as 85 years, may still benefit from health coverage.
What health insurance should I get?
Hong Kong has a vast network of health insurers, including top brands such as Bupa, Cigna, AIA, Blue Cross, PPP Healthcare, Liberty Insurance, MSIG, Aetna, Allianz, Chubb, Generali, PINGAN, and more. This means that both native residents of the city and ex-pats have a varied choice of medical policies to choose from. The right medical insurance plan should be the one that adequately meets your needs. Many people will put into consideration factors such as level of coverage, area of coverage, and premium rates, and policies when evaluating different policies. Using an instant medical insurance comparison solution such as Quotelion can help you save time when looking for the ideal medical coverage.
Why health insurance is important?
Hong Kong’s public healthcare system - while recognized for its high standards - has certain downsides. Hospitals are often crowded and patients have to wait for a significant amount of time before they can receive treatment. There may also be language barriers that can be a problem for some ex-pats. Buying medical insurance in Hong Kong ensures that you can receive treatment in any of the city’s expensive but convenient private hospitals. The private healthcare system is a great alternative to public healthcare because services are quick and you can choose the specialist you want to treat you. Many private hospitals in Hong Kong also have western trained doctors and English-speaking staff.
Are health insurance premiums tax-deductible?
The Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) specifies tax deduction parameters for individuals who purchased certified plans for themselves or their relatives under the VHIS (Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme) since April 1st, 2019. Policyholders - or their spouse - who own a certified VHIS plan may claim tax deductions of up to $8,000 HK per insured persons for premiums paid in relation to the said plan.