If you will look at the public health care system in Hong Kong, you would think that there is no need to get a health insurance to help you get the medical treatments that you need. In some aspects, this is true. The public health care system is actually very good. The only problem is the long waiting line. Cheap medical care comes with a price and that is your time. You need to make sure that you wait in line early so you can be attended to by qualified medical professionals immediately.
Of course, this becomes a problem when an emergency happens. Or if you are too sick and weak to wait in line for your check up. What will you do? Will you skip getting the medical care that you need just because you cannot afford the more convenient and comfortable private health care?
You do not have to! Getting a health insurance in Hong Kong is the solution to this dilemma. Fortunately, the government will not make it hard for residents to get a voluntary insurance that will ensure they will get the health treatment that they will need.
According to the article from the South China Morning Post, it is expected that around 1.5 million residents will benefit from the voluntary health insurance scheme in 2016. This is valued at HK$256 million (tax rebates) and HK$4.3 billion (subsidies for high-risk patients). Not only that, the government is requiring private health insurance companies to meet a set of criteria that will make sure the coverage is fair and easy to get. Insurers are required by the government to offer a standard plan that will be made available even to those with pre-existing medical conditions. Although the premiums will rise, according to the data provided, it will be for the benefit of everyone – specifically the high-risk patients in Hong Kong.
About the health insurance available in Hong Kong
There are many types of health insurance coverages in Hong Kong. You can choose a coverage based on what you think your physical body will need in the future. It helps to look into your lifestyle and the family history of ailments to determine the possible health issues that you may face. It is even possible to get a medical insurance that focuses on preventive care – which is something that is not really common among other insurance policies. This coverage will allow you to get free vaccinations, screenings, lab tests, etc. Just remember that getting a more comprehensive health insurance with more benefits will cost you more.
You also have the option to get an international health insurance or a local one. Obviously, the international option will give you coverage even when you travel abroad. This is more expensive so make sure you will only avail of this insurance when you travel all the time. If not, then there is no need to spend for the extra expense.
When you avail of a health policy, you need to check their list of affiliated health care professionals and facilities. Most of the time, you will not be allowed to get medical treatment if it is not on this list. The insurance company will not pay for any expense that you incurred. Payments will also be easier because the company can pay the professional and facility directly. Call the health insurance company to ask them about the list of hospital coordinators that you can talk to for your medical concerns. These people will point you to the doctors that you can talk to – those who are accredited by your insurance provider. This will help make claims easier to do.
In case you are forced to pay for a minor emergency, you will be reimbursed by the company for this expense. As long as they prove that the conditions of the medical treatment are within the coverage of the policy, then you will get back the money that you paid. This is why it is very important to keep all the documents related to the medical expense.
An important consideration when you are getting a health insurance in Hong Kong is the premium. This refers to the price that you will pay to keep yourself covered by the insurance company. You have the option to pay it monthly, quarterly or annually. If you plan to get an annual payment scheme, it may be possible for you to get a special discount. You can ask the insurance company you applied to.
Now age is an important consideration especially for the elderly. Most insurance companies in Hong Kong accept babies as young as 15 days but when it comes to the more senior clients, they may be pickier. The older you get, the more expensive it will be. Some companies will not give a health insurance for those 60 years and above but you will find some who will accept those as old as 74 years.
The application process to get a health insurance in Hong Kong usually begins with the completion of a form. This form will contain all your personal data and your medical history. You may also be asked about certain conditions that your parents had – as some ailments are genetic in nature. Make sure you will be honest with this form because it can be grounds to invalidate the policy.
Some of the best health insurance companies in Hong Kong
Here are some health insurance companies in Hong Kong and what they have to offer:
- Bupa Insurance. The company primarily offers health insurance. They also offer special promos like supermarket coupons after signing up with them. They have a comprehensive health insurance that will cover medical treatments and consultations in clinics and hospitals, and even pay for dental services and maternity expenses. Bupa has policies for children and they allow you to bundle packages together for a more comprehensive coverage.
- Now Health International. This company will not charge upfront fees even for healthcare requirements abroad. Of course, the only condition is you have to go to one of their affiliates. They also advertise that “claims processing” will be fast – specifically for reimbursements. They also have a 24-hour emergency help service through AXA Assistance.
- Zurich Insurance Hong Kong. This company is one of the few that will not require you to go through a medical examination. That means you can qualify even with existing conditions. They pride in their ability to offer affordable health insurance in Hong Kong. It is possible to be insured by up to US$3 million each year. In case you are a frequent traveller to Mainland China and you get into an accident, you can get prompt treatment even without a deposit.
- Generali Insurance. This insurance company will help cover any hospitalization or surgical expenses that you will incur when you get sick. They accept enrolments between the ages of 15 days to 64 years old. They also offer an international coverage that will get you emergency assistance anywhere.
- The health insurance company offers the Health Vital Major Illness Insurance that can accept even those aged 100 years old. This coverage includes 56 major illnesses and various minor ailments. Apart from that, they have other policies that offer cash benefits and they have flexible payment terms and life protection. They also have the Global elite Health Plan for frequent travellers that provide international medical protection.
Benefits of having a Hong Kong health insurance
There are many benefits to getting a health insurance in Hong Kong. Here are three of the most important.
- Saves you both time and money. According to an article published on localiiz.com, an MRI scan will cost you more than HK$12,500 and a maternity package will cost between HK$60,000 to HK$75,000. A health insurance can help you pay for these even if you do not have a significant emergency cash on hand.
- Access to quality health care. Another thing that you need to consider is the access to quality health care – especially when you are abroad. Most of these insurance companies have a 24-hour hotline that will help answer your questions. This is very helpful when you suddenly have an emergency in the middle of the night.
- Peace of mind. Finally, a good health insurance will give you the peace of mind that you can afford to get medical treatment when you need it the most. You do not have to skip quality care because of lack of cash.