When looking at health insurance options in Hong Kong it is important to understand that there are two main types of policy available. The two most common forms of health insurance coverage in HK are:
While both of these types of Hong Kong health insurance plan are designed to protect you against the costs of your medical treatment the ways in which they work are actually radically different. It is your choice as to which variant you would like to obtain (and if you would like to purchase any Health Insurance at all), but it should be noted that choosing one option over the other can have a number of consequences as to your ability to fully utilize the plan.
Local health insurance does exactly what the name suggests; this type of policy will provide coverage only on a local basis.
If you purchase a local health insurance plan in Hong Kong then the policy will only offer coverage while you are within the borders of Hong Kong. Any time you go overseas, including to Mainland China, if you would like health insurance coverage while abroad you will have to purchase a Travel Health Insurance policy to protect you for the duration of your journey. This is the biggest fundamental difference between international and local health insurance plans and should be understood if you intend to journey overseas.
Local health insurance plans in Hong Kong will usually have their premiums calculated based on the policyholder’s “experience” with the plan. Basically, this means that your claims history under the local Hong Kong health insurance policy will be the biggest factor in the cost of your coverage.
Because local policies are experience rated with regards to premiums, these types of plans can seem like great value at the initial purchase, offering great coverage for very little money. The reason for this is that you, as a policyholder, have not made a claim with the plan and consequently have no “experience” with the policy. However, when a claim is made, the premium to be paid when renewing the coverage will often be many times higher than what you initially paid for the policy.
While there are benefits to an experience rated health insurance plan these types of policies can quickly become extremely expensive if you are sick, and it is very difficult to forecast the extent of any price increases. Additionally, once you have made a claim it is likely that the condition you have claimed for will be considered Pre-Existing with any subsequent application for coverage under a different plan; meaning that you would essentially be stuck on the local policy if you want coverage for the condition.
As people tend to develop more serious medical conditions as they age, ensuring that your coverage is able to protect you well into your golden years is highly important.
Unfortunately, Local health insurance options in Hong Kong will normally cap the age at which a policyholder can renew their plan. In many cases this is between 65 to 70 years of age.
This can be a serious concern, especially if you have developed any medical conditions while on the policy, as once you reach the maximum age your coverage will cease and you will be forced to find an alternative insurance solution (often at great expense) should one even exist.
Because local health insurance plans will limit their coverage to Hong Kong you can only receive medical treatment within the city. These plans will not allow you to utilize the services of an overseas hospital or doctor under the policy.
Furthermore, a local health insurance policy will normally be attached to a direct settlement network which is recommended by the provider. This means that you will be strongly encouraged to use the services of “in-network” or “preferred” healthcare facilities over the services of others, even where other hospitals may have better treatment options.
However, the existence of direct settlement networks can mean a degree of ease with regards to receiving medical treatment – simply provide your policy details to the medical provider and the insurance company will settle the bill for your treatment claim directly.
International plans are the other form of Health Insurance available in Hong Kong. An International health insurance policy will normally provide protection on a global basis. A single plan will cover you against the costs of your healthcare and medical treatment no matter where on earth you may be, even if you have repatriated to your home country.
International Health Insurance Premiums in Hong Kong are normally calculated on a community basis. This means that every person of the same age, with the same coverage, in the same coverage area will pay the same premium.
Because the main factors of calculation for a community rated premium are Age, Coverage Area, and Plan Benefits your claims experience under the policy will never affect your overall premium. International health insurance premiums will only increase as you age, and as the cost of medical treatment gets more expensive. You will never pay more for your coverage because you submitted a claim or received treatment under the policy.
As such, forecasting any increases in the premium of your international Hong Kong health insurance policy is relatively easy. Medical Inflation runs at about 10 per cent per year, which will normally be a realistic premium increase level. However, CCW works with a range of plans, some of which have increased by an average 7.5 per cent per year and others which have increased by up to 11.2 per cent per year since 2008. Consequently, we can help to find you an international health insurance plan in Hong Kong which has a premium, and premium increases, which will be more manageable and work better for your budget than many of the local health insurance options available in the city.
Unlike Local Health Insurance options, many of the International Hong Kong Medical Insurance plans offered by CCW will be guaranteed renewable for life.
This means that you are able to renew your international health insurance plan in Hong Kong for as long as you wish to do so. At no point will your international policy stop you from renewing the plan because you have reached a certain age.
This is a vital benefit as people tend to become more susceptible to disease and illness as they age. As such, it is important that your health insurance is able to protect you in your golden years when the likelihood of experiencing a serious accident or illness becomes much greater. With an international health insurance policy from CCW you will be able to renew the policy as you wish – the option to continue coverage is yours and not the insurance company’s.
International health insurance plans in Hong Kong will give you the freedom of choice to select where you receive your medical treatment. This enables you to receive healthcare with your choice of doctor or hospital anywhere in the world.
While Direct Settlement Networks do exist on many international insurance options from CCW, you do not have to use these medical facilities. The choice of how you receive your medical treatment is normally left up to you.
If you are suffering from a medical condition and the best doctor or hospital for the treatment of that condition is located in another country you are able to travel to that location and have your care covered under the policy as if you had stayed in your country of residence.
This gives you a vast amount of flexibility and enables you to access the best treatment options available, no matter where the facility providing that care may be.
If you would like to receive a free quote for a Local or International health insurance plan in Hong Kong please request your comparison by completing the short form at the top of this page. Once we have received your request an expert Hong Kong insurance broker will then contact you with a comprehensive comparison of the best local or international plans for your specific situation.
You can learn more about CCW Global's quote comparisons by clicking Hong Kong Insurance Quotes.
You can also speak to an expert advisor by Contacting Us Today and learn more about the differences between local and international medical insurance plans in Hong Kong.Print or Share