Medical insurance is simply a necessity
Hong Kong is the second most expensive place in the world to receive private healthcare treatment, after the USA. With this in mind, the cost of hospitalisation treatment will be beyond the means of many people to pay out-of-pocket. This will result in many having to resort to the public healthcare system, which although excellent and modelled on the UK’s NHS, is not ideal for treatment that is not an emergency. The waiting times will be substantial compared to a private hospital and if you’re diagnosed with a major illness this is the last thing you want.
Medical insurance protects the most important asset you will ever have – yourself. Being able to attend regular check-ups and access specialists quickly will have a tremendous impact on your professional and personal life. Having private medical coverage will provide you with not only medical protection but also other benefits, such as:
This will be important not only for expatriates but also those who frequently travel for business and vacations. This will also include evacuation and repatriation to your country of residence or better healthcare facilities, if you find yourself stranded in substandard care.
Early disease detection
Regular check-ups and medical tests can help catch illnesses early. This can make it easier to take care of medical expenses, illnesses escalating to become more serious – and more expensive to treat. It’s a win-win both for the individual and the insurance company. The costs associated with Wellness check-ups are substantially lower than for cancer surgery and associated treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
In case of a sudden illness or accident, you don’t have to dwell on your savings to pay the high price for medical care. Surgery and room costs in Hong Kong’s private hospitals can easily reach US$100,000. This could be covered by the insurance plan, should you have it. Your savings can then be used for their intended plans, such as buying a home, funding your children’s education and retirement.
Renewability & PortabilitySince people tend to develop medical conditions as they get older, it’s crucial to be able to renew your insurance when you need it most. At Lifestyle, we generally provide International Private Plans that offer Guaranteed Renewability.
The plan can also provide coverage portability if you move overseas. Given the transient nature of Hong Kong life this is crucial in that it will allow you to take your coverage with you either to another offshore jurisdiction or back to your home country. If you do not have this flexibility and you have developed a medical condition or suffered a serious illness, the insurer in your new country of residence may treat this as a pre-existing condition and exclude it from coverage.
Andrew, a British expat living in Hong Kong, and his family had been covered under his employer’s group insurance policy for years. Recently, Andrew opened his own consulting business, and as it was a start-up he wanted to save money and focus on his business. Therefore, he didn’t put personal medical insurance in place for himself and his family.
Unfortunately, a few months later, his wife was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. They were both devastated when they heard the news. At first, they went to a public hospital to seek treatment, but soon they realised they were put on a long waiting list of 6 months to even see a specialist. They knew that they did not have this time, so instead, they booked a private hospital visit, which was arranged in the next five days.
Andrew’s wife was recommended surgery, and they were quoted close to 100,000 HKD for this. However, she also needed a course of chemotherapy priced at 400,000 HKD to finally get rid of the tumour.
The sudden expense of over half a million HKD to Andrew’s family put a huge strain on their savings and brought a halt to his company’s expansion plans.
With a standard private health insurance policy in place, these expenses would have been covered in full.
The cost of quality healthcare is at a premium. We have close partnerships with market-leading healthcare companies with an international focus, making sure that we can match the required level of cover to your budget. We don’t charge you for our services, so premiums are the same as going directly to the insurance provider. What you get is advice about the plan’s benefits and coverage limits and a recommendation that make sense for you and your financial situation.
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All Health & General insurance products are marketed under the brand name of Lifestyle Insurance, a registered trade name of Platinum Financial Services.
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