It is often confusing for expats when they arrive in Hong Kong to know what type of health insurance plan they should buy. They can be forgiven for feeling bewildered by the task as it is not as simple as choosing the specific health insurance benefits but there are many different types of medical insurance plans available on the market.
Put simply, the two main types of cover on the market are local Hong Kong health insurance plans and international insurance plans more commonly known as expat health insurance.
The overall structure of these policies are very different but typically the local Hong Kong health insurance plan will have lower limits of cover recognizing that Hong Kong permanent residents will often receive subsidized health care. On the other hand, expat health insurance will normally have higher limits of cover and will operate on an international basis to reflect the higher costs of medical care they face in the event of injury or illness but also to fit with their global mobility needs.
Once an expat has decided that an international health insurance plan is appropriate for them, they need to decide on the benefits to include within the insurance policy. In the main, they will decide to include or exclude the following:
Inpatient Cover: This provides cover for being hospitalized following a major incident, typically expat health insurance policies will include this as standard and it is rare to have the ability to exclude from the policy.
Outpatient Cover: This provides cover for general gp visits and diagnosis and treatment received on an outpatient basis. Although this is often an optional benefit within international insurance plans, most expats will include this as outpatient costs normally account for about 50% of an expats overall medical bills.
Dental Cover: Emergency dental treatment is usually covered as standard within the inpatient section of the policy, however, expats can choose to include routine dental and major dentistry as an addition benefit at an additional cost. About 10% of expats decide they would like this included whereas it can often be included as standard on higher benefit health insurance plans.
Maternity Cover: Maternity cover is a specialist area of health insurance providing for pregnancy and will include the routine costs of maternity including pre-natal, delivery and post natal costs. Expats should look carefully to see when and what cover is available as many maternity insurance policies will be subject to exclusions, co-insurance and waiting periods.
Expats can compare health insurance place online with NowCompare.Com and they can get online health insurance quotes.