Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Hong Kong Health Insurance Benefits
Section 3: Hong Kong Health Insurance Services
Section 4: International Health Insurance Benefits
Section 5: Health Insurance Premiums
Section 6: Conclusion
Traditionally a preferred option of individual expatriates, Global Health Insurance benefits have gained in popularity amongst companies not only employing expat staff, but also with senior executive local nationals that carry out overseas assignments or feel local benefit levels do not reflect their medical needs.
With significantly higher benefits and the freedom to choose a medical treatment facility anywhere in the World, International Health Insurance has always been a tempting alternative to the local national health care plans.
In Hong Kong, European style products have been made available to companies, perhaps another British colonial influence. Although providing a Full Cover payment for inpatient and outpatient medical costs, they have traditionally been of a reactive insurance style, only making payments in the event of a covered injury or illness and have also included significant exclusions within policy wordings relating to congenital, hereditary, chronic and terminal conditions.
Recent years have seen a more proactive health management style be introduced to policies with the inclusion of wellbeing, health check and vaccination benefits coupled with access to chronic condition management and hospice care.
2009 also saw the launch of two Americanized products in Hong Kong for the first time, with Aetna Global Benefits and Cigna International opening their doors to the local market and bringing with them increased benefits which include as standard; congenital, hereditary, chronic and terminal condition cover, cover for pre-existing medical condition and a suite of wellness programs to cater for high flying executives.
The following table includes details of the standard cover included with three of the major international health insurance plans available to companies in Hong Kong.
|GH - IHP||INTERGLOBAL||CIGNA INTERNATIONAL|
|In Patient (Hospitalization)||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Out Patient (GP, Clinic, Specialists)||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Organ Transplant||Full Cover||425,000||Full Cover|
|Oncology||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Chronic Conditions||Acute Full Cover Palliative 15,000||Acute Full Cover Palliative 102,000 lifetime||Full cover|
|In-patient Psychiatric Treatment||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Hormone Replacement Therapy||Full Cover up to 18 months||255||Full Cover|
|Traditional Chinese Medicine||
30 per session
up to 10 sessions
|Home Nursing||Full Cover||8,500||Full Cover|
|Annual Medical Check-ups||No Cover||850||450|
|Vaccinations||No Cover||Full Cover|
|Congenital Conditions||No Cover||No Cover||Full Cover|
|Hereditary Conditions||No Cover||No Cover||Full Cover|
|Emergency Dental Treatment||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Routine Dental Treatment||
|Major Dental Treatment||
|Dental Waiting Period||9 Months||6 Months||No Waiting|
|Complications to Pregnancy||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Emergency Evacuation||Full Cover||Full Cover||Full Cover|
|Administration Centre||Hong Kong||UK||Hong Kong|
|Claims Handling Out-patient||Direct Billing||Pay & Claim||Direct Billing|
International Private Medical Insurers have also been quicker to adapt their terms to market demands influenced by global events and circumstances. Many have loosened their stance on war and terrorism and with the outbreak of H1N1, companies like Cigna International and Aetna Global Benefits have indicated coverage for H1N1 vaccinations under their standard group plans.
Whether it is COBRA compliance, Australian Medicare compatibility, or tailored benefit schedules specific to the demographic of a company’s employees; group health insurance purchasers now have greater choice in the market and have the ability to adapt their insurance purchase to their needs.