Weighing your options on health insurance in Hong Kong?
We believe that your health is your wealth at Sassy Mama and realise that navigating family and maternity health insurance offerings in Hong Kong can be tedious and tasking. That’s why we enlisted the help of mama Naomi from Compare Asia to create a nifty guide for mamas in the 852. It’s simple, straightforward and cuts straight through the technical jargon.
Here’s Sassy Mama’s Guide to Family and Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong.
Medical Insurance for Families
As a fabulous homemaker, it’s definitely on you and your hubby to ensure that your whole family is covered and prepared for emergencies and unexpected events. With several insurance providers in Hong Kong, you need to really take time to check and compare family plans available. Some of the most important things you need to look at include:
Premium: This is the amount you pay the insurer for your coverage. Premiums are paid either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on your arrangement. Remember though, that the cheapest plan doesn’t necessarily mean the best value.
Coverage: Insurance coverage varies according to insurance provider. You’d want a plan that covers a little more than the basics, and one that gives you the best value for your investment.
Customer service: Many family medical insurance plans promise 24/7 medical assistance for all members of the family. You’ll want to sign up to an insurance company that has heritage and a great reputation for customer service.
Getting individual policies for each family member can be quite costly. Thankfully, many insurers offer discounted packages if you want your whole family covered. And of course you do!
William Russell offers a 50% discount on the second child enrolled in the family policy, and a 25% discount on following children enrolled.
InterGlobal offers free coverage for the second up to the fourth child, provided that the first child enrolled under the family policy has been paid in full.
IHI-Bupa allows each adult paying the full premium of the policy to cover up to two children under the age of 10 free of charge, for a maximum of four children per family.
So what sort of coverage should you get for your family? Only the best of course! Medical insurance can, however, take up a significant chunk of your family budget. So before you go out and start your search, you need to get your hands on the right information. Hong Kong residents now have access to online tools, such as the MoneyHero health insurance comparison site, where you can compare different insurance plans from different providers with just a few clicks.
Here are some other basic things you need to know about insurance coverage:
In-patient cover is always part of medical insurance coverage. It covers your overnight stays in the hospital, including all the treatments. You might want to consider getting outpatient coverage for your family’s medical insurance as well.
Outpatient cover compensates you for when you have to pay for visits to your doctor, medical check-ups that won’t require you to stay in the hospital, and other quick medical visits or short treatments. This is best for when you need to have your children vaccinated, or undergo medical examinations or doctor follow-ups.
Other coverage options you might want your policy to include are:
- Private room cover (an add-on to your in-patient coverage)
- Optical/vision coverage (for those who might need glasses)
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions such as asthma, arthritis, even obesity
- Dental cover (consultations, treatments and emergency dental procedures)
There are plenty of coverage types you can sign up for. See a more comprehensive guide here.
Medical Insurance for Pregnant Women
Now if you plan to have children, Maternity Cover is something you definitely want on your insurance policy. This type of cover isn’t a basic inclusion in most health insurance policies. However, the cost of giving birth in Hong Kong certainly isn’t something to laugh about, so it would be a great idea to ask the insurer for a plan with maternity cover.
If you’re planning to start a family, the good news is that Hong Kong is home to some of the best medical and healthcare facilities in the world. Hong Kong ID card holders are given access to quality services at public hospitals. If you don’t have the card though, or prefer the less crowded maternity hospitals like Matilda, Sanatorium or Canossa, giving birth can cost you lots of money, around $100,000 up to $200,000 – and that’s just for a normal delivery!
Maternity insurance can help you offset these mind-boggling costs. Now, basic maternity coverage usually has the following inclusions:
- Pre-natal care. Includes consultations, check-ups and treatments during pregnancy
- Post-natal care. Includes hospitalisation, newborn care, checkups, treatments and more
Aside from basic coverage on doctor visits, ultrasounds, labour and delivery, a good health insurance plan should also take into account possibilities of complications. With maternity insurance, you can also get covered for the costs of the following:
- Treatment for congenital birth defects and other complications
- Delivery with complications
- Caesarean section
- Delivery requiring emergency surgery
- Congenital defects treatment
- Extended complimentary coverage for newborns
Top Maternity Insurance Providers in Hong Kong
When applying for insurance plan with maternity coverage, you have two options: local maternity insurance or international maternity insurance. Local insurance provides coverage should you avail of accredited medical facilities within the borders of Hong Kong.
On the other hand, an international medical insurance plan gives you coverage when you avail the services of a doctor or a hospital anywhere in the world. These usually cost more, for obvious reasons.
The following HK insurance providers offer excellent maternity insurance coverage:
Premiums vary according to your insurance coverage, the provider and a number of other factors. There aren’t maternity insurance only plans in HK; maternity coverage is usually an add-on to a general health insurance plan. We suggest you to get an insurance quote online to give you a better idea of how much you have set aside for these insurance plans.
What is a Waiting Period?
When you apply for maternity coverage on your health insurance, there’s a so-called waiting period, which specifies how long you need to wait before you can be entitled to any maternity-related benefits.
So to make the most out of your insurance plan, the idea is to apply for maternity coverage before you conceive, or just as you’re planning to have a child. Because of this waiting period policy, you can’t make a claim for treatment or hospitalisation benefits if the plan was purchased after conception of the child.
An Until Conception mandate on your insurance plan means that you’d need to wait 12 months after purchasing the plan before you can conceive, in order to enjoy full coverage on the costs of pregnancy.
Start of the Plan
If your policy indicates a Start of the Plan waiting period on your maternity coverage, it means you can conceive any time after purchase of the policy but won’t be able to make a claim within a specific period of time. The usual minimum for Start of the Plan waiting periods is 10 months from date of purchase.
Apply for Medical Insurance in Hong Kong
Getting most, if not all, of the add-ons on your family insurance would mean having to spend more than the usual: but getting the best protection for you and your family is going to be worth it when the time comes to seek medical treatment. Also, wouldn’t it be priceless to have peace of mind knowing that you have a fallback plan no matter what happens?
So go out there and get the best insurance plan for your family now. If you aren’t covered yet, or feel that you could switch to a better provider, compare medical insurance plans in Hong Kong first. Remember, it’s not how much you spend, but how well you want to keep your family safe. Also, the earlier you sign up for insurance, the better prepared you’ll be.