Insurance companies that participate in the VHIS (“VHIS Providers”) provide individual indemnity hospital insurance plans certified by the Health Bureau to meet the scheme’s minimum product design requirements (“Certified Plans”). Furthermore, VHIS Providers must follow a Code of Practices covering sales and marketing, application processing, after-sales services, etc.
Consumers have the option of purchasing Certified Plans or not. However, to make an informed decision, comprehensive product and premium information for Certified Plans are available on the websites of the insurance companies involved.
Voluntary health insurance products are generally classified as “Standard Plan” or “Flexi Plan.” Significantly, as of July 3rd, 2022, the public can purchase 32 “Standard Plans” and 319 “Flexi Plans.” Bowtie Health Insurance further categorizes the market’s flexible plans into two categories: “with an upfront fee” and “without an upfront fee”:
| Standard plan
|Flexible plan||Flexible plan with deductible/upfront fee|
|Premium||lower||higher||Depends on deductible|
|Guarantee project||12 to 16 items||Minimum 12 items||Minimum 12 items|
|Individual Item Coverage||capped||capped||Most of them do not have a cap|
|Annual Sum Assured||HK$420,000||HK$500,000 to Unlimited||HK$5 million to HK$50 million|
|Lifetime Assurance||unlimited||unlimited||HK$20 million to unlimited|
The cost of voluntary medical insurance is very transparent. Premium coverage for “Standard Plans” is easier to compare because it is roughly the same across all insurance companies. However, “Flexi Plans” are difficult to compare because the coverage items, amount, and conditions constantly change.
All members of the household should have health insurance nowadays. Even for students entering colleges or schools. You will also be able to focus on useful courses. Rather than chasing some student syndrome, it’s better to focus on what can provide you with a decent career rather than pursuing new, less-useful degrees
VHIS Coverage Items & Limits:
A “Standard Plan” includes at least 12 “basic benefits” and annual coverage of HK$420,000 or more per policy. However, the “Flexible Plan” includes additional protection items and even increases the protection limit, annual protection amount, and geographical restrictions of individual items.
VHIS Tax Deduction:
VHIS is Hong Kong’s only medical insurance product that offers a tax deduction discount of up to HK$8,000 per person. (The maximum tax deduction is HK$8,000.)
- No lifetime coverage limit: All standard plans do not have a lifetime guarantee limit.
- Covered day surgery: Day surgery procedures such as colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and cataract surgery are covered.
- No waiting period: Eligible benefits will begin immediately after the policy goes into effect.
- 21-day cooling-off period: Free to cancel and get back total premiums paid.
- Guaranteed renewal to age 100: The insurance can be renewed up to 100, regardless of health changes.
- Cover for psychiatric treatment: Compensation for the cost of psychiatric care in a Hong Kong hospital.
- Covers prescribed tests: Expensive tests like CT, MRI, and PET scans (including PET-CT and PET-MRI combinations) are also covered.
Before offering Certified Plans in the market, all insurance companies must successfully register with the Health Bureau as VHIS Providers (and obtain a registration number). Significantly, like all businesses, the insurance companies participating in VHIS are subject to the Insurance Authority’s supervision and regulation under the Insurance Ordinance. Also, insurance companies registered as VHIS Providers must follow the scheme’s rules, including the product compliance rules and the code of practice.