Expatriate health insurance in Hong Kong
You plan to settle in Hong Kong, or you have lived there for a long time. It is important to obtain good expatriate health insurance to make the most of the Hong Kong health system. Care is delivered at a high level, with state-of-the-art public and private hospitals. Doctors are qualified, with diplomas coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, or Hong Kong, which also has good universities. This makes Hong Kong one of the best health systems in the world. However, we will see in this article that it is very important to carefully choose your expatriate health insurance in Hong Kong. Here the list of Hong Kong hospitals.
Public health system
Hong Kong’s public health system is very qualitative, as is the private sector. Its greatest advantage over the private sector will be its cost. The public hospital is in fact almost fully reimbursed for permanent residents, children under the age of 11, or those with a Hong Kong Identity Card, available for anyone residing more than 180 days in the territory. Without this card, prices are about 10 times higher.
Another advantage of public hospitals is the permanent presence of specialists in all fields, which avoids waiting for a specialist in urgent cases. Generally speaking, the public hospital is very good for emergency situations, because it will be able to take care of you quickly and with flawless quality.
The biggest disadvantage of public hospitals is their extreme saturation. If they are able to quickly take charge of you in an emergency, the deadlines for non-emergency situations are colossal. This is due to the reputation and quality of care that attracts patients from all over Asia. A specialist appointment can take you 6 months or more, as can a cancer treatment…
Private Health System
As with the public, the quality of care here is among the best in the world. The private sector, however, is much less congested than the public, and allows for rapid care, particularly useful for consultations with specialists. It is important to note, however, that private hospitals do not have specialists from all fields at all times, but this allows to decide the choice of the practitioner. The comfort and service of these hospitals are also important to note.
The biggest shortcoming of these hospitals is the huge costs. Even more so since they will try to achieve the maximum amount of care or examinations to raise the bill. We have to see this health care system as a business: every service is charged, and their goal is to earn money. So you have to be careful what the hospital offers you, so as not to exceed your insurance limit.
Which expat health insurance to choose?
The advantage of local insurance is that it is much cheaper than private insurance. Indeed, the coverage limits you to Hong Kong, which reduces the risk for the insurer, because it does not cover you in case you travel abroad. However, you have to renew your membership every year, as it is not automatic. If a health problem appears, you may find yourself without insurance, and without the possibility of finding one that accepts you. Proceed with caution.
These insurances will cover you in most countries of the world. They also generally have repatriation and emergency evacuation insurance that can be useful in the event of an accident abroad. Note that in Hong Kong, the quality of care makes it possible to treat you fully on site. Thus, repatriation insurance is only useful if you visit the surrounding countries. The ceilings are also much higher and allow for a wider choice of the practitioners you want to consult and the treatments you want to receive. Finally, the network of third parties paying for these insurances is highly developed.
Complementary to CFE
As a French citizen or spouse of a French expat, it is possible to subscribe to the CFE. Our guide on the CFE here. This can be an excellent value for money compared to other insurances. They have a low price, with a small annual increase and wide coverage.
How do I find an insurance?
You will have understood that it is not wise to rely on the public service, and an expatriate health insurance is important to have access to the private system. There is no plan that is better than others, everything will depend on your needs and constraints. The best option is to use an insurance broker.