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Expatriate health insurance: Is it right for you?

Hong Kong is a city that’s home to people who are very proud of where they come from. Local Hong Kongers appreciate their own unique culture, history, and traditions, and today they do what they can to preserve the traits of their city as it constantly bombarded by calls to change and fall more in line with mainland Chinese norms. However, Hong Kong’s culture isn’t just limited to traditional Hong Kong Chinese living. As a major global hub of business, finance, trade, and more, the city’s culture also heavily involves influences from all over the world.

Perhaps this dichotomy is what draws so many people from abroad to live and work in Hong Kong. Not merely happy for a short stopover here, many visitors to the city quickly become enamored with the dynamic qualities of the SAR that make Hong Kong Asia’s World City. Of course, no matter how welcoming of foreigners Hong Kong may be, there are different systems in place to cater to locals and expats. Even for a need as basic as health care and insurance, tastes can vary greatly between the local and expatriate communities in Hong Kong.

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Here, Pacific Prime Hong Kong examines expatriate health insurance in Hong Kong, why it is sought after, and how it differs from standard health insurance policies.

Local Hong Kong health insurance

Hong Kong is a city where the government has made sure that every resident has access to highly-affordable, quality public healthcare. (Although it should be noted that non-residents do not have access to subsidized healthcare, and will have to pay full price for their treatment, which can be quite high in Hong Kong.) Every person residing here can take advantage of the city’s public hospitals for the low cost of only $100 per day.

However, despite the fact that all residents can receive medical care, that doesn’t mean their experiences at Hong Kong’s public hospitals will be all that they had hope for. This is because public hospitals in Hong Kong are dogged with the same types of problems seen in public healthcare systems all over the world. Long queues and wait times, never getting to see the same doctor, and limited time with the doctor that does see you are all issues that plague the local healthcare system.

For this reason, many locals and expatriates alike choose private hospitals for their medical needs. There’s just one major problem with this, though: Hong Kong has the second most expensive private healthcare costs in the entire world. Only the United States is more expensive. This is why so many expats in the city have opted to secure private health insurance. With the right policy, they can feel free to go to the pricey private hospitals that provide the best medical care that Hong Kong has to offer, without any of the drawbacks of the public hospitals.

The expatriate health insurance difference

Expatriate health insurance (also known as international private medical insurance), can address your medical needs in Hong Kong in pretty much the same way as a local health insurance plan does – though there are some exceptions to this notion. For instance, a local health insurance plan may have a care provider network in place, thereby limiting which doctors, clinics, and hospitals you can attend and still be reimbursed for your medical costs. Expatriate health insurance, on the other hand, will often do away with any limitations on where you can receive your care.

Actually, this is really the crux of what makes expatriate health insurance so beneficial for some. Not only will it provide coverage anywhere in Hong Kong, expatriate medical insurance will provide coverage for healthcare received in virtually any country or hospital worldwide.

This makes expatriate health insurance policies ideal for people who travel regularly. This could be travel for business, for a relaxing holiday, to go back home and reconnect with friends and family, or any combination of these reasons or more. No matter what the reason is for you leaving Hong Kong, expatriate health insurance will have you covered.

Local health insurance plans simply cannot match this amount of coverage, as they will only provide benefits inside of the Hong Kong border. In fact, local Hong Kong health insurance plans will not even provide coverage in mainland China!

Of course, expatriate health insurance is not without its drawbacks, or rather, one main drawback: the price. Yes, expatriate health insurance will provide you with unparalleled global health insurance coverage, but as they say, you get what you pay for. In this case, if you want to get a lot, you’re going to have to pay a lot.

Finding the right balance of value for money is especially important when selecting expatriate health insurance coverage. This is why working with an trusted and knowledgeable insurance broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong can be so important when it’s time to find your ideal plan.

Find the right health insurance plan

Hopefully you have a clear idea of whether or not expatriate health insurance is right for you after reading the information above. As you can see, there really is a big difference between local and expatriate health insurance, but not every expat in Hong Kong is realistically going to need expatriate health insurance. Sometimes a local plan will work, and travels can be supplemented with additional coverage.

Due to this inconsistency, it’s understandable if you still have questions as to whether or not expatriate health insurance is right for you. Fortunately, Pacific Prime Hong Kong is here to help!

Our team is ready to help you find the best possible health insurance policy for your needs. Not only that, by working with us, you gain access to a whole new level of assistance with insurance claims, renewals, and more at no extra cost. Find out why over 100,000 people have chosen Pacific Prime for their local and expatriate health insurance needs. Contact us today for a free comparison of plans from top insurance companies, as well as a free price quote!

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