Medical insurance plans: How do I use mine?
When you purchase a medical plan, it’s always a sound idea to learn a bit about how to use it before you even need it. Why? Because having a medical emergency sprung on you can be stressful enough, trying to navigate how your medical plan covers you during an incident can sometimes make the situation worse.
Having your insurer and your care provider work seamlessly together can bring you peace of mind in a time where you’ll generally need to relax and rest so you can get back to being healthy again. While your number one source of information should be the insurer you hold your policy with, expert broker Pacific Prime Hong Kong has some helpful information you can use to ensure you’re prepared for when the unexpected strikes.
Learn how your medical plan works
Each insurance company will have different rules for using the health care benefits contained in your medical insurance plan. They’re also really helpful in that you’ll also be provided with all of the information you’ll need in the event you need to make a claim. We know that no one likes doing homework, but reading all of your policy documents is the first step to learning how your medical plan works.
When you’re looking through the documentation, take note of the following:
Your insurers contact phone number - especially if there’s a 24-hour service
If applicable, your insurer's preferred provider network (generally for local plans, international medical plans usually cover all hospitals in HK - but check your policy!)
Where and how to find and file claims forms
How much is your deductible/excess, and what are your benefit caps/limits
What documents and records you need to keep for making a claim
If you have children, keep their pediatricians contact details handy in case the hospital you are taken to does not have one available 24 hours
If your insurer provides you with a insurance card, always keep it on you and save their contact number in your phone! In the event of an emergency or unexpected hospital visit, the card itself should have their number on it and it can provide the hospital with all the information they might need to contact and bill your insurer directly.
Planned medical appointments
If you have a planned surgery or appointment in the future, contacting your insurer early can help get your claim process underway. In some cases, your medical plan will help you get some costs, such as accommodation and prescriptions, pre-approved before you even step foot in a clinic. This is ideal as you should know going in to your appointment what is covered, and exactly what you’ll need in order to complete your claim later.
What to do during an incident
If you find yourself in need of emergency care, you may need to contact 999 for an ambulance. As private facilities don’t have 24 hour accident and emergency facilities, you will be taken to your nearest A&E at a public hospital for care. Once you have some time free (and you’re capable of doing so), it would pay to contact your insurer to let them know you’ll be needing to make a claim.
When you are at the facility, don’t forget to hand the staff your insurance card if you have one, and let them know what records you may need to keep for making a claim. Many hospitals and their staff may be familiar with what you’ll need if you’re from one of the major insurers, but knowing yourself can make it easier later.
In the event you’re not able to to communicate to others, hospital staff are trained to look for both identification and any insurance details upon your arrival. It may also be a good idea to have an emergency contact card on you that they can contact when you can’t do it yourself. Keeping your insurance details somewhere handy for your emergency contact can also help make receiving care easier.
Using a broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong
If you purchase your medical insurance plan with a broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong, you will be able to take advantage of a dedicated claims department that can make the process even easier! Clients of ours can contact us by email ([email protected]) or call us on +852 3589 0531 during working hours.
If your medical plan has ‘direct billing’, we can work with your insurer directly to get the claims process rolling while you’re enroute to the hospital or getting care. To take the hassle out of insurance and get the extra support you can trust, call Pacific Prime Hong Kong today for a free quote!