The cost of healthcare and insurance in Hong Kong

Contributed by Pacific Prime, 24 November, 2016

Here's something most people can agree with; healthcare is not cheap. Yet, healthcare is something we all need and, around the world, the cost of healthcare is rising. Expats living in foreign countries can sometimes be the worst hit with increased medical care costs, as many are often not eligible for government subsidies or social security services abroad.

Those living in Hong Kong know this all too well; the country was ranked the most expensive city for expats to live in by consultancy firm Mercer. Despite this, expats still flock to the Special Administrative Region for work and play, and Hong Kong-based insurance broker Pacific Prime has some helpful insights for expats thinking of making Hong Kong their home.

Cost of healthcare in Hong Kong

Expats moving to Hong Kong have little to be concerned about when it comes to the local healthcare system. The country has one of the best health systems in Asia, with quality staff and modern facilities in both its public and private hospitals. Many medical professionals are multilingual and accessing one of the many facilities around the country is easy - however, the cost of care can be quite high, even by Western standards.

Those with a valid visa and a Hong Kong ID card can access public care with generous government subsidies, but expats without this eligibility can expect to pay HK $4,680 per day for a general in-patient admission (eligible residents would only pay HK $100). Those opting for private care will find themselves paying market-rates for appointments and procedures, with the general inpatient care at a private hospital costing around HK $5,600 per day.

Expats that aren't eligible for government subsidies will often look for private health insurance to assist with the high costs of care in the SAR, but so will many eligible expats and local residents, as private insurance provides them with access to a private hospital system that doesn't suffer from long wait times and provides more patient-oriented care.

Health insurance costs in Hong Kong

The cost of insurance in Hong Kong can vary depending on the coverage options included in the policy; including maternity and dental care can see some expats pay HK $4,978 per month - based on a policy for a 35 year old, single male who plans to stay in Hong Kong for a year or more. At the less expensive end of the scale, the same person can opt for inpatient and outpatient only coverage and pay as little as around $720 per month.

International private medical insurance policies are an ideal solution for expatriates in Hong Kong, as they cover you not only in the SAR, but around the world as well (generally excluding the United States). This means that expats that travel for work or visit their home country often won't need separate medical coverage when abroad, and the premium you pay for these policies can be reduced depending on the deductible you choose to pay with claims.

Where's the cost of healthcare in Hong Kong heading?

According to the 2016 Cost of International Health Insurance [COHI] report, Hong Kong had the second highest insurance costs in the world (behind the number one ranked United States). While it may be unsurprising when you consider that Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for expats to live it, it can still be a shock to some when they start looking for medical coverage.

Further to the COHI report, the forthcoming Pacific Prime International Private Medical Insurance Inflation report for 2017 will show that Hong Kong shows little sign of relaxing on premium increases. While a rising cost of healthcare is always a strong driver that impacts the cost of private medical insurance, those in Hong Kong should watch for the following influencing premiums in future:

Another factor that is likely to make healthcare and insurance more expensive in the future is that the city's ageing population, which will see a whopping 26% of the population over the age of 65 by the year 2030.

Author Bio

Kylie McSimons, the chief editor for Pacific Prime, an international health insurance broker that provides professional advice on various health insurance solutions to expats living abroad.

Kylie has over 15 years experience, helping over thousands of clients in Hong Kong and around the world with their insurance needs.  Her areas of expertise include: management consulting, insurance, financial innovation, IT and operations.

Tags: business | Expats | Health Insurance | expatriates | professionals | Insurance | Hong Kong | United States | standards | services | public sector | insurance | social security |



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