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Diabetes and Health Insurance

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    19

    Diabetes and Health Insurance

    Hello,

    I am excited to be relocating to HK in the next few months . Since I am diabetic my biggest worries are matters related to health insurance and diabetes in Hong Kong. Unfortunately I cannot locate much information on this. My employer is providing private health insurance but that is all I know at this point while waiting for the HK office to get back to me. So I am seeking comments and advice on health insurance and diabetes in HK from the forum. Some of my questions are below but I welcome ANY input on the subject.

    I have read multiple times that its common for pre-existing conditions not to be covered by HK insurance companies. Is this true ? If so what are my options ?

    What supplies and medications would insurance cover ? For reference I use the following:

    - Novolog/NovoRapid fast actiing insulin
    - Lifescan One Touch Ultra test strips
    - Deltec Cozmo insulin pump (company does not do business in HK but Minimed does ! )
    - 1/2cc of 3/10cc insulin syringes

    What pharmacies carry these supplies ?

    Do you need a prescription for this stuff ?

    Any pricing guidelines so I can make an estimate ?

    What does a visit to an Endocrinologist and Opthamologist cost ?

    What are major differences between HK and US health care ?

    -Thank You


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    23,205

    I would be very surprised if you couldn't get all of that on the public health system. The main difference between the US and HK is that we have one which is functional (and cheap). Diabetes is quite a common condition here - it is one of the top 10 cause of deaths each year - so I'm pretty sure you will be able to get everything you need.

    There is a specialist Diabetes Clinic (the K K Leung Diabetes Centre) within the premier teaching hospital (Queen Mary's), but unfortunately there is a problem with its website so I can't find more details at the moment.

    Last edited by PDLM; 14-03-2008 at 04:41 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,966

    Insurance companies in Hong Kong do not cover pre existing condition.
    Your best option is to continue with your present insurance company.
    As PDLM advises, Hong Kong medical system will provide all your needs at minimum cost, if you are willing to work with in the system.
    You will have to wait in the line, and different doctors may attend you on your regular visits.
    Normally Diabetic patients are seen every 3-4 months for regualr check up.
    All the blood tests are done, and medication given at a nominal charge.
    Should you decide to go a private doctor, then the costs will be high and you or your company will have to pay:
    Specialist Visit HK$ 800- 1000 per visit.
    Insulin, syringes & Strips are available at most pharmacies.
    Costs same as USA.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    19

    Thanks

    Thanks for the tips. K K Leung Diabetes Centre website is under construction but something I can look into when I get there.

    Unfortunately keeping my US health insurance is not an option if not on the US payroll. Public health system is fine with me. So private insurance will not
    cover my diabetes but is there any benefit to keeping it otherwise ?

    If within the public health system do I get supplies and meds from doctor/hospital, pharmacy or both ?

    Novolog/NovoRapid and Humalog insulin are almost 4 times more expensive than regular in the US. Hope they are covered. Canada saved me on this
    when I did not have insurance for a few years .

    You think insulin pump supplies would be covered ? They are so rare in general.

    For pharmacies I found Watsons and Mannings , any others I should know about ?


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,966

    HK Public Medical system, will provide you the insulin and medicines whatever the doctor feels is required.
    Most drugs will be generic.Some drugs may not be prescribed due to high costs and you will have to buy from private pharmacies.
    The cost of visit & medical supplies normally is about HK$100-200 ( depending on how many months supplies the doctor prescribes)


  6. #6

    Diabetes care in HK

    Hi,

    I am in the same position. I am moving to HK from the UK as a type 1 insulin dep diabetic. How did things work out for you? I am being told that insurance companies won't cover pre-existing conditions so what are my options? Private treatment from a clinic or doctor that I pay or my employer pay for? Or, go with the public health care system as in the UK? What have other people done? Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks,

    John


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,966

    Diabetes

    Best option is to go with the Public System.
    However to get inside the system, you need a referral letter from a local doctor. It takes 7-8 months after submitting the referral letter to get the first appointment with the Specialist. Once you are in the system, then they will give you regular follow up. Cost is HK$60.00 per visit and plus medicines. The first few months, you may need a private doctor.

    Blister likes this.

  8. #8

    Many thanks - that is really helpful.

    John