Health Insurance

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Health Insurance

    Hi everyone - well we used one of the links from geoexpat.com to get quotes for private health insurance.

    They range from $US2500 to $USD5900, with the average around $US3900. This does seem awfully expensive compared to say, Australia.

    What have other expats done in terms of health insurance? Do you know what you (or your company) pay?

    Thanks in advance!!!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    23,217

    I have some sort of insurance through my company, which reimburses fixed fees of a few hundred dollars for a limited number of GP visits.

    But health care is essentially free to Hong Kong residents (HK$100 fee per visit to deter time-wasters) so it's never something that's bothered me much.

    Like all insurance, on average you'll pay more for health insurance than you'll get back (this must be the case, otherwise insurance companies would go bust). So if it's going to be your money paying for the insurance then unless you are confident you can somehow "beat the odds" (i.e. you make significantly greater claims than average) then I don't really see the reason for taking any out.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12,383

    Should not be that much -- the best thing to do is to get a higher deductible. I think my annual deductible is around US$1000.

    Drop the guys on www.kwiksure.com a line ...

    Also, we've used William Russell and Good Health in the past. Our current coverage is from www.healthcareinternational.com (not yet tested with a claim).


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    ...But health care is essentially free to Hong Kong residents (HK$100 fee per visit to deter time-wasters) so it's never something that's bothered me much...
    What about just being on a work permit (i.e. we won't be residents initially)? Also, what about ambulance and emergency cover?

    Thanks for your replies, friends
    Last edited by syd2qt2bstr8; 04-09-2007 at 09:48 AM. Reason: For clarification

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    12,383

    A resident is someone who is legally present in Hong Kong on a long term stay (well, something like that). With a work visa, you can get an ID card -- which means you're a resident.

    Ambulance and emergency care is usually handled by the govt - essentially as a public service. Most private hospitals will not take you as a patient if you have an major emgergency (not the "I broke my leg" kind .. but life threatening) and will refer you to the nearest emergency room.

    One thing, while the local medical system is essentially free -- it is pretty much not worth it. A specialists appointment (say for an eye problem like glaucoma) can take several months. We recently heard about a case where someone was told that they would have to wait about six months for an angioplasty.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    As KIA says. For emergencies you will be in a public hospital anyway, and all that and the ambulance and so on are a public service ("socialised medicine" as Fox News puts it - apparently this is a bad thing and means that our hospitals are full of terrorists disguised as doctors).

    I can see the case for having medical insurance with the highest excess they will give you essentially to cover unlikely cases where you are hit with a very expensive treatment course that would be beyond your means to pay.


  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the replies guys and girls. Have modded you for your help

    It's certainly food for thought, especially as we pay $AU55 per month for private health insurance (room only) here in AU, and the equivalent packages are well over $US2900 for the same level of cover!

    Warrants some further investigation on our part. Will post any useful information I find back in this post.

    If any other expats could let me know what your ideas, or maybe even your company policy, is, that would be most helpful.

    Thanks again, Cindy


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    TST and Macau
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    1,438
    Quote Originally Posted by KnowItAll:
    Should not be that much -- the best thing to do is to get a higher deductible. I think my annual deductible is around US$1000.

    Drop the guys on www.kwiksure.com a line ...

    Also, we've used William Russell and Good Health in the past. Our current coverage is from www.healthcareinternational.com (not yet tested with a claim).
    healthcareinternational sounds pretty good. Does anyone have experience with a claim ?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ma Wan
    Posts
    241

    Medical insurance plans are - like every insurance - a bit of a gamble. The minor doctor visits you could easily pay by yourself, but IF something bad is happening, you could loose the lifestyle and financial freedom you are used to. Especially IF you get a chronic disease which requires frequent and expensive treatment, etc...

    I grew up in a country where people tend to insure everything possible. Only when I got here I realized that there are other options. I compared tons of int'l insurance plans.

    Here are some points for you to consider:
    - full or partial coverage: The more you are willing to chip in yourself for each doctor visit, the cheaper the plan. Also, you pay more if you want special treatments to be covered, and include dental care for example.
    - worldwide or regional coverage: plans which include US are usually more expensive.
    - temporary or lifetime insurance: I found some great int'l insurance plans, but all of them would have kicked me out should I ever move back to my home country. Imagine you move back and by then are either too old or have existing health problems. At a certain age it could be hard for you to sign up a new insurance plan, as they will charge you a premium for your age, and exempt everything possible from the coverage.

    In the end it is a decision you have to take for yourself. Most of my friends here have no or minimal coverage, but I also know that without a good insurance plan, my parents could not afford the lifestyle they are having right now.

    If you have to pay for yourself, i would take up a plan which only kicks in when your annual medical bill reaches a certain amount, and possibly exclude certain treatments, maybe reduce the dental coverage, etc.


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hktraveller:
    healthcareinternational sounds pretty good. Does anyone have experience with a claim ?
    Hi HK - no (obviously!) but I did do their online travel quotation, and also opted for a detailed quote which I just received. I suggest you do the same, as the e-mailed quote provides a good comparison between the costs of their different plans. That should then be read in conjunction with their plan descriptions, which can be found at

    http://www.healthcareinternational.c...comparison.pdf

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by syd2qt2bstr8; 04-09-2007 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Typo - as usual for me!

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