Our First Premium Increase Best Value for Money Promise Remains True
As local healthcare costs increase rapidly and persistently, after careful consideration, we have decided to increase the premiums for Bowtie VHIS Flexi Plan and Bowtie Pink VHIS Plan by 6 to 9%. The revised premiums will go into effect starting from December 2023.
Medical inflation is the principal reason of this decision
According to Willis Towers Watson, healthcare costs in Hong Kong rose by 7.5% in 2021 and 8.2% in 2022, and are expected to rise by a further 8.8% in 2023. The cumulative medical inflation will reach 26.5% over the past three years. The chronic shortage of healthcare professionals 1 and the aging population in Hong Kong 2 are important factors contributing to medical inflation in the city.
Corresponding to the high medical inflation, the average claim size for Bowtie’s VHIS plans has also shown an upward trend. For example, in 2022, expenses for cancer treatments rose by 13%, and treatments for common diseases like gastritis increased more than 20%.
Even with the premium increase, we strive to deliver a high value product to our customers. After this premium increase, our Bowtie VHIS Flexi Plan and Bowtie Pink VHIS Plans continue to be 30-60% lower than the premiums of our competitors’ products:
VHIS Plan Level
Bowtie’s premium VS
Average premium for other insurers’ products at the same level3
As your partner on the journey to health, we continuously improve the quality of our products and services
In April 2023, we (i) significantly reduced the waiting period for unknown pre-existing conditions for Bowtie VHIS Flexi Plan and Bowtie Pink VHIS Plan, (ii) increased the coverage limit for Bowtie Pink VHIS (Private) Plan, and (iii) introduced a “24-hour Global Emergency Assistance Service” for all Bowtie VHIS plans (the service is usually only available in high-end health insurance plans).
Our conviction to “Make Insurance Good Again” has allowed us to stand out among many insurers in Hong Kong and be recognized as the “best value-for-money insurance brand” in the city for two consecutive years4. In the future, we will continue to strive for excellence and provide health protection that improves over time.
We help you maximize savings through preventive medicine
Apart from upgrading products and services, we are also committed to improving your health and financial well-being through preventive medicine. In July 2021, we provided free health check-ups for all VHIS insured members. In October 2022, we collaborated with healthcare technology company Take2 and French reinsurer SCOR to develop an innovative cancer screening solution and sponsored over a thousand high-risk customers for early nasopharyngeal cancer screening.
Furthermore, in April 2023, we launched the “No-Claim Rewards” program. Under the program, customers who have no claim records during specified policy periods will get BowtieCash, which can be used to offset future expenses that exceed the coverage of customers’ VHIS plans.
Moving forward, we will continue to promote preventive medicine, help customers detect potential risks early, reduce the incidence of severe illnesses, and lower claims costs, thereby fulfilling our commitment to deliver the best value for money insurance products.
Transparency and openness are the cornerstones of trust, which is why we choose to inform you of this premium increase and the underlying reason in the most direct way possible. In addition, we value good communication with each and every customer. If you have any questions or thoughts regarding this premium increase, please email our Customer Service team at email@example.com.
Thank you for your support and trust!
The Bowtie Team
1According to statistics from the Health Bureau, in 2020, there were approximately 2 doctors and 8.2 nurses per 1,000 population in Hong Kong, lower than the average level of 3.5 doctors and 9.2 nurses among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The shortage of medical professionals has contributed to a rise in manpower costs in the healthcare sector.
2As average life expectancy in Hong Kong rises and the city’s birth rate drops, and as the generation of baby boomers gradually enters retirement age, the problem of an aging population is becoming increasingly serious. According to projections by the Census and Statistics Department, the proportion of elderly people aged 65 and above in the total population will gradually increase from 20.8% in mid-2022 to 25.3% in 2028, and further rise to 35.1% in 2069. Population aging implies a significant increase in the demand for healthcare services and resources, leading to an overall rise in healthcare costs.
3This figure is a result of comparing the standard premium rates of products with the similar type of protection design (including the same ward class, provides supplementary major medical benefit, the same territorial scope of cover, etc.) for insured age 0-80 years old, mixed gender and smoking status, based on the standard premium information of the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme available online as of September 1, 2023 together with Bowtie internal analysis. Please note: the detailed benefit items and limits, terms and conditions, exclusions and other value-added services of each comparison product may be different. The above percentages are based on products with the overall same type of structure.
4According to YouGov, an international market research firm, Bowtie has been recognized as the "insurance brand that provides the most value for money" in Hong Kong for two consecutive years since 2021. Value for money does not only mean "cheap," but it refers to providing consumers with value and services that are relatively equivalent to the price.
The Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited is an authorized life insurance company and Hong Kong’s very first virtual insurer approved. Through the use of modern technology and medical expertise, Bowtie offers an agent-free, commission-free and more convenient online platform for customers to quote, apply and claim for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) anytime anywhere. Bowtie is ranked first in the direct channel sales throughout 2021.