One of the distinctive benefits of VHIS is that it covers ‘psychiatric inpatient treatments in local hospitals’ while most insurance plans don’t.
VHIS also covers ‘prescribed diagnostic imaging tests’ such as MRI scans conducted during the hospital stay or in an outpatient setting, while policyholder pays only 30% of the fee.
If you need the above protection, then it’s worth considering migrating to VHIS.
Since typical insurance plans are not regulated by FHB, insurers have greater flexibility in tightening the terms and conditions.
For example, most medical insurances have lifetime benefit limits ranging from a million up to tens of millions of dollars. However, insurers have the right to change the terms and conditions at every policy anniversary year and potentially raise premiums based on your claim history.
On the other hand, VHIS has only an annual benefit limit of HK$420,000 and no lifetime benefit limit. Even if the policyholder receives the full annual claim amount of HK$420,000, insurers must guarantee renewal without making any changes to the terms and conditions. In the event of changes, it would be only for improving the terms for the policyholder.
According to the FHB website, 3 scenarios will occur from the launch of VHIS:
Not all insurance companies require re-underwriting, so it’s important to clearly understand the re-underwriting terms and conditions.
Some insurance companies offer no claim bonus or discounts. If you have not made any claims, insurers may offer premium discounts to you the following year as a way to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
If you plan to switch to VHIS at the same insurance company or to another insurance company, make sure you check if you are still eligible for the ‘premium discounts’.
Generally speaking, new customers cannot make a claim within the first 30 days after policy approval. This period is known as the ‘waiting period’. However, this waiting period is waived for VHIS (apart from pre-existing conditions) and the policy is effective immediately.
It’s also important to note the ‘migration period’. FHB recommends insurance companies offer 1 year so that policyholders could consider switching to VHIS or not. Though, the decision is still in the insurance company’s hands.
If you decide to switch to VHIS after the ‘migration period’, you may need to terminate your existing policy in order to purchase a VHIS plan.
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