Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) certified by the Food and Health Bureau, including standard plan and flexi plans with exclusive protection, provides transparent and clear premium terms and eligible for tax deduction benefits.1
#ActuaryCommentary It’s a standardised plan approved by the Food and Health Bureau, for budget buyers to cover basic medicalexpenses.
#ActuaryCommentary An enhanced plan that covers medical cost up to 90%1, good for first-time buyers.
#ActuaryCommentary A plan with deductibles to save on premium, designed for peace-of-mind seekers who need a top-up medical plan
What are the benefits of Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme? Referring to the information on common insurance policies in the market and the VHIS website of Food and Health Bureau, there are 9 major differences between general health insurance and Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, as follows:
Insurance companies have flexibility to design
May be limited
May not be covered
Not commonly covered
Outpatient treatments not covered
Conditions which have manifested or been diagnosed since the age of 8 will be covered
Generally not covered
Generally from 7 to 28 days
Coverage subject to coinsurance
The coverage of Bowtie VHIS Standard and Bowtie VHIS Flexi varies from $420,000 to $1,000,000 per policy year, with different limits on coverage and individual items. Find out more about Bowtie VHIS plans now!
As of 1 October 2019, 27 insurance companies are participating in the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme launched by the Food and Health Bureau and offering a total of 190 products. According to the information of premiums uploaded on the Food and Health Bureau website the annual premium of the standard plan is $4,000 on average+. Use Bowtie VHIS premium calculator to make an initial quote for yourself or a loved one.
Starting from 1 April 2019, taxpayers are eligible for tax deduction for premiums paid for VHIS products for themselves or dependents, subject to a maximum amount of HK$8,000 per insured per tax year. The following examples will give you a better idea on how tax deduction works.
Example 1︰ A taxpayer buying a certified VHIS plan for himself
Example 2︰A taxpayer buying multiple policies of certified VHIS plans for himself and his specified dependents
According to the Food and Health Bureau's Voluntary Health Insurance Product Template and leaflet, the terms and conditions and benefit schedule of the VHIS Standard Plan must meet the 10 minimum requirements, including guaranteed renewal up to age 100, no lifetime coverage limit, coverage for hospitalisation and prescribed day case procedures, pre-existing medical conditions, prescribed diagnostic imaging tests, etc.
VHIS Flexi Plan takes the basic benefits of the Standard Plan as a framework and adds some additional benefits, and the Flexi Plan is also regulated and certified by the Food and Health Bureau. You can click here to learn more about the differences between the Standard Plan and the Flexi Plan.
"Unknown pre-existing conditions" refer to the pre-existing conditions that the insured person was not aware of and should not have been aware of prior to the policy. The Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme will pay for eligible expenses based on the following waiting period and medical benefit rates:
1. No benefit in the first policy year;
2. 25% of the benefit limit in the second policy year;
3. 50% of the benefit limit in the third policy year;
4. Full benefit is payable from the fourth policy year and onwards.
"Prescribed diagnostic imaging tests" under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme refer to Computed Tomography (“CT” Scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (“MRI” Scan), Positron Emission Tomography (“PET” Scan), PET-CT Combo and PET-MRI Combo. VHIS will cover 70% of the eligible cost of the relevant tests, of which 30% will be paid by the policyholder.
"Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatments” include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and hormonal therapy.
The outpatient coverage is mainly for outpatient treatments before pre and post-hospitalization and day case procedures, with a maximum number of visits and benefit amount. In addition, 70% of the eligible costs for prescribed diagnostic imaging tests (i.e. CT, MRI, PET, PET-CT, PET-MRI) are covered for outpatient visits.
Some insurance companies also include "Accidental Emergency Outpatient" coverage in their Flexi Plan, which provides coverage for treatment such as wound care and stitches at a hospital emergency room or outpatient clinic within 24 hours of an accidental injury.
VHIS does not cover regular dental check-ups, scaling, fillings, etc. However, if the insured requires emergency oral or dental procedures as a result of an accident, the relevant payments will be covered under the "Surgical Fee".
All basic benefits (e.g. rent and food, surgical fees, miscellaneous charges, etc.) of the certified products under the VHIS allow free choices of hospitals and doctors. However, the additional benefits under the Flexi Plan may only apply to certain hospital and doctor networks.
Yes, except for psychiatric treatment. However, insurance companies may restrict the additional coverage to specified areas when designing a flexi plan.
If you feel that group medical insurance does not provide comprehensive coverage, you may also consider buying personal medical insurance or voluntary medical insurance to enhance the protection. Group medical insurance policies offered by employers usually provide only basic coverage and expire when the employment ends. You may refer to the terms and conditions of the policy to see if you have adequate coverage.
Hong Kong residents aged between 15 days and 80 years old are eligible.
Insurance companies may, at their own discretion and in accordance with their business regulations, accept applications from non-Hong Kong residents.
The Food and Health Bureau requires insurance companies to accept renewals of insurance policies up to the age of 100.
According to the guidelines of the Food and Health Bureau, insurance companies are not allowed to increase the premiums on the basis of the health conditions of individual insured persons. Insurance companies will determine the rate of increase based on the age of the insured, medical inflation and the risk pool claims.
Not necessarily. In addition to eligible medical expenses during hospitalisation, all certified policies must cover day case procedures such as endoscopy, prescribed diagnostic imaging tests performed in an outpatient clinic and prescribed non-surgical cancer treatment.