Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS)

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


Bowtie VHIS Standard -
Most Economical

#ActuaryCommentary It’s a standardised plan approved by the Food and Health Bureau, for budget buyers to cover basic medicalexpenses.

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Bowtie VHIS Flexi-
Great Value for Money

#ActuaryCommentary An enhanced plan that covers medical cost up to 90%1, good for first-time buyers.

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Bowtie VHIS Pink-
Best for top-up

#ActuaryCommentary A plan with deductibles to save on premium, designed for peace-of-mind seekers who need a top-up medical plan

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Reimbursement rate of each plan

The following are 10 common claims examples that cover different levels of severity of illnesses and medical expenses. You can choose a Bowtie VHIS plan that meets your protection needs and premium budget by comparing the reimbursement rates of each plan.

Benefits of VHIS

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:


General Health Insurance


Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme


Terms & Benefits

Tax Deduction


Lifetime Benefit Limit


Unknown Pre-existing Conditions


Non-surgical Cancer Treatments


Psychiatric Treatments


Prescribed Diagnostic Imaging Tests (MRI scan, CT scan, etc.)


Congenital Conditions

Cooling-off period 


Insurance companies have flexibility to design

May be limited

May not be covered

Not commonly covered

Mostly not covered

Outpatient treatments not covered


Conditions which have manifested or been diagnosed since the age of 8 will be covered


Generally not covered

21 days

Generally from 7 to 28 days




Coverage subject to coinsurance

Individual insurance companies may have other terms and conditions. Please refer to your policy for details.
Learn more about Bowtie VHIS plans

Features of Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme Coverage

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!

Basic protection

Hospitalisation expenses coverage up to HK$420,000 per policy year
Surgical indemnity limits range from HK$5,000 to HK$50,000 per surgery with surgeons, anaesthetists and operating theatre covered
Day case procedures such as endoscopy conducted in day surgery centres will be covered

Extended protections

Psychiatric inpatient treatments will be covered up to the limit of $30,000
Unknown pre-existing conditions
Prescribed diagnostic imaging tests such as Computed Tomography (“CT” scan), Positron Emission Tomography (“PET” scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (“MRI” scan) conducted will be covered
(subject to 30% coinsurance)

Benefits of Bowtie VHIS plans

Bowtie VHIS Flexi Plan offers guaranteed lifetime renewal
No lifetime benefit limit
BowtieCash Program for exclusive coverage
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VHIS Premium Calculator

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.

Tax Deduction for VHIS plans

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

Plan A
Plan B
Amount of premium paid eligible for tax deduction
Tax deduction (assuming tax rate of 15%^)
Annual Premium Payment

Example 2A taxpayer buying multiple policies of certified VHIS plans for himself and his specified dependents

Taxpayer himself
Amount of premium paid eligible for tax deduction
Tax deduction
(assuming tax rate of 15%
Annual Premium Payment

Frequently asked questions for VHIS plans

What is the difference between the Voluntary Health Insurance Standard Plan and the Flexi Plan?

According to the 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 Health Bureau. You can click here to learn more about the differences between the Standard Plan and the Flexi Plan.

What are the restrictions on "unknown pre-existing conditions" under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme?

"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.

What tests are considered as "prescribed diagnostic imaging tests"?

"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.

What treatments are considered as "prescribed non-surgical cancer treatments"?

"Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatments” include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and hormonal therapy.

Does the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme cover outpatient expenses?

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.

Is dental treatment covered under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme?

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".

Will the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme restrict the choice of hospitals and doctors?

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.

Does the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme cover medical services outside Hong Kong?

Yes, except for psychiatric treatment. However, insurance companies may restrict the additional coverage to specified areas when designing a flexi plan.

Do I need to join the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme if my employer has already paid for my group medical insurance?

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.

Is there any age limit for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme?

Hong Kong residents aged between 15 days and 80 years old are eligible.

Can non-Hong Kong residents apply for a certified product under Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme?

Insurance companies may, at their own discretion and in accordance with their business regulations, accept applications from non-Hong Kong residents.

Is renewal guaranteed for certified products under Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme?

The Food and Health Bureau requires insurance companies to accept renewals of insurance policies up to the age of 100.

What factors will insurance companies take into account when renewing the policy each year?

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.

Do I need to be hospitalized to be eligible for a claim?

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.

+ Based on the press releases of the Food and Health Bureau
1. The above information is for reference only. If you need any further advice, please consult your tax advisor. You can also visit the Food and Health Bureau website for details of tax deduction.
^For the year of assessment 2018/19, the standard tax rate is 15% and the marginal rates are 2%, 6%, 10%, 14% and 17%. Source: Food and Health Bureau (information updated as of 21 May 2019). "Taxpayer" mentioned above refers to the policyholder. The above information is for reference only. If you need any further advice, please consult your tax advisor.
**BowtieCash Program allows you to pay for eligible medical costs that exceed the VHIS Standard Plan coverage. For details, please refer to the campaign rules of the program.

Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited (the “Company”, ”Bowtie”) is a company incorporated in Hong Kong with limited liability. “Bowtie VHIS Standard Plan” and the “Bowtie VHIS Flexi Plan” products are underwritten by the Company and are intended for sale in Hong Kong only.