What is the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS)?

Posted by RR 17 mths ago

In early April 2020, the Hong Kong government publicly announced the highly anticipated Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), which offers individual indemnity hospital insurance plans from several insurance companies (VHIS Providers) including Bupa and Cigna.

These plans are specifically offered to residents in Hong Kong, and are certified by the Food and Health Bureau (FHB) to comply with the minimum requirements of the scheme in product design. To help residents learn more about this scheme, our friends at Pacific Prime Hong Kong are here to provide guidance.


What does the VHIS scheme offer?

The VHIS comprises of a “Standard Plan” and a “Flexi Plan”, which allows residents in Hong Kong between the ages of 15 days to 80 years to apply for one of many certified policies.

As of 22 March 2021, 43 insurers have participated in the scheme and collectively launched over 257 related products, with 522,000 certified policies in total.

Locals that opt for the “Standard Plan” will receive basic inpatient coverage regardless of the insurance company chosen, whereas the “Flexi Plan” provides a more diversified level of protection such as a higher benefit limit and broader coverage to meet their different needs.


How does VHIS compare to medical insurance?

When considering whether to buy VHIS or medical insurance, it’s worth looking at the types of benefits to help you make a decision. All VHIS products must provide coverage for:

  • Unknown pre-existing conditions: These unknown pre-existing conditions will be partially covered in the second year (25%) and third-year (50%). Only after the third year of the policy’s inception will all pre-existing conditions be fully covered (100%) for the subsequent years.
  • Treatment of congenital conditions: These are congenital conditions that have worsened or have been diagnosed since the age of 8.
  • Day case procedures: Two such examples would be endoscopy or key-hole procedures conducted in day centers.
  • Prescribed diagnostic imaging tests: These imaging tests would include Computed Tomography (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scan), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) that are conducted during hospital stays or in an outpatient setting.
  • Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatments: These cancer treatments would include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
  • Psychiatric inpatient treatments in local hospitals: Details of inpatient treatments will be covered in the policies with a limit of HKD $30,000 per policy year. 


Get support comparing plans with Pacific Prime Hong Kong

When comparing VHIS products with traditional medical insurance plans in Hong Kong, it’s important to consider the finer details of each plan and get support from an insurance broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong.

All plans generally vary and have different limits and conditions attached to them. So before rushing out to apply for the VHIS, be sure to contact us today and have an expert provide clear, impartial advice to help you make the best decision.


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