COVID-19: Does my expat health insurance cover it?

Posted by RR


As the COVID-19 coronavirus sweeps the globe at an alarming rate, access to healthcare services is becoming more valuable than ever. The Hong Kong government has managed to keep virus numbers low by responding aggressively from the first appearance of COVID-19, through measures such as travel restrictions and social distancing. However, with the rate at which the novel coronavirus’ spreads and the current lack of a vaccine, the thought of what would happen to you if you came down with the virus has probably crossed your mind more than once.
Would your expat health insurance cover it? Our friends at Pacific Prime Hong Kong are here to shed some light on the matter.
What happens if a person gets infected with COVID-19 in Hong Kong?
If you experience COVID-19-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or fever, you can visit both public and private clinics or hospitals. Earlier this month, coronavirus testing was made available at Hong Kong’s private clinics, allowing private family doctors and GPs to collect samples from patients with coronavirus symptoms.
If you’re believed to have pneumonia, you’ll need to receive further testing and follow-up care at a hospital. If you’re confirmed to be infected with COVID-10, you’ll be isolated and given proper treatment.
Does expat health insurance cover coronavirus?
Since the coronavirus is a novel and unanticipated disease, many insurance companies will regard it as a special condition. However, it’s important to understand that your exact policy will determine your level of coverage, regardless of whether you’re seeking medical advice or treatment.
The following costs are covered by many insurers, up to the prescribed limits of each policy:

  • Diagnostic test costs, if a medical professional requests them

  • Hospital treatment costs, which includes isolation ward admission due to COVID-19

  • Eligible outpatient treatment costs for the coronavirus and its symptoms


You’ll also be covered abroad if you have international health insurance. However, if you have local health insurance, you probably won’t be covered overseas, unless your plan’s terms and conditions state otherwise. You’ll likely receive limited cover for a short duration, if at all.
So what if you’re traveling when you’re diagnosed with COVID-19? Your only option would be to seek treatment in that country since you won't be able to fly. In this case, securing international health insurance would be the best option.
Extended insurance coverage
Some insurance providers are providing additional insurance coverage. For example, they’re covering medical complications caused by COVID-19 along with emergency evacuation if policyholders can’t get the help they need locally. Additionally, some insurance providers are also offering supportive measures, such as virtual consultations, quicker and simpler claims procedures, and waived ward upgrade costs for COVID-19 hospitalization.
The terms and conditions attached to COVID-19 and outpatient treatments depend on your insurance provider and policy. If you’re unsure about your coverage, it’s best to speak with your insurer or a reputable broker such as Pacific Prime Hong Kong.
Looking for help?
Along with checking your insurance policy’s terms and conditions, expert advisors such as those at Pacific Prime Hong Kong can also answer any of your insurance-related questions. Specializing in expat individual health insurance and health insurance with global coverage, Pacific Prime can compare health insurance in Hong Kong to help you find the ideal policy for your needs and budget.

Must Reads
AsiaXPAT Features and Offers in your inbox