HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme goes live

Features include coverage extended to unknown pre-existing conditions and no limitations on ‘lifetime benefit'.

The Food and Health Bureau has implemented the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) where consumers can now have the flexibility to choose certified plans offered by participating insurance companies.

By awarding an annual $1,019 (HK$8,000) tax break for each family member that’s put on the plan, the VHIS aims to take pressure off the city’s ageing public medical system through tax incentives that help facilitate entry into the private system.

Also read: Insurers gear for Hong Kong's $1.27b national health insurance programme

Having the publicity slogan "Choose with Confidence", all plans under the VHIS must meet the benefit standard prescribed by the scheme, including standardised policy terms and conditions, benefit coverage and benefit amounts.

Features of the scheme include the guaranteed renewal up to the age of 100 regardless of change in the health conditions of the insured persons, no limitations on ‘lifetime benefit’, coverage extended to unknown pre-existing conditions and day case surgical procedures, tax deduction for taxpayers who purchase certified plans for themselves and/or specified relatives and pay the premium on or after April 1 and transparency on the premiums of certified plans.

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