In effect since April 1, 2019, the VHIS is a policy initiative of the Hong Kong government’s Food and Health Bureau. Insurers participating in the VHIS offer individual indemnity hospital insurance plans that are certified by the relevant authorities to comply with the minimum requirements of the Scheme. Consumers are free to choose whether to buy these certified plans or not.
No. It is up to individuals to choose whether to buy one or not.
Certified Plans under the Scheme are certified by the authorities for having met a number of requirements, such as standardised policy terms and conditions. Their coverage is extended to include unknown pre-existing conditions at the time of purchasing insurance, day case surgery, and so on.
The policy terms and conditions as well as coverage of other general health insurance products on the market are set by individual insurance companies based on, among other factors, their respective corporate philosophies, business strategies, and the specific needs of their customers. As a result, they may be different from those provided by Certified Plans under the Scheme. You should choose the health insurance plan that best matches your requirements and expectations after making a detailed analysis and comparison based on an understanding of your own needs.
As premiums are set by participating insurance companies, Certified Plans under the Scheme products provided by different insurance companies will have different premiums.
Any taxpayer who or whose spouse (or other relatives) is the policy holder of an eligible insurance policy can claim tax deductions under VHIS for the eligible premiums paid. Please note that the tax-deductible premiums under VHIS are subject to a maximum of HK$8,000 per insured person for each assessment year.
For example, a father (a taxpayer) buys two VHIS plans as the policy holder to provide protection for his two dependents: his underage daughter and his wife, who are the persons insured. Subject to the plans meeting certain conditions, the father can claim tax deductions for a total premium payment of HK$16,000 for the two insured persons, based on a maximum of HK$8,000 per insured person for each assessment year. The actual amount deducted will depend on the marginal tax rate applicable to each taxpayer and other factors.
Generally speaking, health insurance can help meet the costs of medical treatment, giving you greater flexibility in finding healthcare services that best match your expectations, such as those provided by the private health system. But you need to make detailed comparisons and think carefully before deciding on whether to buy a Certified Plan under VHIS or other general health insurance product on the market. You may base your decision on the following three considerations:
- Expectations: What are your expectations regarding private healthcare services? For example, if you need to be hospitalised, do you prefer to stay in a general ward or a semi-private ward?
- Affordability: If you use private healthcare services, what is the level of cost you are confident of meeting on your own? How much of the costs do you want covered by the benefits payable under a hospitalisation insurance plan?
- Needs: Are you already protected by a hospitalisation insurance policy that you have bought for yourself or your employer has provided for you? How much is the insured amount? Is it enough to meet your needs?
We suggest that you seek advice from a financial advisor. Our advisors will offer suitable suggestions based on your needs, expectations and affordability.
You are free to choose whether you want to switch from your current individual indemnity hospitalisation insurance policy to a Certified Plan under VHIS. Remember, your participation in VHIS is voluntary and you are not compelled to make a switch.If you are interested in switching, we suggest that you make detailed comparisons and think carefully. You should not only consider the level of premium, tax deduction or any other single factor. We suggest that you seek advice from a financial advisor. Our advisors will offer suitable suggestions based on your needs, expectations and affordability.
The VHIS provides coverage under individual indemnity hospitalisation insurance. Simply put, individual indemnity hospital insurance plans involve insurance companies paying out benefits based on policy terms to cover the medical expenses actually incurred. Critical illness insurance, however, usually involves an insurance company making a one-off payout to the insured person who contracts a serious illness covered by the policy. These two types of insurance are different in nature and the level of benefits payable may vary significantly.
In general, the former can help mitigate the costs of medical treatment, while the latter can help meet other financial needs like family expenses when the insured is incapacitated for work by a critical illness and suffers a loss of income. From the perspective of providing solid security, these two types of insurance supplement each other. We suggest that you seek advice from a financial advisor. Our advisors will offer suitable suggestions based on your needs, expectations and affordability.
Our WeHealth is a Certified Plan under VHIS. We suggest that you seek advice from our advisors who could offer suitable suggestions based on your needs, expectations and affordability. They will also help complete the application process for you and follow up on all other matters relating to the application.
Sources of information: Sun Life Hong Kong Limited; website of the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme www.vhis.gov.hk
Note: The information contained in this document is intended for general reference only. It does not represent any form of guarantee or professional investment advice. It does not constitute any invitation or offer for investment; nor does it form the basis for any agreement to sell or purchase any products.
Sun Life Hong Kong Limited does not provide any taxation or accounting advice. If deemed necessary, you should consult a professional tax or accounting consultant.
Products from different companies have different features. You should not make a direct comparison between the product referred hereto and other products and in no event should the information contained herein be seen as presenting a comprehensive analysis.
While the information contained in this document is based on sources believed to be reliable, Sun Life Hong Kong Limited provides no guarantee as to the accuracy and integrity of, and assumes no responsibility for, such information. The information contained herein is intended for general reference only and does not constitute any guarantee or professional advice.