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Expats Insurance in Hong Kong

8 minute read

To all of you who have just arrived in Hong Kong for the first time in your life, welcome! How are you settling in? Is Hong Kong treating you well so far? You may have already figured out all the ins and outs of your Hong Kong ID and you probably have an agreement regarding your next workplace.

However, did you do your research when it comes to insurance? Life is often unpredictable and no matter how hard some people try to take great care of themselves, some unplanned things can happen. And that is exactly where insurance can help.

The healthcare system in Hong Kong consists of two sectors — the private and the government-sponsored public sector.

But, which one will suit you? What benefits can you enjoy if you get insured? And how much will it cost?

If you are interested in learning more about expat insurance in Hong Kong, take a look below. It will help you determine what type of insurance you want to get.


Overview of public healthcare

You will be glad to learn that Hong Kong has a well-designed and modern healthcare system unlike many other popular expat destinations around the globe.

Just remember, as a non-permanent resident, one is required to have a valid visa and the Hong Kong ID card in order to receive healthcare services.

Healthcare system explained

Hong Kong’s healthcare system is separated into two sectors — public healthcare and private medical care.

Should you opt for the public healthcare system, you will not need to pay for any kind of private health insurance packages. The government provides all public services regarding healthcare for free or for a small fee.

On the other hand, if you want to use the private system, it is of the utmost importance to have good private medical insurance since the bills can get extremely high.

Public medical care is administered jointly by the Hong Kong Department of Health and the Hospital Authority.

All of the clinics, doctors, and medical staff are organized in regional clusters in order for each district to have enough manpower and assets to take care of its residents. Fortunately, the system provides a high level of medical standards and modern medical equipment.

The majority of hospitals offer 24-hour accident and emergency services. Additionally, there are numerous maternal healthcare centers providing health screenings and care for women, infants, and toddlers.

Is public healthcare completely free?

Yes, there are no financial contributions to the system. Or if there are, they are rather low. The government provides healthcare for everyone at virtually no cost.

The system not only includes Hong Kong citizens but also non-permanent residents. So, prepare your visa and your ID and you can use public healthcare services.

However, bear in mind that the system does not cover dental care. You are only entitled to see a public dentist in Hong Kong in the case of an absolute emergency.

Pros and cons of the public healthcare system in Hong Kong

Let’s start with the system’s good sides:

  • It is virtually free.
  • The system provides great emergency and maternity care.
  • The services are of high quality.
  • A great number of doctors speak English.

On the other hand, there are some shortcomings:

  • There is no dental care coverage.
  • Doctors might treat their patients pretty straightforwardly.
  • Queues and long waiting times.

Hong Kong healthcare costs and fees

The fees for public healthcare services are really low.

  • One visit to a public outpatient clinic will set you back for about HK$50 (around $6.5) for a check-up at a general practitioner’s.
  • A visit to the first specialist consultation costs HK$100 ($13). A follow-up stands at HK$60 ($8).
  • On top of that, aside from basic fees, you will be charged HK$10 ($1) for any medication you might need.
  • For staying in a regular ward at a public hospital, you pay around HK$ 100 ($13) per day, plus an admission fee of HK$50 (approx. $6.5).
  • For the individuals who cannot afford these low fees, the government will provide a fee-waiving mechanism to ensure that nobody is excluded from the benefits of healthcare due to a lack of financial assets.

This applies to non-residents too!

Private healthcare

In Hong Kong, the private healthcare system provides services of this kind to individuals not covered by public healthcare and to those who want more comprehensive care.

A lot of expat workers in Hong Kong have employer-provided medical insurance plans for themselves and their families.

To be precise, the government usually issues visas for expats only in case their employers provide them with healthcare. In turn, this ensures the person will not be a burden on the public healthcare system.

Determine what coverage you need

There are scenarios when the public healthcare system cannot be an option for some expats.

That is when some of them need to purchase private health insurance. On top of that, if your employer-provided insurance plan does not cover everything you find necessary, it may be time to determine what else you need.

It is advisable to pay attention to healthcare coverage during contract negotiations, as healthcare plans can vary to a large extent with respect to the medical treatment they cover.

Some plans even include dental care and maternity benefits. There are cases when you may have to pay a deductible, or the insurance plan will only cover a certain percentage of your medical expenses.

So, pay attention to this aspect if you want to save a lot of money later on and get the best possible range of services.

Do your research

Learn as much as you can about private health insurance plans since there are dozens of options available in Hong Kong.

Typically, you can choose between a local plan and international private health insurance. Local health insurance covers expenses that are only incurred in Hong Kong. The premiums are based on local medical costs.

If you are not staying in Hong Kong for a longer period of time, you should consider international health insurance.

International health insurance plans are transferable to different countries, and premiums are usually based on the international level of medical costs. If you are already covered by international health insurance, find out if it is valid in Hong Kong.

Speak to a broker to understand different plans

Since there are many options out there when it comes to insurance, it may be wise to work with an insurance broker to help you out. This way, you will make sure that you have all the necessary information and advice, which will make your decision much easier.

Life insurance options

Before you start looking for life insurance options, ask yourself why you need it. The most important and primary purpose of life insurance is to provide financial protection to your family or dependants in the event of your death. Then figure out how much coverage you need. Some people put aside 10% of their monthly salary to purchase insurance. However, others may buy policies with coverage equivalent to 10 times their annual income.

Once you answer these questions, figure out what type of insurance you need. To make this easier for you, below you will find some insurance options worth checking.

HSBC life insurance

HSBC offers quite a few options when it comes to insurance. But, let’s take a look at HSBC Whole Life Protection Plan.

Key features of this plan include:

  • Life insurance protection
  • Plan funding in regular payments including 5, 10 and 25-year plans or pay up to the age of 65
  • Guaranteed cash value plus non-guaranteed annual dividends which can be withdrawn as cash or rollover to boost the value of policy

CCW Global

CCW Global offers a range of comprehensive life insurance options. Let’s explore their Term Life Insurance.

  • Term Life Insurance, also known as Term Life Assurance, covers you against your risk of death over a specific length of time.
  • When you apply for a Term Life Insurance plan in Hong Kong you will be given the option of selecting the length, or term, of the policy.
  • If you die during the plan’s term, or while the policy is in force, then the Hong Kong Term Life Coverage will provide a lump sum payment to beneficiaries of your choice.


This is another great company that offers life insurance plans in Hong Kong.

Their Joyful Life Insurance Plan offers comprehensive protection for you and your loved ones.

  • This plan provides adequate whole life protection with the means of accumulating wealth.
  • It is designed for people aged between 15 days to 70 years and, to put it simply, provides whole life protection until the age of 100. It is possible to get yourself and your family protected so that you can live your life without worries.

Wrap Up

Your health should be the highest priority in your life. Wherever you live, you have to find a way to keep yourself healthy but also protected from huge medical bills.

Fortunately, Hong Kong has a wide range of options when it comes to insurance plans. It’s up to you to see what plan might suit your needs best.

For any additional help, do not hesitate to contact Sleek!

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