There are more than 20 different standard plans for Voluntary Health Insurance Schemes (VHIS) being offered in the market. How can you choose the best plan? Besides “saving the most” through family tax deductions, other important factors to consider are the prices or special offers. Since the protection cover and compensation provided by standard plans offered by major insurers are more or less the same, prices and special offers are key factors to determine the “value for money” of individual plans!
Premium Difference as much as $2,000 for VHIS Standard Plans of Different Insurers
|Comparison of Standard Premiums of
VHIS Standard Plans for a 30-year-old Male Policyowner
|Name of Insurer and the Plan||Annual Premium* (HKD)|
|Bowtie VHIS Standard||$1,488.00|
|Sun Life WeHealth||$1,620.00|
|Avo Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (Standard) Plan||$1,620.00|
|Manulife Shelter VHIS Standard Plan||$1,832.00|
|YFLife TaxVantage Medical Plan||$1,867.00|
|China Life Guard Your Health Medical Insurance Plan||$1,949.00|
|Liberty Insurance Standard VHIS Plan||$1,953.00|
|Well Protect Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (Standard)||$1,956.00|
|AIA Voluntary Health Insurance
|FWD VChoice Voluntary
Health Insurance Plan
|AXA WiseGuard Medical Insurance Plan
(AXA China Region Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited)
|AXA WiseGuard Medical Insurance Plan
(AXA China Region Insurance Company Limited)
|AXA GI WiseGuard Medical Insurance Plan
(AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited)
|HSBC Voluntary Health Insurance Standard Plan||$2,096.00|
|Hong Kong Life Insurance Limited
Health Essential Medical Plan – Standard
“Asia Unique – Family Care”
|Taiping Voluntary Health Insurance Standard Plan||$2,166.20|
|FWD Life vCore Medical Plan||$2,170.00|
|Zurich HealthSure Voluntary Health Insurance Plan||$2,220.00|
|FTLife “WiseCare” Medical Insurance Plan||$2,249.00|
|Allianz Medical Protect||$2,292.00|
|Prudential Hong Kong Limited
PRUHealth CoreChoice Medical Plan
Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme Certified Plan
|Chubb VHIS – Standard Plan||$2,347.00|
|Bupa MyBasic VHIS Plan||$2,414.00|
|Blue Cross CareForYou
Standard Plan for VHIS
|Cigna VHIS Series – Standard Plan||$2,472.00|
|Taiping Voluntary Health Insurance Standard Plan||$2,666.00|
|BOC Life Standard VHIS||$2,707.00|
|Dah Sing Insurance ADVANTAGE VHIS Standard Plan||$3,208.00|
|MSIG Insurance VHIS Standard Care||$4,104.00|
|*All are premiums for non-smoking policyowners|
According to the details of 31 standard plans listed on the webpage of the Food and Health Bureau, the annual premiums charged by the standard plans of Sun Life, Bowtie, Avo and Manulife are the lowest for a 30-year-old male policyowner.
In contrast, for the same 30-year-old policyowner, the annual premium of buying a standard plan from AIA will be $1990.4. Amongst standard plans, the most expensive is MSIG Insurance’s VHIS Standard Care, with an annual premium of $4,104 for a 30-year-old male policyowner. This is over $2,000 more than the premium of the standard plan offered by Manulife.
Special Offers for VHIS not “Equal for All”
|Comparison of Special Offers of Different VHIS Standard Plans|
|Insurer||Titles and Details of Special Offers|
|VHIS Combo Discount Offer
HK$300 or $450 premium discount for those
who are applying for or holding an eligible Basic Plan
to enrol in Chubb’s VHIS Standard Plan
(No given official promotion period）
|宏利Manulife||VHIS Premium Discount Campaign
12% premium discount for the first two policy years
(Promotion period: March 1st, 2021 to April 30th, 2021）
|中銀BOCHK||VHIS Premium Discount Campaign
Customers can enjoy first year 13% premium discount
upon successful enrolment in Standard Plan or Flexi Plan
via BOCHK Mobile Banking App (Name: “BOCHK”) /
Mobile Banking / Contact Centre / BOCHK Branches
(Promotion period: December 16th, 2020 to June 11th, 2021）
Similarly, since the contents of standard plans are generally the same, various special offers have been launched by major insurers, such as Chubb, Manulife and BOCHK, in order to attract customers like premium discounts.
When researching the special offers from different insurers, consumers should pay attention to the “applicable limits” of the terms and conditions, which mean the offers may not be “equal for all”. For example, Chubb’s special offer for its VHIS plans is limited to the new or existing policyowners of eligible medical plans of the company, who will get a $300 (Standard Plan) or $450 (Flexi Plan) premium discount if they insure themselves again with the company’s VHIS plans. Therefore, not all newly insured customers are eligible for this special offer.
Some insurers are more straightforward in providing special offers to the policyowners. For example, Manulife provides a 12% premium discount for first 2 policy years to VHIS policyowners for successful applications from March 1st to April 30th, 2021. This is applicable to both the “Manulife Shelter VHIS Standard Plan” and “Manulife First VHIS Flexi Plan”. Although BOCHK offers higher values of special premium discount, the discounted premium is still higher than Manulife due to the original premium is higher.
Look at underwriting and terms of offers when switching to VHIS
Before the launch of VHIS, many consumers have already bought medical insurance policies. If they switch to other insurance policies, underwriting may be required. However, in order to attract customers, many insurers can waive underwriting if the insured switches to their VHIS plans, provided that the insurance covers are the same.
Some insurers even provide special offers for customers to switch to VHIS plans. Nevertheless, similar to all special offers provided by insurers, consumers should pay attention to the related description of terms and conditions. Take AIA’s special offer for switching to VHIS plans as an example. This is simply a continuation of the “No Claim Bonus” of the “Super Good Health Medical Plan”, which requires that no claim be made for a designated number of policy years in order to be eligible for a premium refund. It does not provide immediate discounts to the premium of the standard plan.
Furthermore, another insurer, Manulife, announced special offers for switching to its VHIS plans for some of its particular existing medical insurance customers. From January 11th, 2021 to April 30th, 2021, no underwriting is required for some of its existing policyowners to “switch” to VHIS plans via the ‘VHIS Migration Programme’ or “Manulife Supreme VHIS Migration Program”. In addition, customers can enjoy 12% premium discount for the first 2 policy years. Customers can also enrol in “ManulifeMOVE” programme free-of-charge and enjoy up to a 10% premium discount on policy renewals when the specified activity target is reached (subject to relevant terms and conditions).
In addition to prices, special offers and tax deductions, first-time buyers of VHIS should also consider factors such as the brand name, reputation, the comprehensiveness of the services provided by the insurers, etc. By choosing an insurer with good reputation and professional and reliable insurance agents, the insured will be able to enjoy better professional advice and follow-up services.
Want to learn more about the government’s VHIS? Read our VHIS Guide!