Medical costs see insurance uptake spike in Hong Kong

More than 300,000 new policies issued as claims costs continue to rise

Medical costs see insurance uptake spike in Hong Kong

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

New statistics released by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) has revealed that the spiralling costs of medical treatment have led to an uptick in insurance policy sales.

A survey conducted by HKFI’s Medical Insurance Association collected business data from 16 major underwriters, representing 60% market share in the medical insurance market for 2015. The results found that private group and individual medical insurance plans have seen numbers increase by more than 300,000 in a single year.

Zenda Chan, chairman of HKFI’s Medical Insurance Association, said that a constant up-trend in medical fees, due to increasing utilisation and medical progress, has seen numbers rise. Chan noted that while policy numbers are up, the average growth of individual and group medical insurance premiums over the past five years remained at only 5.9% and 4.6% respectively.

“It shows that medical insurance is providing reasonable coverage for policyholders at stable premium level and giving them peace of mind,” Chan said.

Private hospitals or clinics saw 90% reimbursed claims cases, highlighting that the majority of medical insurance policyholders use private services offering a direct benefit of the coverage.

In addition, 49% of the total claim counts and 38% of the total paid amount of in-patient surgeries related to colonoscopy and gastroscopy as the survey found a significant variation in surgeon’s fees and facility charges relating to the two procedures.

Elaine Chan, deputy chairman of HKFI’s task force on health care reform, said that the statistics revealed that procedures done in clinics and day surgery facilities help keep down costs for patients.

“We believe that the Government, medical service providers and the insurance industry should do more public education on this front to ensure better usage of resources,” Chan said.

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