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Medical insurance plans with “Top-up” feature help customers to reduce insurance expenses
Medical financing has become a hot topic lately. A local university recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 Hong Kong people about their medical expense burdens. The survey showed that 29.3% of interviewees had medical insurance provided by their company and personal medical insurance coverage at the same time; 13% and 17.9% of interviewees had either medical insurance provided by their company or personal medical insurance respectively. Both groups claimed that their current insurance coverage was not sufficient and the latter group expressed that the premiums of their current medical insurance were very high.
Without a doubt, comprehensive medical insurance coverage is very important so that policyholders do not have to worry about unforeseen medical expenses. A medical plan with a “top-up” feature allows customers to supplement their existing medical insurance provided by their company and personal medical insurance coverage at a discounted premium rate. Below is an example:
Ms. Chow, who is covered under medical insurance provided by her company, underwent major surgery to treat her heart disease last year. The total fees including surgery and hospitalisation costs, were HK$230,000. Initially, Ms. Chow thought that her existing medical insurance provided by her company would cover most of the medical expenses; however, she later found that the plan could only cover up to HK$120,000 of major operation and hospitalisation costs. In the end, Ms. Chow had to absorb the HK$110,000 difference, an amount that is unaffordable for most employees.
In general, many medical insurance plans provided by companies can only support medical expenses of minor to intermediate operations, and are not sufficient to cover expenses of major or complex surgery such as a coronary bypass operation etc. Hence, many people purchase additional personal medical insurance for extra protection. On the other hand, traditional medical insurance plans may not provide flexible insurance premiums and coverage; policyholders may end up with duplicate coverage and cost inefficiency.
In the case of Ms. Chow, if she wished to have more comprehensive medical coverage by purchasing MSIG Insurance’s MediSure Plus for extra protection, she could opt for a deductible of HK$120,000 – the maximum coverage offered by her existing medical insurance provided by her company – and would then enjoy a 65% discount* off the premium. In the unfortunate event of major surgery, Ms. Chow could file a claim with the medical insurance provided by her company first and any costs that exceeded the selected deductible (i.e. HK$120,000) would be covered by MediSure Plus, provided the expenses are covered under the terms of her policy. Furthermore, if Ms. Chow changes her job in the future, she may adjust the deductible according to the medical insurance plan offered by her new company upon policy renewal. When Ms. Chow reaches retirement age, she can remove the deductible and resume full core cover.
*Taking the Excel Plan of MediSure Plus as an example
Some insurance companies now provide medical insurance plans with a “top-up” feature that offers more flexibility. For example, MSIG Insurance’s MediSure Plus medical insurance plan allows customers to choose a fixed annual deductible on top of their current medical insurance coverage to enjoy an insurance premium discount.