8Sep

Essential Guide: Health Insurance Options for Expats in Hong Kong

As an expat living in the bustling city of Hong Kong, you’re undoubtedly immersed in a world of opportunities, new experiences, and exciting adventures. Amidst the excitement, your health and well-being are paramount. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of health insurance for expats in Hong Kong and illustrate how it can provide you with a secure and worry-free lifestyle.

Understanding the Importance of Health Insurance for Expats

Hong Kong is known for its world-class healthcare system, but medical expenses can be steep, especially for non-residents. Health insurance acts as a crucial safety net, ensuring that you have access to top-quality medical care without incurring exorbitant costs. Here’s how health insurance can make your life as an expat more secure:

Comprehensive Medical Coverage: Health insurance provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, from routine check-ups and preventive care to specialized treatments and surgeries.

Emergency Medical Assistance: Accidents and illnesses can happen unexpectedly. Health insurance guarantees that you’ll receive immediate medical attention without worrying about the financial burden.

Access to Specialists: Some medical conditions require the expertise of specialists. With health insurance, you can consult renowned doctors and specialists in Hong Kong’s top-tier medical facilities.

Prescription Medication Coverage: Health insurance often covers the costs of prescription medications, ensuring that you can manage chronic conditions without straining your finances.

Peace of Mind: Knowing that you’re covered by health insurance gives you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your work, social life, and exploring your new surroundings.

Comparing Healthcare Costs: With and Without Health Insurance

According to the Hong Kong Health Bureau, the total health expenditure in Hong Kong amounted to $189,624 million in 2019/20 with an annual per capita spending of $25,258.

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario to showcase the financial implications of having health insurance as an expat in Hong Kong:

Scenario 1: Without Health Insurance Imagine you’re an expat who falls ill and requires hospitalization for a few days. Without health insurance, your medical expenses could include:

Hospital Admission: HKD 15,000 (approx.)
Doctor’s Consultation: HKD 2,000 (approx.)
Diagnostic Tests: HKD 5,000 (approx.)
Medications: HKD 3,000 (approx.)

Total Expenses: HKD 25,000 (approx.)

In addition to the immediate expenses, unforeseen health issues might result in long-term medical bills, impacting your financial stability and quality of life.

Scenario 2: With Health Insurance Now, let’s consider the same situation with health insurance coverage. Assuming you have a comprehensive health insurance policy:

– Hospital Admission: Covered
– Doctor’s Consultation: Covered
– Diagnostic Tests: Covered
– Medications: Covered

Total Expenses: Minimal or None

With health insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses are significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. This example illustrates how health insurance acts as a safety net, shielding you from unexpected medical costs and allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

Village Insurance Direct is committed to tailoring health insurance solutions that match your unique needs as an expat. Our policies offer a range of benefits, including coverage for hospitalization, outpatient treatments, maternity care, and more. We understand that navigating the world of health insurance can be complex, and our experienced advisors are here to guide you every step of the way.

Final Thoughts

Your health is your most valuable asset, and ensuring its protection should be a top priority. Health insurance empowers you to enjoy your expat life to the fullest while providing you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re prepared for any medical situation. Contact Village Insurance Direct today to explore health insurance options that will make your life as an expat in Hong Kong secure and worry-free.

12Aug

Navigating Life Insurance: Protecting Your Family as an Expat in Hong Kong

As an expat living in the vibrant city of Hong Kong, you’re undoubtedly enjoying the unique cultural experiences and professional opportunities this dynamic city offers. Amidst all the excitement, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of protecting your family’s future through comprehensive life insurance. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of life insurance for expats in Hong Kong and how Village Insurance Direct can help you secure your loved ones’ financial well-being.

Understanding the Need for Life Insurance

Life is unpredictable, and as an expat, you want to ensure that your family is financially secure, even if the unexpected occurs. Life insurance is a powerful tool that provides a safety net for your loved ones in the event of your untimely passing. It offers financial support to cover expenses such as outstanding debts, mortgage payments, education costs, and daily living expenses. By having a well-structured life insurance policy, you can have peace of mind knowing that your family’s future is safeguarded, regardless of the circumstances.

Tailored Solutions for Expats

At Village Insurance Direct, we understand that the insurance needs of expats can differ from those of local residents. Our team specializes in creating customized life insurance solutions that cater to your unique situation. Whether you’re a single professional, a married couple, or a family with children, we have policies designed to address your specific needs and priorities.

Key Features of Our Expatriate Life Insurance Policies

Global Coverage: Our policies provide coverage not only in Hong Kong but also internationally. This means that your insurance coverage remains intact whether you’re on a business trip or visiting your home country.

Currency Flexibility: You might have financial obligations in different currencies as an expat. Our policies offer currency flexibility, ensuring that benefits are paid out in the currency that’s most beneficial for your family.

Dual-Language Services: Navigating insurance terms and policies can be complex, especially in a foreign country. We provide dual-language services to ensure that you fully understand your policy and its benefits.

Ease of Access: Village Insurance Direct values your time and convenience. We’ve streamlined our application and claims processes so you can focus on what matters most to you.

Comprehensive Coverage: Our policies can cover a range of needs, from income replacement to education funds and mortgage protection. We work closely with you to determine the coverage that aligns with your family’s goals.

Why Choose Village Insurance Direct

With a strong reputation for providing tailored insurance solutions to expats, Village Insurance Direct is your trusted partner in securing your family’s financial future. We combine our expertise with a deep understanding of the expat lifestyle, ensuring that you receive the best coverage that fits your unique circumstances.

Get Started Today

Protecting your family’s future is a priority that shouldn’t be postponed. Contact Village Insurance Direct today to schedule a consultation with our experienced advisors. We’ll guide you through the process of selecting the right life insurance policy that aligns with your family’s needs and aspirations.

In the fast-paced world of expatriate life, having a reliable life insurance policy brings immeasurable peace of mind. Village Insurance Direct is committed to being your advocate, helping you make informed decisions and ensuring that your loved ones are cared for, no matter what the future holds.

30Jun

Travel is Back! What does this mean for insurers?

With international travel starting to pick up again after Covid-19, what does this mean for insurers?

There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a profound effect on the travel industry. According to the World Tourism Organization, global tourism arrivals declined by 70-80% in 2020.

This represents a loss of 1 billion to 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals and a revenue loss of US$1.2 trillion to US$1.3 trillion.

The good news is that travel is starting to pick up again. Europeans have begun jetting to popular holiday destinations like Portugal, Mexico, and The Caribbean.

What does this mean for travel insurers?

 

As travel starts to rebound, insurers will need to adapt their products and services to meet the new needs of travellers. For example, many insurers now offer insurance plans that cover Covid-19-related travel disruptions.

Some insurers are also offering Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which allows travellers to cancel their trip for any reason up to 48 hours before departure and receive a partial refund.

With travel starting to pick up again, it’s important for insurers to be prepared for the new reality of travel. by offering products and services that meet the needs of today’s travellers.

Countries That Require Travel Insurance with Covid-19 Protection

 

There are a number of countries that now require proof of travel insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19 in order to enter the country.

These countries include (This list may change over time so we recommend double-checking with each region’s policies):

– Germany

– Italy

– France

– Spain

– Greece

 

If you’re planning to travel to any of these countries, be sure to purchase travel insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19.

Asian countries that also require travel insurance with proof of Covid-19 coverage are (This list may change over time so we recommend double-checking with each region’s policies):

– Thailand

– Cambodia

– Laos

– Myanmar

– Vietnam

 

Do I Need Travel Insurance If I Have Health Insurance?

The answer to this question is, that it depends. Most standard health insurance policies do not cover you for medical expenses incurred outside of your home country. So, if you do get sick or injured while travelling, you will most likely have to pay out of pocket for all medical treatment.

Furthermore, even if your health insurance does provide some coverage for travel medical emergencies, there is a good chance that it will not cover the full cost. In these cases, travel insurance can help to cover the gap.

5May

How cancer burns through everything including your savings

Cancer takes more than lives. It also goes after a hefty amount of your savings.

In just a span of two years, half of all US cancer patients breeze through their funds, accentuating a total of $92,000 in twelve months.

This is all detailed in a new study called “Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer” which was published this month. According to its findings, these heavy costs are mostly of risk to be shouldered by the elderly and those without insurance, among others.

Killer expenses

In the US, cancer comes second to heart disease as the undisputed title-holder of the most notorious killer.

But unlike heart disease which has a pool of research and funds dedicated to it, the cost of cancer treatment, for any country is financially unfathomable. Annually, 1.6 million new Americans are diagnosed with cancer. From this, 600,000 barely finish treatment and die.

The healthcare system credits to spending $87.8 billion yearly for patients. Specifically, unfinished treatments resulting in death leads to a $130 billion cost.

A huge portion of treatment expenditure still falls on the patient. The American Cancer Society along with the Cancer Action Network reports that as of four years ago, findings revealed that patients still shouldered a total of $4 billion on their end just for seeking cancer treatment.

Crunching beyond the numbers

The core of the study took 9.5 million patients and 16 years to see completion (1998-2014).

Setting aside the statistics, the medical study delineates the kinks that needed to be worked out when it comes to medical budget and productivity.

The journal is an updated study from the same set of authors from five years ago and is published in the American Journal of Medicine. Initially, in the study’s first findings, it revealed that cancer, specifically, breast cancer, accounts for 33 million sick days among the US working citizens annually.

The update to the study echoes a more heartbreaking revelation: half of the cancer-afflicted patients within their study have started and been easily sunk into bankruptcy due to treatment expenses.

This brings a new reality to the table: that the economy pulls a really tensioned string even to cancer patients who struggle with the cost of treatment.

When toxicity seeps to your finances

A big danger lies in the fact that the risk for financial toxicity goes greater with cancer treatment. After years of fluctuation in the economy, one would think that the financial burden on the patients would’ve lessened but has so far remained consistent.

Grant Skrepnek, one of the paper’s writers believes the results were “shocking,” seeing as to how figures have reached higher levels, which he has seen in his 20 years in cancer research.

Despite the advent of immunotherapy, which is pegged as a vital tool for the possible elimination of cancer, Skrepnek believes that it also has downsides, such as its ability to hamper predictions for cancer trends.

Jennifer Singleterry believes otherwise and sees a bigger threat in short-term healthcare plans.

Singleterry, a senior policy analyst from the American Cancer Society is concerned with the coverage of these health care plans, which have a limited coverage and “caps” – which hurts finances as it doesn’t include cancer treatment.

She adds that dependency to these short-term plans will only be harmful to those afflicted will illness, who will be left with even higher insurance premiums.

What this ultimately reveals is another layer of fear added to cancer: first the diagnosis, and now the financial horrors.

Village Insurance Direct helps expats in Hong Kong find critical illness insurance. Contact us for inquiries.

 

2Mar

Common Expat Concerns After Arriving in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities for expats. There is also a large expat community providing an easier transition for people who move to the country as singles or with their families.

The biggest adjustment is often the language barrier but on top of that, there are other common concerns felt by expat. InterNations conducted a survey on November 2017 and these were identified as the most common concerns:

SOCIAL CIRCLES

Missing one’s friends is normal. But there is an expansive network of expats whom one can treat as their close support group. There are also numerous interest groups and organizations to join. In addition, social networks and instant messaging has made it easy to stay in touch with people back home. Setting schedules to chat or video call helps make the distance seem smaller.

Business culture with coworkers also falls under this category as Hong Kongers are known to be very serious workers. The most important thing to remember is to remain open and flexible with the local culture because it’s you who needs to adjust. You’ll find that the experience is more pleasant than what you may have initially assumed. One way to initiate social interactions with coworkers is adding them as a professional connection through LinkedIn. This establishes a professional yet approachable means of reaching out to people you work with.

GIVING BIRTH IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong has one of the top medical facilities in the Asia. Having a child is not so much the issue but rather making the choice of giving birth in a public hospital or subscribing to private health care.

Having health insurance that can cover $100,000 or more for prenatal and postnatal care implies checking into a private hospital so you can choose your own obstetrician, have a private room, and get regular check-ups with the same doctor. This is not to say that public healthcare is bad in Hong Kong. In fact, public medical facilities are quite advanced, however, one gains greater control over what happens to you with insurance and private care.

Village Insurance Direct is one of the few companies that help expats find comprehensive health insurance in Hong Kong.

GETTING A NANNY OR DOMESTIC HELPER

Expat parents don’t have to necessarily get a domestic helper or nanny but it is one of the normal practices for dual earning households. Having a nanny to take care of the kids instead of leaving them in a day care is preferred by more expats.

We’ve written a blog which provides useful information on the process and expectations when getting a domestic helper. You can read it here: Expat Guide: Hiring a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

Note that employers are required to get insurance for domestic helpers. We also provide help in finding cheap insurance for expats.

IS IT WORTH LEARNING MANDARIN/CHINESE?

Taking on the challenge of learning a new language to better communicate with coworkers and new friends is worth the time and effort. Not only will it make life easier but you’ll find that you’ll be more open to exploring other activities outside of your comfort zone.

There are tutors that are available on an hourly basis. One can easily get an online tutor and conduct the lessons online to save the time of going to class. But learning is different for everyone so we recommend trying both to see which works for you.

Need help in finding personal, family, or business insurance? Contact Village Insurance for enquiries.

6Dec

Reducing the Stress When Travelling with Kids

Travelling with a child is not easy. As much as we would want to travel with the whole family, the logistics can be a great source of stress and anxiety. However, just like with anything in life, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Here are a few tips for stress-free travelling with a child:

Take care of yourself before anybody else.

Monkey see, monkey do. If a child sees or feels anxiety from the parents, then they would most likely copy the mood. It’s important to remember that in order to take care of someone, you have to be in your best condition first. So, make sure that you get enough sleep before the trip and your health is conditioned for travel. Take Vitamin Cs to boost your immunity. With all the stress that’s bound to come, you’re going to need it.

Destination, planning, and packing.

Take into account if the place you’re going is suitable for the child. You can save that Machu Picchu hiking expedition for when your 2-year-old is a little older. Also, make sure that you always have a child-friendly room where you’re going, especially if travelling with an infant.

Create a schedule and book the rooms and the places you want to visit in advance as much as possible. It’s better to have an adjustable itinerary in cases of emergency, rather than have none at all.

Pack just enough diapers and pull-ups for the trip to your destination. Book a room near a pharmacy for easy access to your child’s necessities.

Food, water, and first aid

Keep them fed and hydrated with low-sugar snacks. Make sure all their necessary vitamins, medications and formula are in your carry-on.

Distractions

Bring their favourite toy and keep art supplies within your reach for when your child starts to get bored. Load your tablet or smartphone with their favourite shows.

Keep them close

Save yourself from a heart attack and buy a kid’s harness. It’s weird to see a child on a leash but it will keep them close to you. Before going out, write your contact details on your child’s arm and make them wear a bracelet tag with the same information. At night, make sure that they’re wearing something fluorescent, like a glow stick, to easily spot them in a crowd should they stray.

At the end of the day, we just want our kids to be comfortable, happy, and safe. So, it’s important to meticulously plan a child-centred trip. Making them part of that process ensures satisfaction of not only your child but, also, yourself.

FAMILY INSURANCE

We recommend getting family insurance especially when traveling for an extended period of time. Find an international plan that covers the country you’re visiting. We help expats find the right family insurance for expats living in Hong Kong.

28Oct

Traveling for Food: Exploring food allergies

What draws you to travel?

What blossomed in the East started to find its way into the global palate. Expats from Europe and the US have made gastronomic trips to Asia to further understand the culture of each different country, from the bowls of spicy noodles to the more exotic street and hawker stalls.

However, there is a limit to knowing the world through cuisines. Embedded within us is a limiting agent in the form of allergies to remind us that our body can only handle so much.

Allergies are our body’s unique way of telling us what is compatible and what is not to our system. The reactions extend to the basic choices we make such as “tasty” or “not”.

By law, the FDA has listed eight categories as designated food allergens (Milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans).

The categories seem easy on first glance until you realize that food allergies vary individually. Recent researches highlight the stark contrast with allergens through regions, such as in the West versus the East. This is vital information for travellers.

Here are a few common food allergies to help backpackers, expats, and casual travellers be more cautious while they explore Asia through food.

food allergies while travelling - Village Insurance Direct Hong Kong

Shellfish

According to a paper written in 2013, shellfish tops the list in food allergens in Asians, particularly in children, mainly due to its availability and demand in the region. A 2014 study from the Singapore Medical Journal, also reinforces the idea. While a lot of Asian cuisines is built on shellfish, a large chunk of the population remains highly allergic to it.

Peanuts

Peanuts remain as the top allergen in America and in some parts of Europe. The total number of cases in Asia is relatively low, but in some areas like in Singapore, the statistics prove otherwise. A good 15 years ago, peanut allergies had lower cases and aren’t considered a top allergen, until recently. This is a testament to the changing diets Asians have had through the years.

Wheat

Rice is the staple carbohydrate of every Asian. But to have wheat included in the list makes you want to feel bad for craving for bread as much as the next guy. Japan and South Korea, two countries famous for revolutionary modern takes on bread, suffer from prevalent cases of wheat allergy. They also rake in high numbers of anaphylaxis cases from this specific allergen.

Travel as much as you like, and eat as much as you like. Food allergies exist to make you aware of your limits, but not to scare you to crawl back to your comfort zones. Be bold and stick NOT with what you’re always comfortable with, but with what you’re COMPATIBLE with.

Serious allergic reaction to food can cause some people to be hospitalized. To be more secure during your travel, make sure you find a travel insurance that covers emergency hospitalization in the country you’re travelling.

We find the best travel insurance for expats living in Hong Kong.

8Sep

Infographic: What is Study Companion Insurance?

It can be stressful and worrisome for parents to send their children abroad to study. Health emergencies, lost property, and tuition are some of the most common concerns from parents.

Fortunately, there is a specific insurance dedicated to cover these emergencies for students studying abroad. Eligibility includes:

  • Hong Kong residents
  • Full-time student aged 35 years old
    or below
  • Having proof of admission issued by a recognised institution of learning outside Hong Kong

The infographic below shows key information about Study Companion Insurance.

 

 

 

4Jul

Infographic: What A Standard Travel Insurance Policy Covers

Travel insurance policies, especially for international travel, differ. It is important to get a policy that covers all possible incidents during your trip. Ask your provider about it. We find the best travel insurance policies for expats.

This infographic shows the standard coverage for most travel insurance policies for international travel.

Infographic: What A Standard Travel Insurance Policy Covers - Village Insurance Direct Hong Kong