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International Health Insurance for Expats in Hong Kong

See Pacific Prime’s guide about international health insurance coverage in Hong Kong, as well as facts on the local healthcare system.

Hong Kong International Health Insurance for Expats and Foreigners 

Expats can purchase international health insurance for their trip to Hong Kong to save themselves from expensive medical bills. Private healthcare in Hong Kong is among the most expensive in the world, and the right policy can protect expats and their families. 

Hong Kong offers healthcare at a very low cost for citizens and eligible visitors, but public health facilities have their own disadvantages. Long wait times and overcrowding are a common issue. Private health facilities are a great benefit to those who purchase their own private health insurance. 

Pacific Prime is your leading Asian insurance intermediary, headquartered in Hong Kong and serving over 120,000 clients across 30 different countries. Whether you’re looking for coverage for yourself or your family, our team of experienced and qualified advisors can provide HK health insurance solutions that meet your needs.

We’ve created this guide to help you understand the differences between the private and public healthcare systems in Hong Kong. To download the FREE PDF just click the button below.

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The Healthcare System in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is well known for having one of the best public health systems in Asia, as well as top-quality private health care options. 

The healthcare system is overseen by the Department of Health (DH) and the Hospital Authority (HA). They promote universal access to healthcare with heavily subsidized healthcare. This subsidized healthcare is available to all Hong Kong citizens and expats with a valid visa and Hong Kong ID.

The private healthcare sector in Hong Kong boasts a smaller 13 hospitals, but these institutions offer patients much shorter waiting times and greater freedom for individuals to arrange surgeries to suit their schedules.

Many expats choose private medical insurance coverage for shorter wait times, multilingual staff, and greater access and options of care in private hospitals and clinics.

Access to Public Healthcare in Hong Kong for Expats

Expats living in Hong Kong with a valid visa and with a Hong Kong ID card will have access to highly subsidized public healthcare. Hong Kong requires all residents above age 11 to register for a Hong Kong ID, and this applies to expats as well. 

If you plan to stay in Hong Kong longer than 180 days, you will need to apply for an ID card within 30 days of arriving in Hong Kong.

Using Healthcare Services in Hong Kong

Expats can access healthcare services in Hong Kong by presenting their passport, visa, or Hong Kong ID if they have one at a public hospital. For emergency care, most public hospitals offer 24/7 accident and emergency services. 

Doctor Visits

Doctors in Hong Kong can be found by using the government’s Primary Care Directory. When making an appointment with a doctor through the public healthcare system, plan far in advance. These services are in high demand and can have weeks-long waiting times. 

Dental Services 

Dental services are not offered by the public healthcare system, and you will need to have a private health insurance policy if you want to avoid paying the full cost of dental bills.

Pharmacies and Medicines 

Many pharmacies in Hong Kong are located in hospitals and are open 24 hours a day. Chinese Traditional Medicine is a normal part of healthcare in Hong Kong and isn’t seen as an “alternative” form of medicine.


Private Healthcare Coverage for Expats in Hong Kong

Private healthcare coverage is a valuable tool for those who want more additional benefits than public health insurance can offer. For example, dental benefits can be purchased through private healthcare. Private coverage also provides access to private hospitals and clinics. 

Types of Coverage

Expats can purchase private health insurance with two different coverage options: annual or long-term. Annual insurance is one year long, while long-term coverage is longer than a year. 

Private Coverage Benefits

Some of the benefits covered by private health insurance include virtual doctor appointments, evacuation and repatriation, and more. With attractive and customizable benefits, private health insurance offers a well-rounded approach to care. 

Here is a more inclusive list of private coverage benefits: 

  • Virtual doctor appointments
  • Fast claims and compensation for medical costs
  • Comprehensive emergency and accident coverage
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Mental health support
  • Second medical opinion service

Expats Who Benefit from International Health Insurance in Hong Kong

Professionals, families, and retirees are among the expats who benefit most from international health insurance plans. 


Professional expats who travel often for work will appreciate a health insurance policy that provides them coverage wherever they go. No matter where work takes them, they can rest assured they have the financial protection they need. 


Families have varying healthcare needs, which will not always be supported by public healthcare systems. Expat families will value the coverage provided by plans that protect and serve their unique medical needs. 


Retiree expats may require unique health support, such as chronic condition management or cancer screenings. Private health insurance plans can be tailored to retiree needs to make sure the plans fit their lifestyle.


Choosing the Right International Health Insurance Provider

Expats will want to choose an international health insurance provider that offers a wide global reach, family-friendly solutions, and customizable benefits and services. 

When selecting an insurance provider, take care to shop around and compare plans. You can do so here on Pacific Prime’s website


The Best International Health Insurance Providers with Coverage in Hong Kong 

Pacific Prime is partnered with top international health insurance providers that offer coverage to expats in Hong Kong. They provide plans with comprehensive and customizable coverage and benefits, expansive geographical coverage, and varying prices for different budgets.

The companies are listed below:

International Health Insurance in Hong Kong - Plans and Coverage

The best international health insurance companies in Hong Kong include Aetna, Allianz, and more. We will offer a brief overview below of each provider and the key points and benefits of their plans and coverage. 


Aetna is a Fortune 100 company in the United States and offers expats comprehensive quality healthcare coverage in Hong Kong. They offer flexible and customizable benefits plans with additional options for medical, vision, dental, and pharmacy coverage. 

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:

  • Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment (up to 90 days)
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Rehabilitation up to 120 days
  • Emergency dental and optical treatment


Allianz offers comprehensive insurance plans in Hong Kong to cater to all expats’ needs. Riders are available to be purchased and attached to any basic policy that Allianz approves. These riders can offer coverage for accidents and other risks for travelers.

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes: 

  • Inpatient costs
  • Diagnostics and laboratory tests
  • Surgeries
  • Ambulances transport
  • Cancer treatment 


AXA global health insurance offers expats in Hong Kong different plans with different levels of coverage and customizable additional benefits. They offer both short-term and long-term plans, with comprehensive coverage for any medical needs. 

Some examples of shared coverage by all AXA insurance plans include: 

  • Hospital charges and surgery
  • Emergency coverage
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Cancer treatment

Bupa Global

Bupa Global is one of the largest medical networks in Hong Kong, as well as the rest of the world. They offer their members tailor-made plans and guaranteed lifetime renewal. They provide high-quality service with a personal relationship manager available for their members. 

Some of the features Bupa’s plans offer include: 

  • Inpatient coverage
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation 
  • 24/7 access to medical advice through the Bupa Global service center
  • Direct access to specialists without referral 

Cigna Global

Cigna Global provides flexible insurance plans to expats in Hong Kong. They offer 24/7 access to a customer care team and access to any private health facilities. Their plans are both customizable and comprehensive. 

Cigna has a silver, gold, and platinum plan with different levels of coverage. All three of these plans share several common key coverage benefits: 

  • Hospitalization 
  • Inpatient and day-patient treatments
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Accidental death or total permanent disability compensation

NOW Health

NOW Health International offers expats abroad in Hong Kong comprehensive health insurance solutions. They also provide plans for international students. They offer online claim processes through a mobile app and provide other prompt online support.

They have several different tiers of plans with different coverage and limits. These are the shared benefits featuring across all of the plans:  

  • In-patient and day-patient care
  • Organ transplant
  • Evacuation and repatriation
  • Cancer treatment
  • Rehabilitation

Additional International Health Insurance Benefits and Coverage

Basic international health insurance plans cover inpatient treatment costs and hospitalizations, but most insurance providers also allow additional coverage options to extend your benefits. This could cover benefits like dental, optical, maternity, and more. 

  • Dental: You can have dental check-ups, cleanings, and major dental procedures covered by customizable, additional benefits when selecting your international health insurance plan.
  • Maternity and family coverage: Expats looking to expand their family can purchase international health insurance plans to cover prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care. There are also additional benefits to cover the newborn.
  • Preventive care: Certain health insurance plans will offer regular health checkups and screenings, along with vaccinations and wellness programs. These resources will help expats keep themselves healthy as they begin their new adventure abroad.

Pre-existing Conditions

Expats with pre-existing conditions may have limited coverage options when purchasing international insurance in Hong Kong but there are still alternative solutions available. You can choose a plan with a pre-existing condition exclusion, a moratorium, or coverage with loading.  

Here is a general overview of what each term means: 

  • Exclusion: The insurer will not pay or reimburse the policyholder for medical bills related to the condition if they choose to buy a plan from them.
  • Moratorium: The insurance company offers health insurance but excludes and observes the pre-existing condition for a certain time known as the waiting period. This period is usually 24 months, and the insurance company reviews its decision.
  • Coverage with loading: Insurance companies may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, but only with higher premiums. Not all pre-existing conditions are eligible for this kind of coverage, and not all companies offer this option.

Pacific Prime Customer Testimonials

Pacific Prime has more than 20 years in the insurance industry and has built a strong reputation for quality customer service and impartial advice. 

This is evidenced by one customer testimonial we received: 

“Service, manner, and advice was some of the best that I have received since I have lived overseas. If I find myself in needing medical insurance in the future I will not hesitate in contacting you.” 

You can find more customer testimonials here.


Expats in Hong Kong should purchase an international health insurance plan if they wish for greater coverage and access to private health facilities. While public healthcare is less expensive, it is also more crowded with longer wait times.

Choosing a health insurance solution for Hong Kong can be a confusing task, but Pacific Prime has all the information you’ll need to find the right medical insurance for your stay in Hong Kong.

Our health insurance page can show you the sort of HK medical insurance solutions we offer, or you can check out our online comparison tool to start comparing plans. If you want to talk to someone, please contact our expert advisors who can make the process easy!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is international health insurance in Hong Kong worth it?

International health insurance is worth the investment if you value customizable and comprehensive benefits and protection against high medical bills. It is especially worth it if you are not eligible for a Hong Kong ID, as you will be forced to pay the full price for any medical care you receive. 

2. Is healthcare expensive in Hong Kong?

Public healthcare is subsidized for those with Hong Kong ID cards and is very low, but private healthcare costs can be very expensive. Those who still choose to use the public healthcare system even without a Hong Kong ID should still prepare for higher medical costs.

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