Posted on Mar 16, 2015 by Alex Nellist
As of March 31, 2015, international health giant Bupa will stop the sale of their IHI plans to new clients in Hong Kong - existing IHI plan holders in Hong Kong can still renew their plans however. For people and businesses in Hong Kong who don’t currently have an IHI plan, Bupa will offer their new range of global plans developed under the Bupa Global brand.
On April 1, 2015, a range of four new tiered plans will go on sale to people residing or working in Hong Kong or around the globe. According to Bupa, these plans were developed based on input from over 3,000 people from around the globe, and offer, not only strong service, but also a range of coverage that includes a number of wellness services that ultimately aim to protect the overall health of any planholder.
Because these are new plans that represent a departure from Bupa’s old options, Pacific Prime has taken a closer look into the plan options available and some interesting coverage elements that will be introduced.
Bupa Global Select
This plan offers regional coverage with an annual limit of USD 1.5 million for both in-patient and outpatient care in the Asia-Pacific region. If you need to stay in the hospital, this plan covers a semi-private room. This plan also covers mental health consultations (up to 15 per policy year), prescribed medicine (up to USD 1,500 per year), health screenings (up to USD 400 per policy year), physiotherapy (paid in full), and more.
Bupa Global Premier
This plan offers global coverage, including in the US, with an annual limit of USD 2.5 million for both in- and out-patient care. As with the Global Select plan, if you require hospitalization, this plan covers a semi-private room.
Along with an increased premium, coverage elements are more extensive when compared with the Global Select plan. For example, there is coverage for 30 mental health consultations per policy year. On top of this, more daily health needs are covered. This includes vaccinations (up to USD 750 per policy year), eye checkups (1 test each policy year), and preventative dental (two visits per policy year after a 6 month waiting period).
Bupa Global Elite
This plan offers global coverage with an annual limit of USD 5 million, and a private room if you need to stay in the hospital. It also adds expanded coverage elements. For example, vaccinations has been increased to USD 1,500 per policy year. When compared with the previous two plans, the Global Elite adds 4 major elements:
- Enhanced dental coverage - Up to USD 4,000 per policy year, with coverage for emergency dental, routine dental, orthodontics, etc.
- Home nursing - Paid in full up to 30 days per policy year.
- Maternity - Including normal and emergency cesarean section delivery, with coverage up to USD 15,000 and USD 30,000 per policy year respectively. Available after a 10-month waiting period.
- Complementary therapies - Including reflexology and acupuncture - both paid in full.
Bupa Global Ultimate
This plan represents the highest level of coverage offered by Bupa’s new Global plans, with global coverage and an unlimited annual limit leading to nearly unlimited protection. If you require hospitalization, (inpatient, maternity, or outpatient) nearly all services are covered in full along with a private suite for the duration of your stay.
This plan also introduces extra coverage elements including evacuation during non-medical emergencies (e.g., natural disasters), yearly genetic cancer screening, and unlimited access to specialists, therapists, and complementary medicine. Of note is that this plan also includes cover for two children up to the age of 16.
Pacific Prime’s analysis of these new plans
Neil Raymond, MD at Pacific Prime commented on the new plans, “The IHI plans have sold well in Hong Kong for decades and have developed a strong following in the city. That being said, we (Pacific Prime) understand Bupa’s move to retire these plans, and replace them with new ones that are not only designed to be sustainable for the long term, but are also more aligned with Bupa Global’s brand. Strategically, this is a sound branding move.” He continued, “Pacific Prime is extremely interested to see how the Hong Kong market will react to these new plans.”
Which plan is best for you?
In Hong Kong, as well as in many other countries, Pacific Prime predicts that there will be a fair amount of interest in these new plans, especially among High Net Worth expats. No doubt, the most common question asked by those looking for individual health insurance plans or family health insurance plans is, “Which is best?”
The answer to that can be a little complicated. One thing's for sure, the top two plans are aimed at a niche market who is looking for the best coverage money can buy, without worrying about the price. The other plans certainly do offer a wealth of benefits that many expats will find attractive. For those interested, Pacific Prime strongly recommends getting in touch with one of our agents, as our experts can help explain the ins and outs of these plans, and help you to find the one that fits your needs and budget.
Contact us today to learn more.