Hong Kong’s private healthcare sector is one of the most expensive in the world and there are no limits to what healthcare providers can charge. Moreover, expatriates are often referred towards the most expensive options. Here are 5 tips to help reduce your healthcare costs in Hong Kong; tips which can be very useful if you are not covered by the Cadillac Plan of health insurance policies.
1. Health Insurance
It is highly recommended to have good medical coverage in Hong Kong. If your employer does not provide international inpatient and outpatient coverage or you simply can’t afford paying for it yourself, your second best option is inpatient-only coverage. Your premium will be much lower and you will still be covered for potential hospitalizations and serious medical emergencies.
2. Hospital Room Type
The best way to reduce your hospital medical bills is to choose a standard room (from 4 to 6 patients) instead of a private or semi-private room. In Hong Kong, hospital fees are charged separately from physician fees which are proportional to the room type. In other words, the more expensive the room, the higher the physicians’ fees, and this even if the level of care is the same.
3. Healthcare Practitioners
Just like for the real estate sector, the closer you are to Central and the affluent neighborhoods, the higher the medical fees are. When looking for healthcare practitioners, bear in mind that professionals working in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui for instance, can be 50 % less expensive.
4. Medical Tourism
Health check-ups and dental care are generally poorly reimbursed by local and international health insurance policies. If you often travel in Southeast Asia, why not take advantage of your holiday in Thailand to have your annual check-ups and dental treatments done at much lower costs. Thailand is one of the world’s best destinations for providing high-quality medical services at affordable prices.
5. Maternity: Going down the “half-half” route
Giving birth at a private hospital in Hong Kong can easily cost more than HK$100,000. Several expat parents who do not have extensive maternity coverage have been opting for the “half-half” route. Pre-natal and post-natal care is provided by a private OBGYN or midwife (or both) and parents opt for a public hospital for the actual delivery. If you have a HK ID Card, the cost for a delivery in a public hospital amounts to HK$50 for the admission fees and HK$100 per day all inclusive, even the epidural.