Hero Tips for medical insurance
【Hero Tips for medical insurance】
With medical insurance of high coverage, you can receive treatment without worries
JAMA Oncology, a medical journal published by the American Medical Association, released its latest report on the global burden of cancer, showing that the odds of developing cancer during a lifetime (ages 0-79 years) were 1 in 3 for men and 1 in 4 for women1. If suffers from cancer, medical expenses may result in financial crisis in the family. However, as long as you plan earlier and choose medical insurance with suitable coverage and offering full cover, you can cope with increasing medical expenses and receive the right treatment and care without pressure.
Approximately 71% of the world’s population die from non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes, and the number of deaths reaches 41 million every year2. Early diagnosis and treatment are effective ways to reduce the risk of death. Let’s take cancer as an example. According to figures from the Hong Kong Cancer Information and Statistics Center, the three most common cancers in Hong Kong (2017) are colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer, and the annual number of cases are 5,635, 5,178 and 4,391, respectively. Over the past ten years, the number of new cancer cases has increased by 3.1% every year on average, but the population growth rate is only 0.7%3. It’s obvious that cancer is becoming more common. However, how many people are prepared for cancer?
The cost of treatment exceeds expectations and is difficult for citizens to afford
As long as there is proper treatment and continuous drug control, some cancers can also achieve an ideal survival period. However, some patients will have to give up on a treatment because they cannot afford the medical expenses. Andrew Merrilees, General Manager, Bupa Hong Kong explained: “Hong Kong's healthcare market is experiencing rapid medical inflation of 8% to 10% annually4, resulting in a significant increase in medical expenditure, this is in turn putting pressure on medical insurance premiums. It’s projected that by 2030, the annual number of new cases of major diseases such as cancer will increase by 35%5. The cost for typical cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy) are escalating, however less than half of Hong Kong people are financially prepared for the possibility of future cancer treatment expenses6."
A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Association of Practicing Doctors and the patient group Cancer Information in 2018 found that Hong Kong people largely underestimated the cost of cancer treatment. Only 42% of the Hong Kong people interviewed were prepared for future cancer treatment expenses, and more than half of the respondents thought that cancer treatment in government hospitals can receive drug subsidy. In fact, most targeted therapy and immunotherapy drugs are classified as self-funded on the drug list. The survey pointed out that public spending on self-financed drugs in government hospitals for treatment of advanced cancer is HK$266,677 (median), while in the private system, the overall treatment costs are as high as HK$1,293,0007. And to raise out it is important to prepare for comprehensive medical protection as early as possible.
It’s difficult for the general public to afford ever-increasing medical expenses. If they’re unfortunately diagnosed with a serious disease, it’s more likely to cause a great deal of pressure on their families. That’s why it’s very important to be prepared for medical expenses as soon as possible. If you choose a comprehensive medical insurance plan, it can help put your mind at ease. There are medical insurance products in the market covering cancer treatment. Bupa Hero VHIS Plan provides a comprehensive solution for cancer treatment coverage, with full cover for prescribed non-surgical cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and so on, so that customers can get the treatments necessary for recovery. The plan also offers flexible premiums and comprehensive protection for mental and physical health. It provides coverage of up to HK$30 million per year in Asia and full cover for eligible medical expenses, such as surgeon fees, intensive care, prescribed diagnostic imaging tests and inpatient psychiatric treatment, taking care of various medical needs. With Bupa Hero, patients can worry less about medical expenses and can enjoy suitable treatment leading to recovery.
Full cover gives peace of mind
Medical fees are generally divided into various items, such as surgeon’s fees, doctor's visit fees, miscellaneous expenses and so on. Some insurance policies will set a maximum limit for each item, and sometimes some items may exceed the coverage limit. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to go over budget as a result of insufficient coverage. Andrew suggested: "To avoid paying high medical expenses, the public can consider medical insurance with full cover. Such plans have an annual benefit limit with no limit on each individual benefit item. Eligible medical expenses incurred in Asia are fully covered, such as room and meal expenses, surgery expenses, anaesthesiologist fees, hospitalisation expenses, and also diagnostic imaging, laboratory tests and physical therapy after surgery or cancer treatment, as long as your total eligible medical expenses don’t exceed the annual benefit limit. In this case, you won't need to worry about paying the difference if a particular medical expense exceeds the limit. Different full cover plans also provide different hospital room types and total coverage amounts. The public can choose based on their needs or medical inflation. "
Bupa Hero guarantees lifetime renewal and has no lifetime benefit limit, ensuring that customers can always enjoy high-quality medical protection. Moreover, the choice of premiums is transparent. Customers can choose a deductible option according to their needs to enjoy more flexible premiums. In addition, this plan has set up the first mental health clinical network and a free 24-hour Mental Health Service Hotline. Experienced and qualified counselors provide personalised emotional support and counseling services to offer Hong Kong people more comprehensive physical and mental health protection. Andrew emphasized: "Bupa's purpose is to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives. We hope that by providing more comprehensive medical protection, we can raise public awareness of the importance of medical insurance, which can help them cope with disease and receive treatment without worries, and expect recovery as soon as possible.”
(Original article (Traditional Chinese version only) published at: Mingpao Finance website)
1 Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years for 29 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2017
A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2752381?resultClick=1
2 Noncommunicable diseases https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
3 Summary of Cancer Statistics 2017 https://www3.ha.org.hk/cancereg/pdf/overview/Summary%20of%20CanStat%202017_tc.pdf (Chinese only)
4 Hong Kong Federation of Insurers Position Paper on Consultation on Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS): http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr14-15/chinese/panels/hs/hs_hps/papers/hs_hpscb2-1098-1-ec.pdf
5 Hong Kong Cancer Strategy 2019: https://www.fhb.gov.hk/download/press_and_publications/otherinfo/190700_hkcs/e_hkcs_fully.pdf
6 Survey conducted by The Cancer Information in July 2018: https://cancerinformation.com.hk/web/2018/07/18 (Chinese only)
7 Domestic Health Account https://www.fhb.gov.hk/statistics/en/dha/dha_summary_report.htm#D
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