Hero Tips for medical insurance
【Hero Tips for medical insurance】
Managing physical and mental health
Pressure at a moderate level will make you work harder and progress, but chronic stress without proper handling may cause mental illness. The deaths of local singer and South Korean actress earlier were deeply regrettable. In addition, some seemingly minor symptoms may become serious if they aren’t handled properly. For example, glaucoma may lead to blindness without proper treatment. To live a healthy life, we must start by paying attention to both physical and mental health protection.
Hong Kong people are under physical and mental stress, with great need for mental health support
Mental health problems in Hong Kong are very common. Among the 16- to 75-year-old population, about 1 in 7 people suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental disorders1. The 24-hour emotional support hotline of the Hong Kong Samaritan Suicide Prevention Society received 2,652 requests for “mental health problems” and 1,994 requests for “physical health problems” in 20182. Paying attention to physical and mental health is equally important. Long-term stress can have an impact on physical health, such as dizziness, headache, rapid heartbeat or difficulty breathing. It may also cause anxiety, depression and even affect memory and concentration. The mental health survey conducted last September by Bupa Hong Kong showed that 75% of the respondents concerned about their mental health, but 80% of Hong Kong people do not have enough time to de-stress. Both women (61%) and men (70%) ranked work as the top source of stress3. The General Manager of Bupa Hong Kong, Andrew Merrilees, pointed out that: " A report released by Bupa Global in July found that over 87% of senior executives in Hong Kong have experienced physical and mental health pressure during the coronavirus pandemic4. Figures from the Hospital Authority also reveal that the waiting time for stable psychiatric cases in specialist outpatient clinics in public hospitals is 117 weeks, showing that the public have significant mental health needs. However, there has been a lack of adequate coverage for mental illness in Hong Kong’s insurance market5. As a health insurance specialist, we’re committed to understanding the needs of Hong Kong people and providing comprehensive physical and mental protection."
Introduce emotional support and 24-hour hotline to relieve worries
Bupa began launching mental health support programmes in the UK, Australia and Spain a few years ago. Andrew Merrilees continued: "We expect that in the next 10 to 30 years, mental health will be another major health concern in Hong Kong beyond cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, Bupa has been actively exploring the introduction of mental health support in Hong Kong. So far, we’ve provided employee health management solutions for more than 3,000 companies of various sizes. And we’re committed to providing healthy workplace and comprehensive health management services to help employees maintain their best physical and mental health."
In order to address the physical and mental health needs of the public, Bupa launched the Bupa Hero VHIS Plan, which is the first VHIS plan in Hong Kong to provide extensive mental health support. The 24-hour Mental Health Service Hotline, staffed by qualified and experienced counsellors, offers emotional support and personalised counselling. If needed, face-to-face psychological counselling by clinical psychologists can be arranged. Eligible members with clinical benefits are also entitled to full cover for outpatient psychiatric treatments and psychological counselling from the mental health clinical network.
Comprehensive health protection with suitable optional benefits
Apart from mental health, early intervention of physical health problems is also important. For example, currently the dental clinics operated by the Hong Kong government mainly serve civil servants. Only 11 dental clinics provide the public with dental outpatient services, but these are limited to emergency services such as pain relief and tooth extraction6. Public dental services are not enough to meet the needs of the public, so many people have to seek services from voluntary organisations, private dental clinics or private hospitals. However, don’t think that the cost of dental treatment is insignificant. Taking root canals as an example, the charge for one tooth ranges from HK$6,600 to HK$25,0007. Dental expenses may be higher than expected so it’s wise to prepare in advance.
Also, many people are not paying enough attention to eye health. A survey published by the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service last year showed that more than 40% of the respondents had eye discomfort, including tiny dark spots, flashes or abnormalities in the macular area. However, more than 80% of the respondents did not receive regular eye examinations8. The Hong Kong government is currently implementing a private-private partnership pilot programme, named "Cataract Surgeries Programme" to provide a fixed subsidy of HK$5,000 for cataract surgery. Therefore, patients only need to pay no more than HK$8,000 for diagnosis and treatment provided by private ophthalmologists. But the waiting time may be up to two years9. To speed up treatment and avoid added medical expenses, some insurance companies also provide optional benefits to allow their members to enjoy appropriate eye services.
Bupa Hero offers comprehensive protection with an annual coverage of up to HK$30 million. For common serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease, eligible medical expenses can be fully covered. In response to the different healthcare needs of the public, Bupa Hero offers 4 optional benefits, including clinical, maternity, dental and optical benefits. The dental and optical Benefits cover scaling and polishing, fillings and extractions, as well as optical expenses for consultation and one pair of glasses or contact lenses for optical correction per policy year. This provides comprehensive support for people’s various medical needs.
Select the suitable medical insurance products & service for a better future
It’s time to care for your health. In addition to practicing good life habits, it is important to look for a trustworthy and professional medical insurer. Andrew Merrilees said: "As a trusted healthcare partner of Hong Kong people, our Health Coaching Services are staffed by a team of qualified nurses, health management professionals and doctors, offering a variety of specialist healthcare support, including 24/7 healthline, care manager, second medical opinion service, chronic conditions programme etc. to provide professional support and health advice to reduce your worries. Our professional team is here to share various medical insurance and healthcare advice with the public. Going forward, Bupa will further enhance its medical insurance products and services and continue to strengthen its leading position in the industry. We are actively planning for personalised and flexible insurance services for the younger generation. We hope our high-quality and innovative products and services will help the public actively manage their health and live longer, healthier, happier lives."
(Original article (Traditional Chinese version only) published at: Mingpao Finance website)
1 Mental health service 2017 https://www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/chinese/1617issh29-mental-health-services-20170626-c.pdf (Chinese only)
A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2752381?resultClick=1
2 SBHK annual report 2018 https://www.sbhk.org.hk/images/big/SBHK_Annual%20Report2018_Final_3.pdf
3 Bupa’s survey - 80% of Hong Kong people do not have enough time to de-stress https://www.bupa.com.hk/tc/media-centre/2019-10-10/
4 Bupa Global Research finds Hong Kong and Mainland China senior executives increasingly concerned about health issues https://www.bupa.com.hk/en/media-centre/2020-07-22/
5 Learn about medical insurance with Andrew https://www.bupa.com.hk/learn-mi-with-andrew/blog-2020-05-27/
6 List of Clinics and Health Centres https://www.dh.gov.hk/english/tele/tele_chc/tele_chc_dcgps.html
7 Schedule of Fees for private patients in The Prince Philip Dental Hospital http://ppdh.org.hk/en/schedule-of-fees/private-patients/
8 Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, LC-HKS https://hklss.hk/en/news-center/press-release/974-primary-care-20191105 (Chinese only)
9 Cataract Surgeries Programme https://www3.ha.org.hk/ppp/csp.aspx?lang=eng
The above summary of our insurance products is for reference only. It is not, and does not form part of, a contract of insurance and is designed to provide an overview of the key features of these products.
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