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Bupa launches flexible group health insurance "Bupa Empower"

Hong Kong,04 Oct 2021

Bupa launches flexible group health insurance "Bupa Empower" to
support the 45% of Hong Kong SMEs who lack medical cover

The plan offers 700+ benefit combinations to support all sizes of businesses
from start-ups to SMEs with 2-50 employees

Bupa Hong Kong, the leading health insurance specialist, announced today the launch of the Bupa Empower SME Health Insurance Scheme ("Bupa Empower"), supporting companies to boost their productivity and retain talent. Standing out from current plans in the market, the scheme provides employers – from 2-person start-ups to 50-person small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – with over 700 combination options providing the ultimate level of flexibility and customisation in health protection.

Bupa believes health and wellbeing should be accessible by everyone, and Bupa Empower will allow thousands of people in Hong Kong to be more proactive and better protected with their health.

Despite SMEs making up more than 98% of Hong Kong’s businesses and employing about half of the workforce in the private sector1, a recent Bupa survey2 revealed that a staggering 45% of them do not provide medical insurance (MI) coverage to their employees. And there’re some clear reasons for this. Surveyed SMEs encountered common challenges when purchasing group MI, including high premiums that exceed their budgets (49%), company size being too small to be covered (29%) and a lack of available choices (23%), reflecting an alarming protection gap for the majority of Hong Kong’s labour force. The survey also revealed a gap between employees’ expectations and what SMEs cover. Over 60% of surveyed SME employees said that wellness benefits such as dental and health check-ups were important, but only a minority of SMEs provide dental (10%) and check-up benefits (9%).

To directly address these frustrations, Bupa Empower will offer employers market-unique features including3:

  • Group MI to be immediately accessible to SMEs who have at least 2 employees

    While available plans in the market may hold companies back due to restrictions on size or industry, Bupa Empower significantly lowers entry barriers for SMEs, offering holistic protection to all. Companies with a minimum of two employees are eligible to apply for the scheme with no medical underwriting required, inclusive of all industries and occupations.

  • Ultimate flexibility with the most customisable protection to get the best value

    The scheme comes with two tier plan options, Flyer and Starter, offering a choice of core benefits, including Hospital and Surgical, Out-patient Procedure and Clinical Benefits for both physical health and mental wellness. All core benefits provide upgrade options that expand the coverage to better suit the employees' needs. Along with four optional benefits including maternity and dental coverage, Supplementary Major Medical Benefit and Special Hospital Cash Benefit, there are over 700 available combinations to allow for the most flexible and customisable protection.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, employees covered by Bupa Empower can enjoy3:

  • Enhanced coverage for cancer and serious infectious diseases

    The plan covers pre-existing conditions, and insured members diagnosed with cancer or a serious infectious disease4, including COVID-19, are entitled to receiving an automatic increase in benefit limits for hospital expenses up to 120%. This can help them to access more advanced treatment and to focus on recovery and rehabilitation.

  • Supportive measures for holistic wellbeing

    More than half of the surveyed employees value workplace wellness support such as wellness classes, but employers expressed difficulties in allocating additional manpower (66%) and a lack of professional knowledge and method in health assessment (62%). In addition to medical coverage, Bupa Empower offers extensive wellness support to take care employees’ health and to support productivity. With the Bupa4Life wellness app, employees can enjoy wellness classes, receive health tips and incentives. With Bupa’s Health Coaching Services, access to the 24/7 healthline, second medical opinion and dedicated Care Managers to follow through treatments, this level of healthcare is no longer only offered to large corporations.

  • Comprehensive and transferrable insurance benefits

    Bupa Empower's Clinical Benefit is specially designed to include a wide range of additional services, such as dental, optical checks or health checks so that the needs of employees are covered under the same scheme. Members also have access to lifelong coverage when they retire or change jobs. They are given the option to transfer their Hospital and Surgical Benefit to Bupa’s designated individual health insurance schemes regardless of their health conditions.

"While SMEs make up a large business segment in Hong Kong, in medical insurance, they're underserved," said Andrew Merrilees, General Manager, Bupa Hong Kong. "And this happens for a reason, that the market hasn't made it easy for SMEs to provide health cover and wellness support to look after their employees. Bupa is here to fix this."

Andrew added, "With the launch of Bupa Empower, we believe our mix-and-match approach will help deliver flexible and tailored solutions that SMEs and their employees are looking for to empower a healthier and more successful workforce. It serves our purpose of making good quality healthcare accessible for all."

Companies who have successfully enrolled in Bupa Empower will enjoy 10% off for the first-year premium and free Bupa4Life membership for the first year5.

For more information of Bupa Empower and Schedule of Benefits, please visit:

Bupa Empower product video: (Chinese version)

1 Source: Trade and Industry Department, the Government of the HKSAR (16 August 2021),
2 Bupa Hong Kong commissioned Cimigo to conduct a survey in August 2021 with 259 senior executives/ decision makers in companies and 507 employees in Hong Kong to examine the trend and pain points in the group medical insurance market.
3 Subject to benefit levels and Terms & Conditions. For more details, please refer to the Bupa Empower brochure and Schedule of Benefits.
4 Serious infectious diseases include Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, COVID-19 and more, as well as any future Public Health Emergency of International Concern according to the World Health Organization. Detailed list and definitions can be found in the Schedule of Benefits.
5 The offer for free Bupa4Life membership for the first year is available until 31 Dec, 2021.

Bupa – A global healthcare specialist

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

We are an international healthcare company serving over 31 million customers worldwide. With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

In Hong Kong, we are known as the health insurance specialist. We have gained the trust of more than 400,000 individuals and 3,200 companies. We have provided quality health insurance for Hong Kong's civil servants for more than 20 years.

Bupa also provides primary care services through Quality HealthCare Medical Services (QHMS), one of Hong Kong’s largest private clinic networks.


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