Insurance industry welcomes tax incentive for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme


The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers welcomes the inclusion of tax incentive for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) products in the 2018-19 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary today (28 February 2018).

“The Hong Kong insurance industry sees this as a commitment from the Government in encouraging more people to make use of the private inpatient services through medical insurance, thereby alleviating pressure on the public healthcare system and enhancing the long-term sustainability of Hong Kong’s dual-track healthcare system”, said Mr David Alexander, Chairman of HKFI’s Task Force on Health Care Reform.

Albeit that the number of medical insurance policyholders records a double-digit growth every year without any government subsidy, we believe such tax incentive will help raise public awareness of the role and importance of private medical insurance. With more people taking out VHIS, there must also be corresponding measures to ensure sufficient supply of medical services and fees charged by private hospitals and doctors are as transparent as that of the VHIS premium.

The HKFI has been actively assisting the Food and Health Bureau and its consultant to come up with a viable VHIS framework. Now that the whole idea is materialized, the next important step is to conduct proper consumer education on specific features like coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions with the related waiting periods, treatment for congenital conditions, options for migration of the existing plans to the VHIS, etc.

“The insurance industry is constantly looking for ways to enrich our protection solutions. We believe that the enhanced features of VHIS like guaranteed renewal, cooling off right, coverage of congenital diseases will help attract more young people to take out medical insurance for a lifetime protection,” said Ms Zenda Chan, Chairman of the Medical Insurance Association.