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If I'm Young and Healthy do I realy need health insurance? thx Sarah
Thanks for asking such a good question Sarah!
Generally speaking, individuals who are young and relatively healthy probably don’t need to think about health insurance – especially in a city like Hong Kong where there is an excellent Public Healthcare System and where the cost of treatment in a Hospital like Queen Mary is extremely cheap.
However, there are a couple aspects of health insurance products around the world that may make the case for obtaining coverage at a younger age.
All health insurance premiums will increase as you age – no matter if you are receiving coverage from a local experience rated policy or an international health insurance plan that is calculated on a community rating.
The worldwide cost of healthcare goes up by roughly 10 percent per year, which is one reason for the increasing cost of health insurance. But the main reason that your premiums will increase as you get older is simply due to the fact that you are more likely to require medical treatment.
Generally as you hit 30 years old you’re more likely to experience some sort of medical issue (whether it is minor or major) which will require treatment.
Getting a policy at a younger age means coverage at a lower cost, but it also means that you won’t experience the issue of pre-existing medical conditions.
If you are uninsured and you receive treatment for any medical condition then that condition will now be defined as pre-existing by virtually every insurance company everywhere in the world.
This means that once you have suffered from a medical condition you will normally be unable to get insurance to cover the costs of treatment for that condition if you were not already insured.
It’s a bit of a catch-22, but as the risk of developing a serious illness will normally increase as you age you are running the risk of going without vital healthcare protection the longer you choose to go uninsured.
As stated above, this is not a major concern for individuals under the age of 30 in a city like Hong Kong where there is an excellent public healthcare system. But can be highly problematic over the age of 30, especially if you choose to relocate to a country which does not have such high standards of public healthcare.
The third major area to consider when looking at health insurance while relatively young and healthy is the existence of waiting periods.
Depending on the coverage you would like to receive under a health insurance policy, it is important to understand that many plan benefits will be attached to a waiting period. This is the length of time from the initial purchase of the policy when you are unable to receive protection for a specific type of medical treatment. Only treatment received after the completion of a waiting period is eligible for coverage under a health insurance policy.
This is an extremely important aspect of health insurance all over the world, and can be a vital consideration in relation to policy benefits like Maternity.
With the average maternity waiting period lasting 12 months from the start of a plan, it is important to plan far in advance if you would like to receive insurance coverage for pre-natal, delivery, and post-natal costs in relation to your pregnancy. Leaving the purchase of a health insurance policy until after you are already pregnant will mean that you are unable to receive the coverage you need because of the existence of a waiting period.
It is not just Maternity insurance which deals with Waiting Periods, but also coverage benefits like Dental, Optical, and Psychiatric.
Looking into obtaining a health insurance policy while you are relatively young and healthy will ensure that you have ample time to complete a waiting period, and that you are able to receive the protection you need when you actually need it.
If you would like to learn more about health insurance in Hong Kong, or your healthcare options in the city, or if you would like to explore alternative coverage options, please contact CCW Global today.
Answered on: 19 September, 2017 09:36
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