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With so many types of insurance available in the marketplace today, you may be wondering if critical illness cover is something you should consider purchasing, especially considering the affordability of public health care in Hong Kong. The truth is, critical illness insurance is a relatively low-cost way to gain peace of mind for unexpected conditions.

What if a sudden medical emergency arose or a surprise health diagnosis came out of nowhere? A critical illness insurance policy can be a lifesaver in those cases, as it can provide additional cover on top of your traditional health insurance.

What qualifies as a critical illness?

Critical illnesses are defined as long-term, severe conditions. There are three core conditions that the majority of critical illness policies cover: cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

Individual carriers may include additional health conditions through policy language.

Other critical illnesses and health conditions that are included in most Hong Kong critical illness policies are kidney failure, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and major surgeries such as brain surgery and coronary artery bypass surgery.

When critical illness policies were first developed, they covered four common human conditions: heart attack, cancer, stroke, and coronary artery bypass surgery. Over time, the policy has expanded as medical conditions and treatments continue to evolve.

Each insurer may have different wording in their critical illness policy, meaning each policy may cover or exclude different conditions. One word of caution is that pre-existing medical conditions are not usually covered under a critical illness policy. Hence, discuss this with your agent if you are concerned.

What is the difference between health insurance and critical illness insurance?

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Traditional health insurance is an essential type of coverage for those who don’t qualify for public health care as well as for those who prefer private health care, and has many differences from critical illness coverage. When you have traditional health insurance, it usually requires that claims are made for each hospitalization. Claims may be denied for treatment rendered without hospitalizations. If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, your health insurance policy may not cover specific treatment costs.

This is where a critical illness policy steps in to provide coverage where your traditional health insurance policy ends. Critical illness insurance provides you a lump-sum benefit when you meet the policy conditions. As a result, you are free to use this round sum to cover expenses related to your condition and treatment.

The flexibility afforded by a critical illness insurance policy is one primary reason to purchase it.

A traditional health insurance policy is indemnity-based, as it covers related treatment after it has taken place. However, the round sum provided by the critical illness policy is afforded once policy conditions are met, which is usually triggered by the diagnosis of a critical illness.

This means you have access to funds to use at your discretion when you need them most.

Is it necessary to have critical illness insurance in Hong Kong?

This type of insurance can make a substantial difference in your life, should you be diagnosed with a critical illness. This can happen to anyone at any age, and a surprise medical diagnosis or condition can significantly alter your life’s plans. Traditional health insurance is important, but it does leave a gap in your coverage that a critical illness policy can fill.

A critical illness insurance policy provides a lump-sum benefit you can use to cover all of the expenses you incur during treatment. This could include non-covered medical expenses. This means you can use it for non-medical costs such as transportation to appointments, additional living expenses due to loss of income during treatment, or your children’s school fees.

When you consider the expenses that can arise from a critical illness, you begin to see the importance of having a critical illness insurance policy. This coverage protects anyone and is an intelligent investment in protecting your future.

FAQs about critical illness insurance

What are the most commonly paid out critical illnesses?

The ten most commonly paid out critical illnesses are: cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, benign brain tumor, coronary artery bypass grafts, Parkinson’s disease, heart valve replacement or repair, angioplasty, aorta graft surgery.

What conditions are not covered by critical illness insurance?

Typically, pre-existing conditions are not covered by critical illness insurance. Be sure to disclose any pre-existing conditions to your insurer. Some standard exclusions are listed in most critical illness policies, including injuries caused by overdosing on drugs or alcohol, self-inflicted injuries, injuries sustained while involved in criminal or illegal acts, and injuries resulting from civil commotion, riots, or war. Some insurers don’t cover carcinoma in situ or certain types of cancer; it really depends on the particular provider.

How do I choose the best critical illness coverage?

As with any insurance purchase, you have many options for critical illness insurance in Hong Kong. Comparing different policies will allow you to note how serious the conditions must be to receive a payout, any coverage exceptions, waiting times, or age limitations on the policies you are considering. Review which conditions are covered by each policy to understand what is covered.

Be sure to consider any coverage your employer may offer. Ask your agent for more help with choosing the best critical illness coverage for your individual needs.

About CCW

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CCW is a reputable insurance broker located in Hong Kong. They can help you obtain free competitive quotes for your many insurance needs.

CCW makes it easy to view personalized comparisons from different companies to help you make the best choice.

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