|IHI-Bupa: An Introduction|
See a comparison of the benefits of each plan.|
Many people think BUPA International is a direct subsidiary of the British United Provident Association Ltd (BUPA). They often confuse the two and believe Bupa International is an insurance company.
In fact, ‘Bupa International’ is the trading name of Bupa Insurance Services Ltd., an intermediary regulated regulated by the Financial Services Act (FSA) in the UK. You can check out their membership details on www.fsa.gov.uk.
BUPA International invites the public to write to them to enquire about the other selected partners with which it works, in addition to companies in the Bupa group, but does not publish this list.
Now you may be wondering, where does IHI-Bupa come in?
IHI-Bupa was created in 2009 as the Danish branch/trading name of a UK company called ‘BUPA Insurance Ltd’, which in late 2009 moved its headquarters to London in the UK.
For IHI-Bupa polices sold in Hong Kong the picture is further clouded because in order to have its products promoted and sold legally, the underwriter is actually none other than BUPA Asia Ltd. Bupa Asia Ltd thus insures, not only the former IHI danmark a/s products, like the ‘International Swiss Medical’ and ‘International Health and Hospital Plan’, but also such well-known local Hong Kong products as:
* Bupa Care Kid
* Bupa CarePro
* Bupa Crystal
* Bupa Gold
* Bupa Care HealthNet
* Bupa Wise Choice and so on.
These local products we regard as more tactical than strategic and are typically bought on a budget of some USD100s rather than USD1,000s.
We will thus restrict our discussion to the three leading products:
* International Swiss Medical (ISM)
* International Health and Hospital Plan (IHHP)
all branded with the IHI-Bupa logos.
A unique feature of all these plans is the fact that once accepted, we have cover for life and can live and claim where we like, even in the US.
As its name suggests, ‘Superior’ is just that: US$ unlimited hospital and evacuation cover with outpatient cover capped at US$50,000. Interestingly the plan offers 100% rehabilitation cover, up to 90 days a year. A quadriplegic in a stabilized medical condition needing US$3000 a day for rehabilitation would thus at least receive some offset on costs. Superior also includes cover for 2 medical checks pa, reimbursed to US$2000 each, as well as dental and optical benefits to US$10,000 per person pa.
The ISM would be IHI’s next most comprehensive plan for both outpatient and maternity cover. Relatively speaking, the IHHP offers better value for young families, as children under age 10 are covered free.
The ISM provides US$1m pa in hospital costs and US$40,000 in outpatient (and medicine) costs, reimbursed at 90%. In-hospital delivery costs are fully covered and prenatal and postnatal costs (after the 12-month waiting period) are reimbursed at 90%.
The IHHP provides US$1.8m in hospital cover and US$35,000 in outpatient cover (outpatient cover encompasses what Bupa call ‘non-hospitalization' and ‘medicine and appliances’). With numerous caps, such as US$80 for a doctor's visit, US$115 for a specialist consultation and most worryingly, just US$2,500 for outpatient medication.