Bupa Global Hong Kong
International Health Insurance danmark a/s (IHI) was bought by BUPA in 2005.
IHI was rebranded as 'IHI-Bupa' in 2009 and in July 2014 was branded as BUPA IHI.
In January 2015 all reference to IHI was dropped from BUPA's marketing and is to be discontinued in all printed material.
Hallmarks of the individual IHI plans are the fact that once accepted, you are guaranteed renewal of the policy for life, regardless of:
- your age,
- changes in your health or
- country of residence...even the US
Uniquely, all professions are covered, as well as all leisure activities, including participation in high-risk sports, on both a professional and hobby level.
When you consider the policy wordings in the market, the remarkable thing about these IHI plans is that they incorporated the fine print of their policy wordings into their marketing brochures with a bold brevity and directness that is rarely seen in the marketing material of competitors.
In January 2015 BUPA announced the closing of its HK based book of IHI business to new business from 1/4/2015, but after protests by intermediaries and clients alike, decided to reverse this decision and permit ongoing sales of these products.
Historically most of our clients have taken cover in USD but with the strengthening of the Swiss Franc, more people are choosing to pay in CHF currency because they want to lock in a higher level of benefits in the longer term.
For a mix of reasons, including BUPA's presence in these countries or local legislation, the IHI products are not available in:
- South Africa,
BUPA has stopped the sale of the Superior in Hong Kong from 1/10/2015
Until it was superseded by the new BUPA 'Ultimate', the Superior represented the best money could buy in international health care. Even if you had had a quadruple bypass, there was a chance you could be covered with Superior, even if this mean a USD100,000 premium.
Key features of the Superior plan are:
- All inpatient benefits are covered 100%.
- All outpatient benefits are covered 100%.
- Dental and optical benefits are covered 100% with a high annual maximum of USD 15,000
- Medical check-ups are covered up to USD 2,500 per check-up, three check-ups per year. Children under five years are allowed up to five check-ups per year.
- You have a Personal Service Team, whom you will know by name and ensure that you deal with an absolute minimum of paperwork.
- Evacuation in case of epidemics, war, civil commotion, terrorist incidents etc.
- Travel coverage, including repatriation and compassionate emergency visits worldwide.
- Preventive and alternative treatments.
- Reimbursement of your claims within seven days.
Superior comes with no options for either co-insurance or deductibles.
This IHI product is now a Bupa Global product
BUPA stops the sale of the ISM in Hong Kong from 31/10/2015
The International Swiss Medical (ISM) is a comprehensive healthcare plan with hospital cover providing USD1.5m in benefits per person pa and Outpatient bills capped at USD40,000 per person pa, reimbursed @90%. This hospital and outpatient cover is called the 'Complete' plan.
When you look at the premiums for nil deductible and the premiums for the USD 3,350 deductible, you will likely choose the deductible as this is cheaper than taking the zero deductible.
In our experience the level of customer satisfaction with the ISM is far higher than the IHHP as the IHHP has various caps on ouptatient treatment that will in Hong Kong will often mean you are reimbursed just 30-50% of your bill.
In a time when more and more providers are reducing their routine maternity benefits to somewhere in the range of USD10,000-USD20,000, the ISM and the Worldwide Health Insurance Plan (WWH) are unique in offering UNLIMITED inpatient maternity benefits.
Normal delivery or medically prescribed Caesarean operation at a hospital or clinic is reimbursed 100%, after the 12 month waiting period.
NOTE: Non-medically prescribed caesarean operations will be reimbursed up to a maximum of the customary charges for normal delivery of one child at a hospital or clinic.
Pre - and postnatal examinations are reimbursed under the Complete Plan, as consultations.
Note however in common with other providers, delivery, whether by:
- normal delivery at home, at a birthing centre or at a hospital or clinic or
- medically prescribed or non-medically prescribed caesarean operation,
following fertility treatment, will be reimbursed up to a maximum of the customary charges for normal delivery of one child, at a hospital or clinic.
This originally IHI product is now only available as Bupa Global product.
Bupa has announced it will continue to allow sale of IHHP although it had earlier announced not to sell this in Hong Kong after 31/10/2015.
Bupa Global announced on Apr 18, 2016 that after several months of temporary suspension, with immediate effect, they are able to resume applications for their range of international private medical insurance solutions for US related persons (Any person who (1) has the right to live and work indefinitely in the United States of America (including Puerto Rico), but (2) who is actually residing outside of the US at the time of sale and intends to spend the majority of the policy year living outside of the US).
Bupa Global’s products are not compliant with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) legislation in the USA. Therefore, Bupa Global will not be able to sell to individual customers in the US any of its products. However, Bupa Global is glad to resume sales to USA related person in a wide range of territories outside the US, subject to applicable local laws and regulations.
The IHHP is the most popular IHI plan in Hong Kong on account of the fact that it allows 2 children per adult (a total of 4 altogether) to be insured FREE of CHARGE) up until the age of 10.
The IHHP is more modular than the ISM, offering
- Non Hospital (eg Doctors and specialist visits)
- Medicine & Appliances
Unlike the ISM which offers 90% reimbursement, the IHHP has many limitations for categories of care, such as Doctor / Specialist or physiotherapist. Such caps in HK will often mean you are reimbursed 30-50% of your bill. Most concerning is the annual limit on outpatient medication which can be easily exceeded in a few weeks or months.
In our experience, once children were charged, families often looked to switch to the ISM on account of more convenient outpatient claims.
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BUPA has stopped the sale of the Worldwide Plan in Hong Kong from 1/10/2015
The Worldwide Health Insurance plan predates the Superior, ISM and IHHP. Originally it was denominated only in Danish Kroner.
It offers 5 levels of cover and an annual cap of
- USD450,000 pa per person for the most basic hospital Option E, and
- USD900,000 pa per person for the 'Ultimate' Option A plan which covers 100% hospital and 80% outpatient benefits.
An early attraction of this plan was that children under the age of 16 were covered free!
Like the ISM, maternity is coverable @100%.
Outpatient, pre and postnatal pregnancy consultations are, like other outpatient costs, reimbursed 80% (rather than 90% of the ISM).
BUPA has stopped the sale of First Choice in Hong Kong from 1/10/2015
First Choice was IHI danmark's bid to create a group product for small and medium sized companies.
The premiums are based on the location of your employees, but they are free to choose to receive treatment anywhere in the world (with the exception of the high cost areas USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China and Switzerland – unless you choose to pay worldwide premium).
First Choice is the first truly flexible international health insurance plan for small and medium sized companies. It has a modular structure, enabling the client company to select exactly the cover needed for its employees.
With First Choice, you will find several benefits, which differentiate this product in the market:
- Option to cover pre-existing diseases. (Staff leaving later will be able to be underwritten on the same basis as their original underwriting when joining the company)
- Cover for congenital, hereditary, and chronic diseases.
- Free choice of hospitals, clinics, doctors and specialists according to the cover chosen.
- Guaranteed renewal of the group policy.
- No co-insurance applies.
- Both business and leisure activities are covered – including professional sports.
- No exclusion for innocent bystanders in war or terrorism situations.
- Organ transplants covered without any sub-limit up to the overall annual insurance sum of the policy.
Module 1: Hospitalisation & Inpatient Treatment
The Hospitalisation & Inpatient Treatment module is mandatory. It provides 100% cover for e.g. surgery, chemotherapy and organ transplant.
This module also provides full cover for any emergency treatment and cover for expenses in connection with childbirth. Expenses are covered up to the overall annual insurance sum of the policy: USD 1,800,000.
Module 2: Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient Treatment covers treatment such as general practitioners and specialist consultations 100% up to the specified maximum amounts. This module also covers prenatal and postnatal treatment. The overall annual maximum for this module is USD 35,000, EUR 29,000 or GBP 20,000.
Module 3: Medicine & Appliances
Medicine and appliances such as slings, bandages and hearing aids are covered 100% up to the specified maximum amounts. The overall annual maximum for this module is USD 1,000, EUR 800 or GBP 550.
Module 4: Medical Evacuation*
Medical Evacuation covers transportation to the nearest suitable place of treatment if the employee has a serious illness or injury. For instance, it will cover expenses for transportation by aeroplane or helicopter. The cover also includes expenses for an accompanying person. Expenses are covered up to the overall annual insurance sum of the policy. Medical Evacuation must be pre-approved by Bupa.
Module 5: Rehabilitation & Nursing
Rehabilitation & Nursing provides cover for rehabilitation, home nursing or hospice, if medically prescribed by a doctor. Rehabilitation and nursing must be pre-approved by Bupa. The overall annual maximum for this module is USD 5,000, EUR 4,100 or GBP 2,850.
Module 6: Dental & Optical*
The Dental & Optical module provides cover for expenses in connection with dental treatment, glasses and contact lenses up to the maximum limits. The overall annual maximum for this module is USD 1,200, EUR 1,000 or GBP 700.
* Please note that no deductible, premium loadings or discounts apply to module 4 and module 6.
The travel plans offered by Bupa were originally of IHI Denmark which became Bupa plans after BUPA purchased IHI Denmark. Currently the travel plans of Bupa are offered by Bupa Global Travel, out of Denmark.
Bupa Global offers Bupa Worldwide Travel Options travel plan for individuals and Bupa Worldwide Business Travel Options plan for corporate groups. Some of the relevant documents of both these plans are embedded below the comparison table presented on this page.
The Bupa Worldwide Travel Options travel plan in Hong Kong is sourced from 'Bupa Denmark, filial of Bupa', meaning it is an offshore plan and local regulations require a client to complete and sign a 'Notice to Client' form in which the customer affirms that he/she understands they are dealing with Bupa in Denmark.
Optional cover is now available to cover :
- Non-Medical elements, such as lost bags and liability and
- Cutailment, in case you can not travel due to acute illness or injury and thus loose on prepaid tickets etc.
The Annual travel plan provides 30 days cover per trip and this can be extended by the purchase of more travel days, on line. Annual cover can only start on the first day of a month.
In contrast the per trip cover can begin on any day.
If you know at the outset that you are going to need more than 30 days of cover in a year, then if applying on line, you need to first apply and be issued an annual plan and then follow up with a second application to extend the days of travel.
There is an option as well to be covered for a preexisting condition: The application for this can be submitted to us at Navigator before or after the policy is issued. In our experience, Bupa will cover pregnancy and blood pressure etc issues IF the condition has been stable during the past 6 months.
Bear in mind that unless Bupa agrees to cover a pre-exisitng condition, then the Bupa Worldwide Travel options plan will not cover any condition that existed before your trip.
If you take the annual cover and are on a trip lasting over 30 days and forget to extend the cover, BUPA will insist you take a new trip cover.
Cover available even if you have alredy left on a trip
Even if you have left on your trip, you can purchase this cover, but there is a 3 days initial period on the policy when you can not claim.
The exception to this 3 day rule, is that you will be covered in this period IF you have a serious accident.
- Worldwide cover
- Unlimited medical cover
- 24/7 in-house emergency service
- Free choice of hospitals and doctors
- No deductible or co-payment on Basic Cover
- Most dangerous sports and occupations covered
- Risk and war zone cover
- Optional coverage for baggage, liability and trip cancellation
- All nationalities covered
- Global risk and security monitoring
- Easy to extend online even after you left on your trip
Note: Unlike the other IHI health plans, Bupa does NOT Guarantee renewal of this travel plan.
|Basic (Medical) Cover|
|Maximum cover and benefits are per person per trip:|
|Maximum cover per person per trip||Unlimited|
|Outpatient treatment by a doctor/specialist|
|Prescribed treatment by a physiotherapist/
|Provisional pain-stilling dental treatment||300||250||400||165|
(must be preapproved by Bupa Global)
|Mugging and assault - crisis psychologist per accident||USD250.00||€200.00||CHF250.00||£150.00|
|Compassionate Emergency Repatriation|
|Compassionate Emergency Visit|
|Accommodation, food and local transportation for an insured unable to continue their travel itinerary due to acute illness or injury, or persons summoned or accompanying an insured, per person.||6,000
per day 300
per day 250
per day 400
per day 165
|Maximum cover per person per trip||USD6,000.00||€5,000.00||CHF8,000.00||£3,300.00|
|Per day Limit||USD300.00||€250.00||CHF400.00||£165.00|
|Statutory arrangements in case of death||
|Home transportation of the deceased|
|Continuation of trip post treatment
(must be pre-approved by the Company)
|Sports activities including winter sports - Medial expenses*|
|Maximum cover per person per trip|
|Personal accident - death and disability*||USD75,000.00||€55,000.00||CHF83,000.00||£42,000.00|
|Maximum baggage cover per person per trip||USD2,000.00||€1,500.00||CHF2,200.00||£1,100.00|
|Baggage - theft, robbery and fire||
100% of the maximum baggage cover
|Loss of or damage to registered baggage|
|Theft of passport and/or cash||10% of the maximum baggage cover|
|Personal liability – property damage||USD500,000.00||€360,000.00||CHF550.00||£280.00|
|Personal liability - bodily injury||USD1,000,000.00||€715,000.00||CHF1,100,000.00||£550,000.00|
|Travel delay — documented expenses for
accommodation (overnight stay) and meals
|Per day Limit||USD100.00||€70.00||CHF110.00||£60.00|
|Missed flight connection||USD1,000.00||€800.00||CHF950.00||£650.00|
|Hospital daily benefit||USD2,000.00||€1,400.00||CHF2,400.00||£1,200.00|
|Per day Limit||USD50.00||€35.00||CHF60.00||£30.00|
|Security and legal assistance**||USD10,000.00||€7,200.00||CHF11,100.00||£5,500.00|
|Trip Cancellation Option|
|Annual - per trip||USD1,500.00||€1,100.00||CHF1,650.00||£850.00|
Bupa Worldwide Travel Options
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Bupa Worldwide Business Travel Options
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Bupa Global Travel mobile app
The Bupa Global Travel myCard App has been designed to help its customers translate their insurance card into multiple languages for emergency assistance whilst abroad.
- Request pre-authorisation for emergency treatment translated into 53 worldwide languages, covering over two billion language speakers
- Carry your insurance card with you on your device for peace of mind
- Direct 24 hr emergency contact at the push of a button
- Stores live policy information securely and conveniently on your device
- A choice of six languages settings translates the App for wider personal choice
- PIN protection for security
- Provides policy brochure, conditions and a list of benefits at the touch of a button
The app is free and can be downloaded for iPhone or Android.
Search for "Bupa Global Travel myCard" or click one of the below links.
BUPA's IHI products do not use a network, so for outpatient claims you generally need to pay first and claim later. We say 'Generally' because if the outpatient bill looked to be sizable and you were short of cash, BUPA would be willing to work with your doctor to settle the bill directly.
Most commonly, you will simply need to email your claims to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting your policy number and making sure to also confirm the diagnosis and provide details of the bank account you wish to be credited.
If you prefer us to be involved in monitoring your claim, by all means send your paperwork to our claim team: email@example.com
Depending on your bank, there will likely be some bank charges you will need to bear. If you prefer to be paid by cheque, BUPA also post you a cheque, though this will inevitably involve some risk of being lost in the post and delay your receipt by a week or two.
There is also the facility to go on line and make your claim via https://global.ihi.com/Claims+picker.aspx
If for any reason your claim takes more than a month to be settled, please get in touch with us.
If you know you are going into a hospital for some procedure, do let us know. We will help co-ordinate the communication between your doctor and BUPA.
BUPA will want a report stating such things as:
- When the problem was first identified?
- What are the procedures intended and what are the expected costs?
- What kind of follow up treatment is anticipated?
BUPA will then attempt to make a Guarantee of Payment to the hospital. We say 'attempt', as we the have experience that not all hospitals in the world will be happy to accept a guarantee from BUPA or any other company for that matter. If the latter is the case, you will have to pay first and claim later.
In case of a medical emergency:
BUPA + 45 70 23 24 60
Navigator + 852 25 30 25 30
Jake Ho + 852 95 32 96 67
Tess Suliwan + 852 98 01 10 09
Clive Wolstencroft + 852 98 33 73 35
Calls will be recorded and may be monitored.
Always do your best to provide a contact number or contact information for at least 2 people
Unlike many other insurers that will simply exclude any preexisting conditions, BUPA's philosophy with its IHI, Lifeline and Worldwide Health Options for that matter is that if at all possible it prefers to offer the cover and charge more, based on its assessment of the chances of your claiming in future.
In cases where it feels that the chances of your claiming are too great, it will instead provide cover only if you accept an exclusion. This is different from Henner, which takes the approach of either offer cover with a loading, or not to offer cover at all.