There is huge, unmet demand for health insurance for those with chronic pre-existing conditions in Hong Kong, according to a medical director at insurance giant AXA.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) insurance companies in Hong Kong will increasingly be willing to offer coverage to people with minor pre-existing medical conditions, after Hong Kong's new voluntary health insurance scheme (VHIS), highlighted the demand for such policies amid an ageing population,
Launched in April, the VHIS provides limited coverage for pre-existing conditions, as long as there is no evidence to suggest the policy holder had prior knowledge of the ailment. Most private health insurers exclude illnesses that occurred prior to the purchase of the policy.
"...the future trend, including with our company, is to extend coverage to some people with minor chronic conditions..." - Alexander Chiu, medical director of health and employee benefits at AXA Hong Kong,
According to an interview in the SCMP, Alexander Chiu, medical director of health and employee benefits at AXA Hong Kong, believes the city's providers will change policies and start to offer insurance for people with mild known pre-existing illnesses, albeit with higher premiums.
"There are plenty of people suffering from chronic conditions who want to buy health insurance, but are unable to get sufficient coverage having such conditions," he said. "With today's fast advancing medical technology, the future trend, including with our company, is to extend coverage to some people with minor chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes by charging them a loading, and on a discretionary basis, depending on the insurer's risk appetite."
Such insurance is not yet available in the market, but Chiu said AXA is working towards providing such coverage and others will follow, the SCMP report said.
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