VHIS Standard Plan or Flexi Plan, how should I choose?

VHIS Plan compare

Life is full of choices. The new Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) offers you two options to choose from: Standard Plan and Flexi Plan. If you wish to purchase VHIS Certified Plans or transfer your individual indemnity hospital insurance plan to VHIS Certified Plans, what factors should you consider before making a decision? To have the right cover, first you must know what your needs are.

“Standard Plan” and “Flexi Plan” – what’s the difference?

Simply put, Standard Plan offers basic hospitalisation insurance coverage based on the minimum requirements of VHIS. Such plan across different insurance companies shall have the same coverage, more or less, but the main differences are the premium, brand and service quality. In contrast, Flexi Plan is built based on the Standard Plan, with additional and better coverage and services, such as a better benefit limit and more extensive covers.

If you’ve been following the news on VHIS, there are three points besides tax deductions that should interest seniors, middle-aged individuals and people with higher illness risks:

  • The entry age is up to 80, and renewal is guaranteed until the age of 100 (attained age);
  • Unknown pre-existing conditions are covered, and the annual benefit limit of not less than HKD420,000 is reset annually; and
  • Cover extends to non-hospitalised treatment, including day-case procedures, prescribed diagnostic imaging tests and prescribed non-surgical cancer treatment.

Choosing between Standard Plan and Flexi Plan all depends on the plan’s coverage and if the benefit limit is sufficient to your needs. Take the seniors, middle-aged individuals and people with higher illness risks as an example, if they are worried about their state of health as they are more prone to illnesses, and expect heftier medical expenses, the Flexi Plan with wider coverage should be more suitable for them. However, it is worth noting that Flexi Plans from each insurance company are different. On top of comparing the insurance companies’ premium, brand and service quality, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the plan’s terms and conditions, areas of cover and benefit limits before making a purchase.


Before choosing a VHIS Flexi Plan, ask yourself these questions:


1. Is the coverage enough?

2. Does the benefit item match your needs?

3. Can you upgrade the coverage as you age?

4. Is the premium appealing, such as offering no-claim discounts on premium?

Flexi Plan – Extra cover for your every need

Mr. Chan is 32 this year and has been covered by his company’s group medical insurance since graduation, so he has never purchased any other personal medical insurance plan. However, a lot of Mr. Chan’s older pals have recently been diagnosed with all manners of illness. Realising the importance of medical insurance, Mr. Chan decided to purchase a personal medical insurance plan with the launch of VHIS, so he can enjoy concessionary tax deductions, as well as own a more comprehensive healthcare support. Mr. Chan discovers FWD’s vCare Medical Plan (Flexi Plan) that offers the basic VHIS coverage, with an upgraded benefit limit of HKD520,000 per policy year, along with the following extra coverages:

  • Any day-case procedures: HKD500 per surgery
  • Cash benefit for top-up subsidy: HKD500 per day during hospitalisation (maximum 60 days per policy year)
  • Emergency outpatient dental treatment: HKD20,000 per policy year
  • Protection for new-borns: From the 2nd policy year and thereafter, new-born children of the insured person are entitled to a year of cover for free from a specified medical plan
  • CANcierge, which provides end-to-end cancer treatment services
  • Second medical opinions from some of the highest ranked US medical institutions
  • International SOS 24-hour Worldwide Assistance Services

Stepping in where company group medical plans fall short

It’s easy to fall ill under the immense living pressure in Hong Kong, and it’s best to have a ready budget for medical expenses. With his family’s illness history in mind, Mr. Chan should take into consideration the benefit limits of prescribed treatments and tests on top of regular hospitalisation and surgery fees. vCare covers what company group medical insurances lack, such as:

  • Prescribed diagnostic imaging tests: HKD20,000 per policy year, subject to 30% coinsurance (for both hospitalisation and non-hospitalisation);
  • Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatment: HKD120,000 per policy year;
  • Pre- and post-confinement/day-case procedure outpatient care: HKD580 per visit, up to HKD6,000 per policy year
  • - one prior outpatient visit or emergency consultation per confinement/day-case procedure
    - ­six follow-up outpatient visits per confinement/day-case procedure (within 90 days after being discharged from the hospital or completion of the day-case procedure)
  • Psychiatric treatment: HKD30,000 per policy year

A Flexi Upgrade for the Future

For Mr. Chan, a comprehensive insurance plan is one that offers sufficient cover and care even in the future. vCare includes a one-off upgrade feature. He can choose to upgrade his policy at the age of 50, 55, 60 or 65 (attained age) to a specified medical insurance product with better cover, without having to submit any proof for his state of health or undergo re-underwriting, giving Mr. Chan the flexibility to upgrade his medical cover whenever he sees fit.

No Claims Premium Discount

vCare encourages everyone to stay healthy, thus offering a discount on your renewal premium based on your no-claim period. If there have been no claims for two or more consecutive policy years immediately prior to the policy’s renewal, you will be eligible for a no-claims premium discount on the renewal premium, as below:

Two to four consecutive policy years: 10%
Five or more consecutive policy years: 15%

Comparison table

This product comparison table is a simplified explanation of product highlights and should be taken as reference only. The product information listed above are not complete terms. Please refer to the full documentation of medical plans for complete terms. See here for a more detailed comparison of vCore Medical Plan (Standard Plan) and vCare Medical Plan (Flexi Plan).

Many insurance companies have already launched their VHIS Certified Standard Plans and Flexi Plans. Please read the terms and conditions of each plan before making a purchase. Purchasing a medical insurance plan is for a long-term cover and should be done with careful consideration, with your own medical needs as the most important priority.

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Remarks:

The article content is for reference only. FWD or its affiliates or any director or employee of FWD or its affiliates expressly disclaims all liability for the use or interpretation by others of information contained in this document (including third party responsibility). Users are responsible for making their own assessment of all information contained in this document or are advised to seek independent advice from appropriate professionals.


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