With the increasing cost of medical care and overcrowding of public hospitals, people bear high medical expenses when they are admitted to private hospitals. For example, if they are admitted to a semi-private ward, the hospitalisation fee ranges from HK$1,000 a night. Moreover, small utilities, such as a piece of cotton, will be charged to the bill, which will increase the individual’s financial burden. Many people believe the protection against critical illness has already been covered by their medical protection plan. They often question, since the company has provided medical insurance for them, why would they need critical illness insurance?
The insufficiency of group medical insurance
Employer’s group medical insurance often only provides basic hospitalisation and medical expenses protection, and the sum insured usually depends on your rank, salary, and seniority. You have no autonomy to decide on the amount and the scope of protection. The sum insured may not be sufficient for the actual needs of the individual. In addition, once an individual leaves his job, the protection will end. However, if you have taken out critical illness insurance, you may get a one-time cash compensation to use for emergency or reimbursement of the remaining medical expenses which will allow you to focus on your rehabilitation.
Purchasing different types of critical illness protection plans may be an option for an individual’s personal needs. These plans are designed to protect against the common but also life-threatening diseases, or simply to fill the gaps in group medical insurance to provide for long-term benefits. These plans are generally affordable even when you are out of job; so that you can enjoy continuous protection.
If your employer does not provide hospital cash protection or if you are self-employed, purchasing additional hospital cash protection may be an option. If you are hospitalised, benefits will be paid to you during your hospital stay.
The differences between critical illness insurance and medical insurance
In terms of the scope of coverage, medical insurance in general covers the insured’s hospitalisation and surgical expenses. The amount of compensation received by the insured do not exceed the actual cost of treatment. On the other hand, benefits from critical illness insurance are generally paid out if the insured suffers from life-threatening diseases specified under the policy (such as heart disease, cancer, stroke), and such diseases must meet the definition of the guaranteed coverage of critical illness. The insurance company may then make a one-off cash compensation in accordance with the relevant critical illness plan regardless of how much the surgery, hospitalisation or other expenses cost.
Medical insurance taken out by your employer may not provide adequate protection. Critical illness insurance and medical insurance are equally important. Take MasterShield Illness Protection as an example, a lump sum payment HK$250,000 will be provided to ease your financial burden at times of unexpected illness. If apply MyShield Hospital Cash Plan at the same time, a Hospital Cash Benefit of up to HK$800 per day will be payable. Depending on your personal circumstances, they may complement each other to ensure the most comprehensive protection for yourself and your family members.
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