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Hong Kong’s health insurance sector needs further development - AM Best
Last update: 21/05/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- High out-of-pocket payments by patients at private hospitals and overwhelming demand for public health care underscore the need for further development of Hong Kong’s health insurance sector, according to AM Best.

Titled ‘Growth Opportunities Abound in Hong Kong’s Health Insurance Market’, the Best’s Market Segment Report noted that while insurers were aware and keen to leverage the growth potential, they were also mindful of challenges affecting profitability and sustainability of the health insurance business.

With the recently launched Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) which encourages individuals to utilise insurance protection, and the subsequent regulatory approval for more than two dozen insurers to launch VHIS insurance products, the uptake of health insurance in Hong Kong should grow significantly.

The VHIS plan presents market players with an opportunity to strengthen their customer base, while gradually paving the way to up-sell more profitable products, according to a statement.

As direct medical products account for approximately three-quarters of the accident and health (A&H) line, the business now represents the largest share of domestic non-life gross premiums written, at 33 per cent, as of 2017.

Intense competition on A&H business, along with rising demands for greater transparency and standardised product designs will continue to exert pressure on underwriting profitability.

AM Best considers it important for the industry to embrace a lean structure and adjust marketing and distribution strategies to lower acquisition and operational costs as insurers will pay close attention to consumer sentiment towards VHIS, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with unique focus on the insurance industry. For more information, contact www.ambest.com.

-- BERNAMA

 


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