What proportion of the population is not covered by health insurance (private or public)? | Hong Kong SAR What proportion of the population is not covered by health insurance (private or public)? | Hong Kong SAR

16 Aug 2022

Health insurance is not mandatory in Hong Kong. Residents can choose to buy private health insurance based on their own needs. In 2016, 3.26 million people (47% of total population) were protected by private health insurance, comprising 1.48 million people with individual-based health insurance policies, 0.86 million people with group-based policies and 0.92 million people with both types of policies (The Legislative Council Secretariat, 2018). These health insurance claims are usually used for payments of specialist services and hospitalisation in the private sector since the patients can access healthcare services without waiting.

In April 2019, the Government officially launched the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) that aims at encouraging the public to purchase health insurance in order to reduce the pressure on the public health system in the long run (Food and Health Bureau, 2019d). Hospital insurance products offered by various insurance companies which meet prescribed minimum standards, are certified under the VHIS. As an incentive for purchasing VHIS, an annual tax deduction up to HK$8,000 is provided per premium paid for certified insurance plans by each insured person and his/her dependants (The Legislative Council Secretariat, 2018). As of September 2019, the number of insurance policies purchased under VHIS exceeded 300 000.


Food and Health Bureau. (2019d). Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme. About VHIS. Retrieved from https://www.vhis.gov.hk/en/about_us/scheme.html

Legislative Council Secretariat. (2018). Research Brief Issue No. 2 2017 – 2018 – The 2018-2019 Budget. Hong Kong: Legislative Council, HKSAR Retrieved from https://www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/english/1718rb02-the-2018-2019-budget-20180412-e.pdf.