International relocation - health insurance?

kthnry

My brother-in-law accepted a job in Hong Kong and they'll be moving there in September. They're trying to figure out what to do about health insurance. The new job provides Bupa Global, which is evidently pretty good. They're wondering if they should maintain a U.S. policy (probably something with a very high deductible) in case something happens and they have to return to the U.S. for long-term treatment. Has anyone dealt with this decision?

Also, can anyone recommend a Hong Kong relocation advisor who can assist with things like bank accounts, etc.?


dave

For bank accounts, best to open an HSBC Premiere account while in the states  (maintain min. balance $100k) and indicate you're moving to HK and they will tell you they can't do that from New York (but maybe things have changed). On arrival in HK go to the main branch at 1 Queens Rd Central to open the HK account (Premiere is 2 escalators up) and have it linked with the US account (a Premiere benefit). FX  and wire transfers are free between US and HK accounts with Premiere, which are other benefits.   There are other banks but few want anything to do with US citizens due to all the FACTA regulations the US has been imposing on banks.  I appreciate the reasons for FACTA, but..... Thanks, Obama.

The public health system here is great, especially for perm residents who pay almost nothing.  But even for non-perms a general outpatient visit is USD$57 at a local clinic (inclusive of meds). Never looked into US healthcare as our private employer-provided coverage is international through AXA.   Maybe B-I-L can ask his employer about this?  Shouldn't cost them much more if they have a large group plan.

And get ready to pay a full year's HK taxes in advance.   


dave

This is a useful forum for anyone planning a move to HK

https://geoexpat.com/forum/3/


krugle

dave,

Is that a min. balance of US $1,000 or 100,000?

My issue is this:  pretend I get a major illness and want to come back to the U.S., the international insurance wouldn't cover care here, right?  Do you have anything for that situation?

Also, what neighborhood do you live in?

Thanks!


yahooyahoo

From their website:
"To qualify for an HSBC Premier relationship, you need to open an HSBC Premier checking account and maintain balances of $100,000 in combined U.S. Dollar personal deposit accounts and investment* balances. Business owners may use their qualifying HSBC U.S. Dollar commercial balances to qualify for a personal Premier relationship. A monthly maintenance fee of $50 will be incurred if minimum balance requirements are not maintained."


kthnry

krugle said:
dave,
Is that a min. balance of US $1,000 or 100,000?
My issue is this:  pretend I get a major illness and want to come back to the U.S., the international insurance wouldn't cover care here, right?  Do you have anything for that situation?
Also, what neighborhood do you live in?
Thanks!

I wonder if the HK employer could vouch for employment, salary, etc. so the minimum balance requirement wouldn't be so steep. I'd have to clean out my 401(k) to have that kind of money in a checking account.


dave

It's US$ 100k (including CDs, checking, savings both in US and HK accounts).

If you have  a major illness and want to return to the US you'd likely lose the coverage your HK employer gave you after some period of time along with any international coverage also attached. You could carry a separate US policy, but not sure how they would price that for expats.  Or just return and enroll in the ACA (an expat returning is exempted from the special enrollment period).

We live on HK Island in the west Midlevels.


terminator3

some international health insurance policies include USA coverage...usually the premium policies have it..we have one from Cigna and it includes coverage in the USA


kthnry

@dave, what airline do you like between NJ and HK?


dave

Cathay Pacific runs from Newark.  So does United/Continental, but I prefer Cathay.




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