Mandatory COVID-19 Tests in Hong Kong Hospitals: How Does it Work?
August 17, 2021
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“I have a planned surgery at a private hospital in Hong Kong and they are asking me to do a COVID-19 test in order to be admitted. Will my insurance cover the costs of this test even if I am asymptomatic?”
According to our research, private hospitals in Hong Kong now require that all patients undergo COVID-19 testing before they can be admitted, even if there is no medical indication to be tested nor if you show any signs or symptoms.
For updates on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong and around the world, check our daily report.
Private hospitals in Hong Kong requiring COVID-19 tests
If you plan to be admitted to a private hospital in Hong Kong soon, note that Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Matilda International Hospital, St Theresa's Hospital, and Union Hospital require a COVID-19 test for any admission*.
The test can be done at the hospital or at any other laboratory recognized by the government.
Some of these private hospitals require a test done within a specific period of time before admission. For instance, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital requires a test done 72 hours prior to admission, and Matilda International Hospital maximum 6 days prior to being admitted there.
Alea experts reached out to 10+ insurance providers in Hong Kong to know whether they cover the tests.
*As the situation in Hong Kong is evolving quickly, it is always best to call or email ahead of time to get the most up-to-date information.
Which insurers cover hospital mandatory COVID-19 tests?
Some insurers (AETNA, ALC, APRIL HK, AXA Global Healthcare, Blue Cross, BUPA Asia, BUPA Global, William Russell) cover diagnostic testing for COVID-19 when needed as part of an inpatient or outpatient admission.
The COVID-19 test will be covered by these insurers if the admission is an eligible condition. If no admission happens after the test, your claim could be rejected.
The reimbursement claim generally has to be done via the normal claims process.
Keep in mind that tests for no medical reason (e.g. travel or to avoid a quarantine when coming through an airport, etc) are usually not covered by insurance providers unless you have a health check-up benefit and can claim the test under such benefit.
Check out COVID-19 Tests in Hong Kong: Where to Go? (UPDATED) for more information.
Which insurers don't cover hospital mandatory COVID-19 tests?
Some insurance providers do not cover such tests, unless they are being prescribed by a doctor or linked to a medical reason or symptom. For instance, these include Henner and Passport Card.
Interestingly, the insurance providers who have taken that stance are the ones based outside of Hong Kong and therefore not as in touch with the situation in the city.
As the situation is evolving quickly all over the world, insurance providers have shown the capacity to adjust when necessary. In our opinion, it is always worth asking for coverage/reimbursement of COVID-19 tests even if your insurer previously did deem this a legitimate claim.
Documents needed to claim for hospital mandatory COVID-19 tests
To avoid any claim rejection or dispute, it is always best to gather as many medical and hospital documents as possible. Before claiming for hospital mandatory COVID-19 tests in the context of an in-patient or day-procedure, you should gather these documents to maximize your chances of being reimbursed:
- Detailed invoices/receipts for your inpatient or day-patient medical intervention;
- Detailed invoices/receipts for your COVID-19 tests;
- Doctor letter prescribing that COVID-19 tests are medically indicated before your hospital procedure;
- Copy of the new hospital policy requesting to show proof of negative COVID-19 testing results to be admitted.
An advisor will be in touch to answer all your questions!
This article was independently written by Alea and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.