International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) Protecting You in Hong Kong and Beyond

Estimated reading time 7 minutes
27 Sep 2021
What Makes a Truly Global Medical Insurance Plan?
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27 Sep 2021

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

Are you looking for medical insurance plans with prestige global coverage? Unlike local plans, Bupa Global’s International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) is designed to offer a high level of coverage and features to those with international lifestyles, like senior executives, professionals and families with migration plans, making IPMI an excellent choice for frequent travellers who demand a high level of medical protection regardless of where they are.

Bupa Global IPMI vs local high-end medical plans: what is the difference? 

Both local high-end medical insurance products and Bupa Global IPMI provide global coverage. However, some major benefits are different: 

Table: Comparing local high-end medical plans and Bupa Global IPMI

Local High-end
Medical Plans
Bupa Global
Out-patient Treatment Optional ✓(note 1)

Maternity and Childbirth

- Natural Delivery/ Caesarean Section

 - Pregnancy complications

- Pre and post maternity clinical costs


✓ (Some plans may cover)

Shared with maternity 
coverage limit, if applicable

✓(note 1)


Covered under out-patient 
treatment benefit (note 1)

Medical Coverage for New-born X ✓ (note 2)
Pre-existing Conditions X
(subject to underwriting)

  • Out-patient Treatment: The path of recovery starts with out-patient care. While most local high-end base plans usually exclude out-patient benefits, Bupa Global IPMI (note 1) covers out-patient treatment without being limited to network doctors and allows direct access to global specialists or consultants without the need for general practitioner referrals. It also provides a variety of coverage on complementary and alternative treatments such as chiropractors, traditional Chinese medicine, psychologists and naturopathy. Some plans even cover regular health checks, dental benefits, optical benefits and vaccinations. 

  • Maternity and Childbirth: Starting a family is one of life’s most significant milestones. It is essential to protect both the mother and the new-born. Only few local plans offer maternity coverage as optional benefit, in which the pre and post maternity clinical visits (including tests, scans, etc.) are counted as part of the total maternity coverage limit. In contrast, selected Bupa Global IPMI plans offer maternity benefit covering pre and post maternity clinical costs separately under the Out-patient Treatment Benefit. In addition, Bupa Global IPMI (note 1) can cover up to USD30,000 on delivery and pregnancy complications, providing sufficient coverage even for private ward at several Hong Kong prestigious hospitals.

  • Medical Coverage for New-born: One of the biggest concerns for expectant parents is whether medical coverage can be provided for their new-born immediately after delivery. Most local medical insurance plans can only be underwritten and approved 15 days after birth, resulting in a coverage gap or exclusions if congenital conditions arise. Bupa Global IPMI could cover a new-born from birth, including complications during delivery and congenital conditions (note 2).

  • Pre-existing Conditions: One of the common exclusions in local medical insurance plans is any pre-existing condition. While the local Hong Kong VHIS (Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme) only covers “unknown” pre-existing conditions, Bupa Global IPMI could cover pre-existing, chronic, congenital, and hereditary conditions (note 3), giving more options to customers with different conditions. For example, those with diabetes with acceptable blood sugar level, or those with full recovery from cancer, could still be eligible to get medical coverage under IPMI (note 3).

A wealth of benefits to suit every life stage 

When good is not enough? As all-round medical insurance, Bupa Global IPMI offers the highest level of coverage available within Bupa. The signature suite of products available can meet the needs of individuals and families at various life stages and affordability levels.

  • Major Medical: For senior executives and professionals who are covered by corporate medical insurance, Major Medical can be used as a top-up plan to access international hospitals. With annual maximum coverage at USD 4,500,000/ HKD 35,000,000, it offers in-patient care, medical evacuation and repatriation, as well as a range of deductible options which allows the premium to go as low as HKD706 a month in average for a Hong Kong resident aged 30 under standard terms (note 4).

  • Elite: With up to USD 10,000,000/ HKD 78,000,000 of annual extensive global in- and out-patient cover for individuals and families, Elite covers major illnesses including cancer treatment in full and can cover up to two children under 10 years of age at no extra cost (subject to underwriting) (note 5). The plan offers maternity benefits after a 10-month waiting period, including delivery, complications, and pre- and post-natal treatment. Upon the child’s birth they can enjoy the same wider plan benefits and congenital conditions could be covered (note 2 and note on additional rules). Elite also includes dental and optical cover, vaccinations, complementary therapies, and mental health cover.

  • International Health & Hospital Plan (IHHP): Usually the price of medical insurance increases with age to reflect the increasing risk, sometimes making it unaffordable at older ages. A unique feature of IHHP is that after age 60, age is not a factor in premium increase (note 6), easing some of the uncertainties on your medical insurance expense in the longer term. With annual maximum coverage of USD 4.4m, IHHP is a customisable plan with core hospital cover (note 7) plus four optional modules, giving IHHP members the flexibility to meet their personal needs. The four optional modules include Non-Hospitalisation, Medicine and Appliances, Medical Evacuation and Repatriation, and Dental and Optical.

More importantly, with IPMI you have access to some of the best medical services you deserve with freedom to choose hospital or clinics globally, including the advanced cancer and paediatric hospitals in the U.S. As members of Bupa Global Health Plans, you will also have access to professional second medical opinion service to provide you with reassurance on your diagnosis and treatment plan. You can get direct access to Bupa’s multilingual in-house medical experts 24/7. Furthermore, all Bupa Global policyholders can access Global Virtual Care (note 8), a complementary service allowing access to GPs via phone or video anywhere in the world. 

More than 30-year track record with continuous enhancements to existing members

Choosing an insurance plan with a strong track record is crucial to protecting the health of you and your loved ones. Bupa Global’s IHHP has been around for 30 years with continuous enhancements to allow existing members to enjoy better coverage without being re-underwritten. 

Bupa has become a trustworthy health-focused brand since serving customers in 1947. As the international business arm of Bupa, Bupa Global is currently providing extensive global health insurance cover to customers around the world, with a team of professional experts and a growing network of over 1.5 million medical providers, including renowned hospitals and clinics around the globe. 


  1. Only available on certain plans.
  2. Waiting period applies. Your newborn can be included on this plan from birth without completing an application form and will be covered regardless of any health conditions when: at least one parent has been covered on this health plan for 10 months or more prior to the child’s birth, and a copy of the birth certificate is submitted within 30 days of the birth.
  3. Subject to underwriting and potential premium loadings.
  4. Based on a 30-year-old male using annual payment mode residing in Hong Kong and covered in standard terms.
  5. Per insured parent, subject to underwriting.
  6. Only for those who join before age 60. Premium increases due to medical inflation apply.
  7. Core cover includes: In-patient care, cancer cover, maternity cover, two children under 10 included subject to underwriting.
  8. Global Virtual Care service is provided by a third party, Advance Medical, a Teladoc Health Company.
  9. The above information is provided by Bupa Global and as of July 12, 2021.

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