Hong Kong is a popular expat destination for its culture, business opportunities but also for its highly advanced “western-style” healthcare system modeled after the UK with private and government subsidized public hospitals working in parallel to keep an island of over 7 million inhabitants healthy.
That said, treatment in the private system doesn’t come cheap. In the last 2 article, we discussed the cost of hospitalization in Hong Kong and the cost of cancer treatment . Other healthcare costs covered by health insurance are dental treatments and alternative therapies.
Cost of Dental Treatment in Hong Kong
Just like with clinics and hospitals, dental treatment in Hong Kong has a public and private system operating in parallel.
Public Dental Care in Hong Kong
Unfortunately, unless you’re a primary school student or a civil servant, the public healthcare system will only cover emergency dental services like extraction and pain relief. All other treatments like routine cleaning/scaling or follow-up appointments are done through private clinics.
Private Dental Care in Hong Kong
The majority of dentists work in the private sector but they’re in short supply. The Hong Kong Dental school only graduates 50 dentists a year so most practicing dentists are trained by foreign English-speaking schools in the US or UK (a bonus if you’re an English-speaking expat).
Like most healthcare in Hong Kong, private dental treatment can be expensive – especially when compared to neighbouring countries. The fees aren’t standardized and dentists are free to charge whatever they want but here’s a table of typical costs:
|Consultation/Check-up (not including fluoride or x-rays)||$500 - $2000 HKD|
|Fillings||$300 - $500 HKD|
|Tooth Extraction||$1000 HKD and up|
|Orthodontics||$30,000 HKD and up|
Dental Health Insurance in Hong Kong
To deal with these costs, most health insurance companies will provide dental insurance as an optional add-on. It varies in price but there are generally 2 tiers of coverage
- Routine Dental: this covers things like scaling, polishing, exams, basic extractions, etc.
- Major Dental: this covers more serious treatments like dentures, crowns, implants, etc.
Cost of Alternative Therapies in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an attractive destination for its mix of east and west reflected in its food and culture. This fusion is also evident in its healthcare system. Although Hong Kong has a very well developed western medical system, many people still prefer alternative therapies like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or acupuncture for treating certain ailments.
Alternative Medicine Coverage
Insurance companies recognize that Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative therapies have played a large part in Chinese culture for thousands of years. And while it’s just beginning to catch on in the west, many people prefer alternative therapies that have fewer side effects.
If you already have outpatient health insurance, you may already have some coverage for alternative medicine treatments. Otherwise, a specialized Alternative Medicine policy can be purchased to cover things like:
• Traditional Chinese Medicine
• Chiropractic Treatment
How Health Insurance Can Help Deal with Costs
Because the public system does not provide dental or alternative therapies, costs can add up quickly. Speak with a licensed Trusted Union advisor to learn about your health insurance options and how it can help you cover some of the costs involved.