China Life Medical Insurance Review

China Life Medical Insurance Review

China Life offers affordable medical insurance with competitive benefit options

Good for

  • Frequent Travelers between Hong Kong and mainland China
  • Coverage for women
  • Online shoppers

Bad for

  • Those looking for high limits for basic plans

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited, one of China's largest state-owned financial insurance corporations, has been providing insurance services in Hong Kong since 1984. In Hong Kong, China Life offers 2 VHIS plans, 4 medical insurance plans, and 10 critical illness options at an affordable rate. Our analysts have compared all of the different benefits to help find the best value for you.

ProsCons
  • Cheap insurance plans
  • Online quotable options
  • Diverse critical illness product offering
  • Limited hospital and surgical product offering
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What Makes China Life Stand Out

China Life stands out due to its critical illness insurance products. Consumers can choose between 10 different critical illness plans with unique coverage terms for a broad customer base.

Many of these critical illness plans offer comprehensive benefits plus a unique feature. For example, the Savvy Lady Protection Plan offers great base coverage plus female disease benefits. See how the Savvy Lady Protection compares to the Best Critical Illness Plans In Hong Kong.

China Life also offers 2 VHIS and 4 medical insurance plans at affordable rates. Overall, China Life is not the absolute cheapest, but it offers comparably low prices for competitive benefit options.

This graph shows the annual premiums for VHIS Standard insurance plans for a 25 year old male non-smoker

China Life VHIS Insurance Plan Benefits

China Life provides 2 certified VHIS plans. China Life VHIS Standard Plan meets the minimum requirements to be certified by the Hong Kong government, while the China Life VHIS Flexi Plan is an intermediate medical insurance plan that goes beyond VHIS Standard plan and lets you mix and match coverage terms based on your needs. Overall, China Life's VHIS insurance plans are competitively priced options for young adult consumers shopping for basic or intermediate coverage terms.

China Life VHIS Standard Plan

VHIS Standard plans generally offer the same coverage across different insurers in Hong Kong, but China Life's VHIS Standard Plan's premium comes 16% lower than the average standard premium in the market. So when looking at VHIS Standard plans, we recommend shopping for price. At such a significantly lower price point, it is hard to beat China Life's VHIS plans.

Insurance is built on trust for a company to deliver on a future promise when you need it most. China Life is not the absolute cheapest standard plan, but consumers who choose this insurer will still have a comparably affordable plan with an established insurance carrier with strong financial ratings.

Check out our review of the cheapest VHIS standard plan in Hong Kong.

China Life VHIS Flexi Plan

China Life VHIS Flexi Plan is great for consumers looking for a small upgrade from a basic medical insurance plan to an intermediate plan. The plan gives the consumer a choice between 5 different plan options.

  • Standard ward - Supplementary major medical benefit
  • Semi-Private - Without supplementary major medical benefit
  • Semi-Private - Supplementary major medical benefit
  • Private- Without supplementary major medical benefit
  • Private - Supplementary major medical benefit

The ward level plan offers up to HK$80,000 in supplementary major medical benefits—significantly improving your base coverage in the event of frequent hospital visits. The other plan options include the choice to include a supplementary major medical benefit.

China Life's VHIS Flexi Plan isn't the most comprehensive plan on the market, but the plan isn't designed to be. In exchange for comprehensive coverage, the plan offers flexibility and lower premiums.

Essentially, China Life VHIS Flexi Plan is a simple Flexi plan that increases the limits of benefit items while offering the flexibility to choose your ward coverage and a supplementary major.

Please look at other Flexi plans we found to be the Best VHIS Plans in Hong Kong.

BenefitsVHIS Standard PlanVHIS Flexi Plan
Basic Benefits
Annual benefit limitHK$420,000Up to HK$750,000
Lifetime benefit limitNilNil
Prescribed diagnostic Imaging TestHK$20,000 per year (subject to 30% coinsuranceHK$20,000 per year (subject to 30% coinsurance
Room and boardHK$750 per dayHK$3,800 per day
Miscellaneous chargesHK$14,000 per yearHK$32,000 per year
Attending Doctor's VisitHK$750 per dayHK$4,000 per day
Specialist's feeHK$4,300 per yearHK$10,400 per year
Intensive careHK$3,500 per dayHK$5,000 per day
Surgeon's fee
  • Complex HK$50,000
  • Major HK$25,000
  • Intermediate HK$12,500
  • Minor HK$5,000
  • Complex HK$90,000
  • Major HK$45,000
  • Intermediate HK$22,500
  • Minor HK$9,000
Anaesthetist's fee35%35%
Operating theatre charges35%35%
Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatmentHK$80,000 per yearHK$200,000 per year
Pre- and Post-confinement/Day case procedure outpatient careHK$580 per visitHK$580 per visit
Psychiatric treatmentHK$30,000 per yearHK$30,000 per year
Enhanced Benefits
Supplementary major medical benefit-HK$300,000 per year (20% coinsurance)
Outpatient kidney dialysis-HK$75,000 per year
Post-confinement home nursing-HK$1,600 per day
Companion bed-HK$650 per day
Emergency outpatient accidental treatment-HK$12,000 per year
Organ donor benefit-HK$900,000 per year
Rehabilitative care-HK$50,000 per year
Compassionate death benefitHK$10,000HK$10,000

BenefitsVHIS Standard PlanVHIS Flexi Plan
Basic Benefits
Annual benefit limitHK$420,000Up to HK$750,000
Lifetime benefit limitNilNil
Prescribed diagnostic Imaging TestHK$20,000 per year (subject to 30% coinsuranceHK$20,000 per year (subject to 30% coinsurance
Room and boardHK$750 per dayHK$3,800 per day
Miscellaneous chargesHK$14,000 per yearHK$32,000 per year
Attending Doctor's VisitHK$750 per dayHK$4,000 per day
Specialist's feeHK$4,300 per yearHK$10,400 per year
Intensive careHK$3,500 per dayHK$5,000 per day
Surgeon's fee
  • Complex HK$50,000
  • Major HK$25,000
  • Intermediate HK$12,500
  • Minor HK$5,000
  • Complex HK$90,000
  • Major HK$45,000
  • Intermediate HK$22,500
  • Minor HK$9,000
Anaesthetist's fee35%35%
Operating theatre charges35%35%
Prescribed non-surgical cancer treatmentHK$80,000 per yearHK$200,000 per year
Pre- and Post-confinement/Day case procedure outpatient careHK$580 per visitHK$580 per visit
Psychiatric treatmentHK$30,000 per yearHK$30,000 per year
Enhanced Benefits
Supplementary major medical benefit-HK$300,000 per year (20% coinsurance)
Outpatient kidney dialysis-HK$75,000 per year
Post-confinement home nursing-HK$1,600 per day
Companion bed-HK$650 per day
Emergency outpatient accidental treatment-HK$12,000 per year
Organ donor benefit-HK$900,000 per year
Rehabilitative care-HK$50,000 per year
Compassionate death benefitHK$10,000HK$10,000

China Life Hospital and Surgical Insurance Plan Benefits

China Life offers 4 different plans for hospital and surgical benefits. We've analyzed these plans and identified the options with the best value relative to their cost.

We found that MasterCare Medical Plan and the 118 Refundable Hospital Income Plan offer value for their money to most consumers by providing broad coverage at affordable premiums.

If you are looking for basic coverage with one of Hong Kong's best insurance carriers, check out China Life's I CARE Medical Insurance Plan.

Most Comprehensive Coverage - MasterCare Medical Plan

MasterCare Medical Plan is the most comprehensive medical insurance plan offered by China Life with an annual limit of HK$22,000,000. The plan provides full coverage for most basic benefits and over 10 additional benefits at no cost to you.

One thing that stands out with the MasterCare Medical Plan is the value-added services for medical treatment offered in Mainland China. Some of these services include medical appointment scheduling, medical concierge, and direct billing services.

So, if you are looking for a comprehensive plan as you travel between Hong Kong and Mainland China, this plan is a great option for you.

Benefits
Annual limit up toHK$20,00,000
Additional benefits10 additional benefits
Full coverage21 different benefit items

Benefits
Annual limit up toHK$20,00,000
Additional benefits10 additional benefits
Full coverage21 different benefit items

Medical + Savings Benefits - 118 Refundable Hospital Income Plan

118 Refundable Hospital Income plan is a unique plan that combines critical illness insurance coverage and a savings account. Essentially, China Life will refund your premium after an 11 year coverage period.

What stands out about this policy is that the premium payment term is only for the first 5 years. This means that after your 5th policy year, you no longer need to continue paying premiums, and you still enjoy 6 more years of daily hospital income benefits.

Keep in mind, the hospitalization and the cancer benefit under this policy are not as broad as your typical medical insurance policy. Although the plan can be an option for healthy young individuals looking for extra medical protection, it is not a great substitute for a standard hospital and surgical insurance package.

Benefits
Daily hospital income benefitUp to HK$1,500
Intensive care unit extra hospital income benefitUp to HK$1,500
Cancer benefitUp to HK$75,000
Premium refund118% after 11 years
Death benefitUp to HK$15,000
Benefits
Daily hospital income benefitUp to HK$1,500
Intensive care unit extra hospital income benefitUp to HK$1,500
Cancer benefitUp to HK$75,000
Premium refund118% after 11 years
Death benefitUp to HK$15,000

Best for Young Adults - I CARE Medical Insurance Plan

I Care Medical Insurance Plan is a basic medical insurance plan that offers flexible choices. Consumers can choose between 3 different ward plans: ward, semi-private, and private rooms. However, the plan has low annual limits only up to a maximum of HK$780,000.

We only recommend purchasing the I CARE Medical Insurance Plan if you choose to purchase the premium option, because the VHIS Standard plan offers comparable benefit limits. Unlike the I CARE Medical Insurance Plan, VHIS plans also provide coverage regardless of the ward you are admitted in a hospital.

Note that your average VHIS Standard plan does not include the additional benefits offered in the I CARE Medical Insurance Plan. However, it won't be easy for consumers to justify the few benefit items for better overall terms.

Please take a look at our top picks for the Best VHIS Plans in Hong Kong.

Benefits
Overall annual limitUp to HK$780,000
Optional supplementary major medical benefitUp to HK$550,000

Benefits
Overall annual limitUp to HK$780,000
Optional supplementary major medical benefitUp to HK$550,000

China Life Critical Illness Benefits

China Life offers 10 different critical illness plans. With so many critical illness insurance options, it isn't easy to choose the right plan. Look at these 2 unique and comprehensive coverage options for critical illness insurance.

Both the Elite Care Critical Illness Insurance Plan and the Savvy Life Lady Protection Plan are comprehensive insurance plans that have been featured in our top picks for critical illness plans in the market.

Best for Covid-19 - Elite Care Critical Illness Insurance Plan

Elite Care Critical Illness Insurance Plan is China Life's most comprehensive critical illness plan that includes coverage for infectious diseases like Covid-19. China Life is one of the first to offer infectious disease coverage with their critical illness insurance plans.

The Plan covers 88 major illnesses and a total of 176 diseases and conditions. Keep in mind that infectious diseases are explicitly defined in the policy form and do not mean that this policy will cover all infectious diseases.

Beyond the covered illnesses, the Elite Care Critical Illness Insurance Plan provides multiple claims coverage of up to 320%, a comprehensive family sharing benefit, and an extended care benefit for children.

AIA's Protect Elite Ultra 3 is a similar plan to China Life's Elite Care Critical Illness Insurance Plan. China Life offers 30% less coverage for infectious disease protection than AIA's plan. That being said, China Life covers 34% more major illnesses than AIA.

So, if your primary concern is infectious diseases in 2020, you should consider AIA's plan with 30% more infectious disease coverage. However, if you are looking for overall critical illness coverage, China Life is an excellent choice.

Benefits
Minimum sum assuredHK$100,000
Critical illnesses covered176 total diseases and conditions
Extra- coverage benefit52% of original sum assured (age 0-30)

Benefits
Minimum sum assuredHK$100,000
Critical illnesses covered176 total diseases and conditions
Extra- coverage benefit52% of original sum assured (age 0-30)r

Best for Women - Savvy Life Lady Protection Plan

China Life has created Hong Kong's first female-focused critical illness plan. Its highlights are the female disease benefits, female medical check-up benefits, and newborn infant bonus.

This plan is a great option if you simply want your critical illness plan to be tailored for women. Customers will enjoy regular female medical check-ups that help early-detection of major illnesses that affect women.

This isn't the most comprehensive plan out there for major illnesses, but the plan still boasts coverage for 63 major illnesses, which is about 13% more than the average competitor. This is not a replacement for comprehensive medical insurance that would provide regular obstetric and gynecological care. Additionally, just because the Savvy Life Lady protection plan covers specific female diseases, does not mean other critical illness plans featured do not cover some of them.

Benefits
Minimum sum assuredHK120,000
Critical Illnesses Covered63 critical illnesses
Guaranteed Cash Coupon10% of sum assured at the 9th and 18th policy anniversary

Benefits
Minimum sum assuredHK120,000
Critical Illnesses Covered63 critical illnesses
Guaranteed Cash Coupon10% of sum assured at the 9th and 18th policy anniversary

Downsides

One downside is that China Life does not offer great limits for their basic plans. This isn't surprising if you consider the low premiums for their basic plans. However, they do offer intermediate plans that compare better across the market. Consumers should consider a China Life plan that is slightly broader to take advantage of the value relative to the cost. It is important to purchase a plan that will sufficiently protect you and your families health and finances.

If you are looking for other medical plans in the market, check out our top picks for the Best VHIS Plans in Hong Kong.

How to Apply for China Life Insurance

Affordable and quick online quotes available

Applicants for China Life's insurance plans generally must be Hong Kong residents aged 15 days or older to apply. You can only purchase the plan through an agent or representative. If you are interested in purchasing a policy from China Life, you can email them an inquiry here.

To find detailed instructions for filing a claim, visit China Life’s customer service.

For those looking to purchase VHIS certified plans, each taxpayer who purchases a VHIS certified plan is eligible for tax deductions of up to HK$8,000 per insured person.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion Hong Kong, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.