What is VHIS / What are the differences with Traditional Medical Insurance in the Market?

  • Updated

Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), regulated by the Health Bureau, is a personal medical insurance that reimburses eligible medical expenses related to hospitalization and day surgeries. All VHIS must meet several standardized product features including policy terms, minimum coverage, and premium transparency. Although insurers can have different coverages and designs for their Flexi Plans, all terms and coverages cannot be set below the standards of the VHIS Standard.


Comparison of VHIS and General Medical Insurance:

  VHIS General Medical Insurance
Lifetime Coverage Limit ❌¹
Tax Benefits
Age of Insurability 15 days - 80 years 15 days - 70 years
Guaranteed Renewal Age Guaranteed lifetime renewal, VHIS Standard guaranteed renewal until age 100 Determined by the insurer
Waiting Period ❌²
Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions Unknown at the time of insuring ✔³
Hospital and Surgical Coverage Covers treatments during hospital stays, may not cover non-hospital treatments
Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment  
Day Surgery Coverage
Coverage for Congenital Diseases ✔ (Coverage starts from age 8 for diagnosed congenital conditions)  
Outpatient Diagnostic Procedures like CT, MRI, PET

Bowtie currently offers three VHIS plans: Standard, Flexi, and BowtiePink, each with varying coverage amounts, ward classes, and deductibles. You can view detailed plan comparisons here.

¹ VHIS Standard Plan does not have a lifetime coverage limit; individual Flexi Plans may have a lifetime coverage limit.
² VHIS Standard Plan has an exclusion period for "Unknown Pre-existing Conditions."
³ VHIS Standard Plan has a waiting period for "Unknown Pre-existing Conditions." The first policy year is a waiting period, partial coverage starts in the second year (25% in the second year, 50% in the third year), and full reimbursement (100%) begins in the fourth policy year.