Introducing private long-term care insurance in an ageing Asian society: the case of Hong Kong

Stream: Aged care services
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 10.45 am – 12.25 pm

Abstract

Despite the high costs and major financial risks involved in long-term care (LTC), the global market for LTC insurance is very underdeveloped. This is the case of Hong Kong too. The current expenditures for LTC are substantial and expected to increase rapidly in this fast ageing society in the coming decades. Hong Kong’s reliance on taxation and private payment to finance LTC has raised serious concerns on the sustainability of the current financing arrangements.

Policy makers seek to ensure the financial sustainability of the LTC system in Hong Kong by stimulating purchase of private insurance. Despite its potential, the market for private LTC insurance remains underdeveloped even in free-economy ageing societies, with minimal contribution to financing. The government could and should play an instrumental role in nurturing this demand and creating a conducive environment for LTC insurance. This study attempts to fill the gap by identifying the most desirable LTC insurance product in the Hong Kong context in terms of its key characteristics. Specifically, we conduct a discrete choice experiment among 600 mid-aged Hong Kong adults randomly chosen in a household survey. Five key attributes of hypothetical LTC insurance products are presented to respondents to elicit their preferences. The results are of high value to inform both policy-makers and the private sector in designing private LTC insurance products that are receptive in the market.

Author

Alex Jingwei He (Presenter), The Education University of Hong Kong
Dr He Jingwei, Alex is Associate Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Asian and Policy Studies, at the Education University of Hong Kong. Dr He specializes in public policy analysis, health policy and governance and social policy reforms. He has published extensively in these areas,including Public Administration Review, The China Quarterly (2013, 2018), Health Policy and Planning (2014, 2016), Social Science and Medicine, Health Policy, Journal of Contemporary China, Social Policy and Administration, Policy and Society, Public Administration and Development, and Ageing and Society. He serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Asian Public Policy.