This article discusses the types of health insurance plans available for expats in China, their coverage, and costs. It also clarifies the limitations of travel insurance and provides options for obtaining health insurance coverage in China.
Types of Health Insurance Plans:
In-patient coverage, which includes medical evacuation, medical repatriation, and repatriation of remains, is the core component of any health care plan for expats. Out-patient coverage for medical care that doesn’t require hospital admission is the most commonly claimed insurance plan. Wellness care, expat maternity care, and dental care are additional options available.
Coverage and Costs:
The amount of coverage provided depends on the specific plan and the costs for each plan differ. In-patient coverage costs between 5,500rmb to 20,000rmb per year for a healthy 25-year-old. Out-patient coverage costs 80-150% of the in-patient premium. Wellness coverage costs 1500-5500rmb per year. Maternity care costs between 10,000-35,000rmb per year. Dental coverage varies widely, costing between 1,500-13,500rmb per year.
Limitations of Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is not a substitute for health insurance in China as it only covers individuals while traveling to other countries. It ceases to work when an individual becomes a resident, i.e., gets a job or becomes a full-time student in China.
Obtaining Health Insurance:
Individuals can obtain health insurance by directly contacting insurance companies. A few major insurers in China are Aetna, Allianz, Bupa, Cigna, and MSH China. Insurance packages are priced according to an individual’s health declaration.
Health insurance is essential for expats in China, and there are different plans available with varying costs and coverage options. Travel insurance is not a substitute for health insurance and individuals can obtain health insurance by directly contacting insurance companies.
If dealing with individual insurance companies sounds daunting, you might consider working with an insurance broker instead. A broker can help you navigate the complex landscape of insurance options and policies available in China, and they can often negotiate better rates for you than you might be able to get on your own.
China Expat Health: A Shanghai-based insurance broker, China Expat Health specializes in helping expats navigate the Chinese healthcare system. They offer a variety of health insurance plans, as well as assistance with finding doctors and hospitals, managing medical bills, and more.
Get Insurance Through Your Employer
If you’re working for a company in China, it’s possible that your employer offers health insurance as part of your benefits package. Many large multinational companies operating in China provide health insurance to their employees, and some Chinese companies may offer it as well.
If your employer does offer health insurance, be sure to carefully review the policy to ensure that it provides adequate coverage for your needs. You may also want to consider supplementing your employer-provided insurance with additional coverage from an individual policy or insurance broker.
In conclusion, getting health insurance as an expat in China is important for protecting yourself and your family in the event of a medical emergency. In-patient coverage is the most basic component of any plan, but you may also want to consider adding outpatient coverage, wellness care, maternity care, dental care, and other options depending on your needs. Whether you choose to work directly with an insurance company, work with a broker, or get insurance through your employer, be sure to carefully review your policy and understand your coverage to ensure that you’re getting the protection you need.