China’s free public healthcare system covers nearly 90% of the country’s citizens. It is available to expats, also. However, most foreign nationals in China prefer to have private insurance coverage; the reasons are multiple and varied, as you will learn below.
How Does China's Healthcare System Work for Expats?
Regional Variations in National Healthcare Coverage
China’s free public healthcare is usually available to expatriates who participate in the country’s social insurance plan. However, there are variations within the different regions’ interpretations of the national insurance norm.
As a foreign national, you do not need to participate in (or you may not have access to) the social insurance plan in some regions. If you are residing in such an area, and you do not have access to China’s public healthcare system, you need China expat health insurance. When you purchase expat health insurance that is operational anywhere in China, you will be free from the headache of figuring out whether you have access to the national healthcare system from the region in which you reside.
Public Healthcare Coverage and Beyond
If you are employed and living in any of China’s urban areas, the urban employee basic medical insurance plan is mandatory. However, this mandatory public healthcare insurance may not cover the non-working members of your family. With China expat insurance, you can provide coverage for your entire family.
Urban employee basic medical insurance is a public healthcare plan where the employer and the employee share the costs. In general, the employer has to pay 6% of your salary as a contribution to your health insurance. The employee’s contribution is 2% of the salary. There are some variations between different municipalities.
You can also benefit from the urban employee basic medical insurance plan as a self-employed person. However, as your own employer, you would have to make the total contribution yourself.
Escape the Gaps in The Public Healthcare System with Expat Health Insurance
The public health insurance in China will not cover everything you could possibly need. For example, it usually does not cover emergency transportation costs. Also, if you need to access a private healthcare facility for any specialized need, public health insurance will not cover it.
Buy China expat health insurance for wider, comprehensive coverage. You will be able to keep your options open to access private healthcare as and when you need it. The security of knowing that all your specialized healthcare needs will be provided for is priceless.
China Expat Health Insurance To Save Money
Major Chinese cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai have some of the best hospitals in the world. If you seek treatment at these hospitals, it is an experience to remember if you have access to their state-of-the-art services.
China has marvellous maternity hospitals that are more like spas than healthcare facilities. Giving birth in China can be a delightful experience if you have the right insurance coverage. Most of these advanced hospitals also have multilingual personnel to make things easier for you. However, these facilities are expensive.
Also, for healthcare needs that are not life-threatening, most hospitals request payment for services in advance. Ensure immediate attention to your healthcare needs with your expat healthcare insurance plan. You’ll be able to deposit the necessary amount without worries when you know you have the right insurance to cover it.
Paying for any necessary treatment from your own pocket can cost you quite a bit more than you might expect. With expat health insurance coverage, in China, you can access some of the world’s best medical care, and you won’t have to worry about the expenses.
China Expat Health Insurance Eligibility
If you are moving to China for a minimum of six months, then you are eligible to buy expat health insurance whether you are there to study, for work, for business, or for leisure.
Anyone up to the age of 74 can buy expat health insurance. There are some plans available for those ages 75 and above; however, there are limitations. It is only possible to extend an existing expat health insurance plan for coverage beyond 74 years as long as the plan was purchased before the age of 65.
Expat health insurance plans also let you choose from a variety of coverage area options; you can choose a plan with global coverage or a plan with global coverage excepting certain countries if you know your travel will be restricted to a group of countries. Some plans may also have options to add additional coverage options for dental and vision, term life insurance, sports, enhanced prescription coverage, and/or terrorism.
Even if you already have insurance coverage through your employer, you can buy expat health insurance that excludes your employer’s country.
Points to Remember for China Expat Healthcare
Most healthcare facilities in China, public or private, do not accept foreign private insurance. You’ll need to pay up front and claim reimbursement from your insurance company. Also, remember that card payment options for healthcare expenses remain limited. You may need to deposit cash instead.
Expatriate health insurance in China goes beyond the coverage available in the public healthcare system and can fill the gaps in coverage when you need it most. Contact us to learn more about China expat health insurance plan options.