Indonesia is blossoming as a favorite destination among global professionals. With more than 300 languages and a mix of various cultures, it has a lot to offer. It is the world’s fourth-most populated country and, with more than 18,000 islands, the world’s largest inhabited archipelago. However, with a large population comes the associated problems. Indonesia excels in tourist experience and cultural diversity but lags severely in facilities and infrastructure, especially related to healthcare.
The healthcare facilities in rural areas are substandard. Even in the bigger cities like Jakarta and Denpasar, the standard is not what most expats are used to. You may find a couple of good private hospitals in bigger cities. But proper care is still not a given.
Indonesia’s healthcare system is in shambles. The government is taking efforts to provide quality and affordable healthcare to all. Yet, the huge population is a hindrance. For expats used to dependable healthcare in their home countries, Indonesia expatriate health insurance is a safer option to get proper care than Indonesian health insurance.
BPJS - Indonesia Universal Healthcare
BPJS, or Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial, is the government agency that runs the universal healthcare program in Indonesia. This program is called the Jaminan Kesehatan Semesta (JKS). It is the world’s biggest national universal healthcare program.
Types of BPJS
- BPJS Kesehatan: Healthcare coverage (focuses on providing healthcare services).
- BPJS Ketenagakerjaan: Social security (focuses on compensation related to work, death, and dismemberment).
Everyone living in Indonesia needs to have BPJS healthcare. It is the Indonesian public health insurance. If you are working, you will also need to have BPJS social security.
Some Must-Know Facts About BPJS
- BPJS covers individuals and their families.
- BPJS is taken care of by your employer, and the premiums are deducted from your salary. If you are not employed, you can visit the nearest BPJS office for registration. Payment can be made through various methods both online and offline.
- BPJS healthcare coverage is comprehensive. There are no limitations regarding coverage, age, or existing conditions.
- BPJS offers a choice between 3 types of services: Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I offers the highest level of service and maximum facilities. Class II is the next level with a lower premium, and Class III has the lowest premium and just the basic facilities.
Now, this may seem like a perfect policy. Indonesia’s public health insurance policy can offer only limited facilities. It is mandatory to have BPJS insurance, but it is also essential for you to have additional coverage. Expats should look for private policies that can boost coverage in times of need. As an expat, if you have Indonesia private health insurance, you will be able to get much more satisfactory care.
The Downsides of BPJS
- You can only get medical treatment considered suitable by your doctor. Any extra tests or medications are not covered.
- You can only go to medical centers associated with BPJS. Most of these hospitals are public hospitals. You will hardly ever find English-speaking staff or high-end facilities.
- You cannot seek coverage for epidemics, emergencies, and natural disasters. All of these are common occurrences in Indonesia. The country is prone to H1N1 outbreaks, malaria, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, and even volcanic eruptions.
- You cannot make claims for cosmetic and infertility treatments.
- You do not get any kind of coverage for alcohol or drug abuse.
- You might not be able to get an ambulance facility. There is no national ambulance system. Private hospitals run their own services. If you seek BPJS coverage, it might not come with ambulance facilities.
- You might have to pay an increased rate of premiums for all the classes. The excessive debt on the system and financial instability causes frequent increases in premiums.
- You will have to wait for hours to get a few minutes of consultation, as most public facilities are over-crowded.
- You may not get the facilities promised in the plans. The financial instability of the system means that there is no timely reimbursement to the connected hospitals. This, in turn, means that the hospital may not be able to or willing to offer you your desired level of healthcare.
- You cannot expect any sort of comfort with the BPJS system. If you would like VIP-level facilities, BPJS doesn’t cover it, and you would have to pay out of pocket.
With these downsides, Indonesian private health insurance is the only way to ensure that your healthcare expenses are covered and that you won’t have to think twice before opting for the best medical care. Even affluent locals opt for private insurance. It is an effective way to cover the downsides of public health insurance.
Expat Health Insurance in Indonesia
If you are looking for expat health insurance in Indonesia, it is always better to go for plans that offer repatriation and medical evacuation coverage. Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore are the nearby countries where you can get stellar medical facilities. Your Indonesia expatriate health insurance will help you avail services in countries with better healthcare, without worrying about the cost.
Having Indonesia expat health insurance will also improve your experience at the local healthcare facilities. Your medical advisor may recommend that you travel abroad for severe conditions—especially for heart diseases, cancer, brain tumor, or other medical issues that would require more expertise and more care.
If you are in rural areas, you will hardly find any private service provider offering the necessary level of care. Even in bigger cities, there is no guarantee that medical care will be appropriate. It is always better to make use of your Indonesia expat health insurance and travel abroad.
While selecting an expat health insurance policy, read the fine print carefully. Ask questions about what is included and what is not. Understand the provisions about maternity, alternate therapies, and dental care. Carefully compare the clauses related to repatriation and medical evacuation in policies offered by different service providers.
Always keep in mind that insurance is not just about saving money on medical expenses. It is about having access to healthcare that does not disappoint.