The demand for quality healthcare that meets international standard in China has been on the rise, as the population of expatriates and affluent Chinese increases. In the past fifteen years China’s insurance industry has developed rapidly, as the national standard of living and the healthcare facilities have significantly improved.
However, the local supplementary health insurance industry has not kept up with the changes. Benefits remain limited, without strong hospital networks or multilingual emergency hotlines. Expectations are rising and international health insurance provides the answer.
International health insurance, or expatriate health insurance, is designed to meet the specific needs of expatriates and protect their health, wellbeing and wallet in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. It ensures the use the best medical facilities in China; hospitals and clinics that are internationally accredited and able to provide the highest quality of treatments available. Additionally, if the needed medical is not available locally, an insured person will be relocated to a facility elsewhere that can provide the necessary care, even if that means flying them to their home country. 24/7 Multilingual hotlines are provided for questions and emergencies.
Our network healthcare providers are carefully selected based on industry reputation, quality of care and facilities, including VIP and foreign wards of top public hospitals, and premium international hospitals and clinics. Patients will be referred to the network provider through 24-hour hotline.
Newly arrived expats in China have a lot of questions and concerns about health care and medical insurance — and so they should. One of the big differences between China health care and the US system has to do with the notion of inpatient care and outpatient care. You’ll find that in China, out-patient care can be a lot cheaper than it is in the US — but choices are abound and quality varies widely.
‘Inpatient’ refers to emergencies. If you are admitted to the hospital for one night or more for life saving treatment, you are an “inpatient”. All of the procedures you undergo, including the transport, are considered inpatient procedures.
‘Outpatient’ procedures involve visiting a hospital or clinic for non-emergency treatment. This kind of medical attention does not always require hospitalization.
Example: John takes a spill at school and fractures his wrist. That same day, his dad Bob has trouble with stomach ulcers. They go to the hospital together. Johnny is treated on an ‘inpatient’ basis. He’s x-rayed, wrapped in plaster and released that night. Bob sees his doctor to get tests and a diagnosis. The doctor’s visit, diagnostic tests and prescription are all ‘outpatient’ procedures. A month later, Bob is admitted to the hospital for a surgical procedure and will have to spend 2 nights there under observation. The hospital stay, surgery and associated expenses are all considered ‘inpatient’ procedures.
1. Hospitals in China have gotten better – and more expensive. We used to be quite skeptical about international healthcare policies that covered outpatient care because it was so cheap — and of questionable effectiveness – in China. Nowadays the major cities in China offer international-style clinics for outpatient care that rivals (or surpasses) US HMOs. Unfortunately, the advances in care have been accompanied by advances in pricing.
2. Chinese inpatient care still doesn’t make the grade for many people. Prescribing, diagnosing, bandaging and setting in plaster, are one thing – surgery and other sophisticated procedures are a different story. If you don’t have confidence in Chinese hospitals, you will want a policy that includes medical evacuation, medical travel, and choice of hospital and doctor. These features are expensive, but if you (or your firm) have invested in health insurance, you can choose the doctor and hospital anywhere in the world for your outpatient procedure.
3. Does it cover me internationally? Expect to pay 100% – 300% more in premiums for policies that include coverage in the US. However, many international health insurance policies include (or offer) provisions for emergency cover in the US.
We pride ourselves on being able to present and introduce the best health and medical insurance options available for expatriates, also including, travel, property, liability/indemnity insurance.