Health Insurance

FAQs about buying insurance for expats living in China

Are Chinese expats required to have health insurance

Yes. Yes. All Chinese expats must have health insurance. A comprehensive family plan is essential for long-term Engish speaking doctors in China.

Can foreigners purchase Chinese health insurance?

Yes, Chinese expats are eligible to purchase health insurance. Your application will be simple and straightforward if you and your family are healthy. You can have your family covered in a matter of days.

What happens if my employer offers me government-mandated social insurance?

Even if you have government-mandated social insurance, it won’t cover all costs at the top government hospitals. It will most likely not cover costs at international and private medical facilities with English-speaking nurses and doctors. China’s public hospitals are affordable for basic medical care, but you will be charged a lot if you have to go to the hospital for treatment of a serious illness or injury.

What is the cost of medical care in China?

You need health insurance for serious scenarios. Here are some situations that you might need to have a health insurance policy:

Serious accident requiring hospitalization for 4 weeks. Costs will be more than RMB 1,000,000 (USD 150,000.

Treatment for cancer and surgery plus six weeks of chemotherapy will cost more than RMB 300,000. (USD 47,000).

Heart attack and hospitalization at Shanghai’s leading heart hospital would result in costs exceeding RMB 500,000 (USD 78,000).

Premature delivery (complications during pregnancy): Neonatal ICU costs can easily exceed RMB 1,000,000. Routine child delivery or C sections can easily cost over RMB 100,000 (USD 16,000.) in most international hospitals.

Why can’t I use China’s public hospital?

China’s public hospitals are divided into different tiers. For basic medical care, the lower-tier hospitals may be sufficient and affordable. However, if you have a major illness or accident, you will want to be treated in the upper-tier hospitals or private/international hospitals. It is hard to find English-speaking nurses, doctors, and administrators in Chinese hospitals. The quality of care is also very different to what you would receive in your home country.

Please refer to our comprehensive guide on the costs of treatment in various medical facilities for more information. You can save your time and worry by purchasing comprehensive health insurance. This will give you access to the top hospitals and doctors as well as English-speaking services.