Important things every foreigner should know before buying insurance

Updated: Aug 16, 2018 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print

Having healthcare coverage is crucial for every foreigner living and working in China. Below are some important things you should know before buying insurance in China.

Can I get social insurance in China?

According to the Ministry of Education, foreign students need to purchase corresponding medical insurance for admission. Universities will also purchase group insurance for students. Foreigners working in China are protected by social security and medical care benefits provided by their employers. If you don’t have a regular job, you can buy an individual insurance plan that meets your medical care needs.

Are there any insurance products specifically for me?

Generally, foreigners who travel, study, live and work in China are no different from Chinese citizens in purchasing commercial insurance. However, you can find a variety of different types of insurance products on the market according to your needs, such as personal accident insurance, dread disease insurance and investment savings insurance.

What kind of commercial insurance can I buy in China?

Foreigners can purchase any kind of insurance as long as they meet the condition of the insurers. Specifically, short-term products are more suitable for you if you have temporary residence certificates. You may need to purchase long-term coverage if you are a permanent resident, have real property or are married to a Chinese citizen. It should be noted that most domestic insurance companies do not assume insurance liabilities outside the Chinese mainland.

How long will it take to get covered?

Some health insurance plans have waiting periods, which means that coverage for specific services begins after a certain length of time from when you buy it. Therefore, you need to ask the insurer for the actual start date to avoid any inconvenience. 

Does the hospital I intend to go accept my insurance?

If you would like to receive treatment at a specific hospital or clinic, make sure they accept insurance from the insurer you intend to choose. Whether you want coverage for therapy, vaccinations or traditional Chinese medicine, it is important to ensure the health insurance plan you are about to purchase offers coverage to the specific medical care services you are interested in. 

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