Reply To: Shanghai Health Insurance

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If you get sick and your company doesn’t have your insurance details, then it will be tough for anyone to sort out coverage and treatment for you.

Chinese hospitals don’t have a “treat first, bill later” approach to healthcare. You need to prove you are good for the money before they start treatment in most serious cases. It is rather tricky to return home and fish out your insurance docs when you are unconscious on the floor of the hospital.

Yes, there are “foreign hospitals” here that will treat first, but they are merely a group of GPs who refer to the Chinese hospital for anything specialized, like surgery. They can’t do anything for you if you have bleeding on the brain from a traffic accident for example.

This is completely forgetting the group discount that your company gets from its insurer. This can be up to 20-40% depending on the size of the group. You won’t get that yourself.

I’ve heard Chinese insurers pay out. Secondly I’ve heard foreign based ones that don’t on occasion, and in China there isn’t much legal redress on offer in that scenario.

Talk to a health insurance broker like PIBB if you must, but chances are your company arranged insurance will be better and cheaper than what you’ll find yourself. And with the added bonus your HR department will help sort you out of any problems arise, heaven forbid.

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