Shanghai Health Insurance

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  • #5715
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi everyone, I am hoping some of you can share some advice about my current situation. The last time I was in Shanghai back in 2016 my company took care of my health insurance for me, and being young and dumb I didn’t really take it upon myself to understand what my situation was.

    This time around, I would like to be better prepared. I asked my new company if they could simply pay me my healthcare premium monthly, and I would go out and buy my own insurance (and cover whatever additional costs myself).

    Their reply is that they would prefer to insure me using the company plan, and that I should purchase whatever additional coverage I want on my own.

    I can’t see this being cost effective. In fact I’d rather skimp on my China coverage since services are cheap there and I wouldn’t even stick around if something really major happened (if I could help it in such a case) and have a robust US coverage. I also have no faith in collecting from a Chinese insurance company in the case of a real accident.

    Are my requests unreasonable? What are your suggested solutions? Do I have any misconceptions?

    #5370
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi everyone, I am hoping some of you can share some advice about my current situation. The last time I was in Shanghai back in 2016 my company took care of my health insurance for me, and being young and dumb I didn’t really take it upon myself to understand what my situation was.

    This time around, I would like to be better prepared. I asked my new company if they could simply pay me my healthcare premium monthly, and I would go out and buy my own insurance (and cover whatever additional costs myself).

    Their reply is that they would prefer to insure me using the company plan, and that I should purchase whatever additional coverage I want on my own.

    I can’t see this being cost effective. In fact I’d rather skimp on my China coverage since services are cheap there and I wouldn’t even stick around if something really major happened (if I could help it in such a case) and have a robust US coverage. I also have no faith in collecting from a Chinese insurance company in the case of a real accident.

    Are my requests unreasonable? What are your suggested solutions? Do I have any misconceptions?

    #5716
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I think many companies will not allow you to “skimp” on health insurance because they are obligated to cover you.

    And cover in China does not mean it has to be a Chinese insurance company.

    Having said that, my company uses a Chinese company and the service has been fine.

    A colleague had no problems getting treatment at Parkway Health and the bill was settled directly by the company – he did not even need to pay first and claim back.

    #5717
    Anonymous
    Guest

    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.

    #5718
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’m from the US though, and the reason I am unsatisfied with my company-provided coverage is because it doesn’t cover the US.

    #5719
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’m guessing the Company may also be able to deduct some of the costs of the premiums from their corporate taxes as business expenses. If paid to you directly, they are treated as wages and may be subject to withholding taxes. You’d also be subject to income taxes on the amount.

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