Guide to Health Insurance in China

Whether you’re relocating to China or just looking for a new international health insurance provider, it’s important to know what’s available both in terms of insurance provision, but also medical care and facilities.

China’s total population is 1,353,311,000 with a life expectancy of 72 years for males, and 76 for females. As you can imagine with such a large population, the healthcare services are stretched so getting access to adequate health insurance is more than just a good idea.

Health care facilities

After launching a new health care initiative, China is working towards reforming its current health care system. For expatriates who are looking to relocate to China, international health insurance is vital to avoid incurring the costly one-off fees and ensuring you and your family receive the right level of medical attention.

Most of China’s approx. 12,600 hospitals are situated in the major areas such as the SAR of Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai - and their facilities are of a high standard. However China’s pastoral areas seriously lack adequate medical services and although out-patient care is relatively cheap, the top or even standard hospitals are mainly for VIPs and delegates.

Generally speaking, dental care in China is cheaper than that in the West, but with the same high level of quality. There are private and public dentists, the latter charges a fixed fee and the former’s rates can vary. A large majority of Chinese dentists don’t speak English but there are clinics allocated specifically to the expat community so you can find English-speaking dentists as long as you look hard.

Before you go

It’s essential you vaccinate yourself accordingly before visiting China. Last year there were several serious outbreaks of Avian Influenza that affected large proportions of the population, and this has been the case for the last decade.

Natural disasters are also an unfortunate regularity in the East and in May last year torrential rains caused floods which affected over 400 million people in China with the resulting landslides.

China’s emergency services are strong in the developed cities however, as with the health care, the rural regions are still neglected and the arrival of any emergency service can take a significant amount of time.

Next steps

Get a quote for one of our WorldCare plans for your cover in China.  You can access treatment anywhere in the world, including China and Hong Kong. You can buy online, get covered instantly and manage your plan through your own personal secure online area, so it’s quick and convenient.

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