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China Expat Health Insurance

Quick and easy, find the best health insurance in China for expats for you and your family today. We are insurance brokers in China and have been helping expats since 2008. Our expertise covers most popular options such as health and life insurance plans. Additionally, some of the more niche related plans such as investments, retirements and liability policies.

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10,000s of expats trust us with their insurance needs. Get in touch so we can prove you our expertise.

Wide Range of Health Insurance Policies

Compare some of the popular insurance plans from basic emergency cover to the most comprehensive insurance plans for you and your family.

Easy Access

Health Insurance Quotes will be provided for free in a downloadable PDF on WeChat or directly to your email.

Icbc Axa health insurance for expats in China
Allianz health insurance for expats in China
Bupa health insurance for expats in China
Now Health Logo
MSH health insurance for expats in China
GBG health insurance for expats in China
China Taiping Expat Health Insurance
Pingan health insurance for expats in China
Cigna health insurance for expats in China
Aetna health insurance for expats in China

 * And many other insurance providers

Health insurance for expats in China

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Health insurance in China for foreigners and expats

Health Insurance for Expats in China – One touch Approach

China Access Health is a licensed insurance broker in China. We have been helping foreigners and expats in China with their insurance needs since 2008. Based out of Shanghai, we have license to service clients in all regions in the country. At present our main office is in Shanghai. We have another major office in Beijing and few satellite offices in Shenzhen and Xiamen.

Our Services to Help You Access Best Healthcare in China for Expats


Licensed Insurance Brokers in China

We help our clients to source the best level of protection in line with their needs. This comes from both international and China-based insurance companies. We constantly help large media platforms and their readers on health insurance tips. Some of which are SmartShanghai, The Beijinger, Chengdu Expats and others.


We Work for You

We work on your behalf, we do not work for any insurance company. Mainly, we aim to help expats to get the right health insurance in China. All of the information we collect and our correspondence is confidential. We will never release any of your information to any other party without your permission. 


Our Services Are Free of Charge

Our services are free of charge and we are reimbursed directly by the insurance company. The direct price for medical insurance will be the same regardless how you purchase insurance plan. Although, through our leverage it can be sometimes cheaper on future renewals.


  • We work with top-tier health insurance companies to tailor a package for you. From the cheapest emergency coverage to luxury packages. Such can include traditional Chinese medicine, massage therapy, dental and orthodontic treatment, optical and glasses cover. As an expat in China, you always need to make sure your family has adequate medical protection. Especially in case you need to see a doctor or specialist.

    It will, however, entirely depend on your preferences and budget to figure out what level of insurance protection you need. As a bare minimum, you can always go with inpatient (hospitalization) plan. In other words, for major medical care. This will give you peace of mind in case you should require a planned surgery. Or be hospitalized, or even face an accident and end up on a surgical table.

    More comprehensive health insurance plans in China typically include things such as outpatient coverage and specialists visits. Other extras are dental and wellness, which are also known as preventative benefits. Unsure what level of cover you need? Refer to our ultimate guide on buying china expat health insurance

  • YES, you will have access to cashless payment within your network for most outpatient care. Most companies offer health insurance for expats in China with this function by default at no extra cost. For treatments that are covered under your policy, you’ll just need to show your insurance card. They will take care of they payment.

    Network of hospitals that insurance companies cooperate with vary largely. In major cities like Beijing or Shanghai, you may expect such services from the vast majority of international hospitals. If, on the other hand, you live in Tier 2 or 3 cities in the country, then your options will be limited. However, there are several companies on the market that have several direct billing providers, even in Tier 3 and 4 cities. Keep in mind that those will mostly be government-run public hospital with VIP or International section. In such, foreigners can get certain level of English proficiency from nurse or doctor.

  • Firstly, many of our insurance partners can offer cover for chronic conditions including. For instance, hypertension, diabetes, spine and neck issues, IBS and Crohns disease, depression and anxiety. The whole process of covering pre existing medical conditions is not as straightforward and easy as just shopping for health insurance. But there are options that can either cover it in full at certain designated hospitals, while others might apply certain sub limit that. These can be used per year for coverage on existing medications.

    During enrollment for such plans it is quite common that insurance company in China might request recent check up report. It will be necessary for underwriting purposes. Some are okay with the one dated within the last 12 months. While other companies would prefer a more recent annual medical within the last 6 months. It is pretty common also that some companies can arrange such a check up for you. Obviously, at their own designated provider free to charge.

    Get confirmation in writing for terms of insurance cover

    Once terms of cover are finalized, it always follows with official confirmation in writing. Here you can see what special clause will apply on pre existing conditions in your policy. Very common practice in China is that this sub limit will be going up on each following renewal of the insurance. This is in particular a case for chronic conditions that can be well managed with medications such as diabetes or depression.

    Looking for best healthcare for expats in China can be tricky so for full details see our guide on pre existing medical conditions and how to cover them

  • We know when you are facing a health problem it can be frightening. Additionally you will need to discuss the issue with a doctor who can communicate with you comfortably. All insurance packages will provide access to English speaking doctors in China. With such you can be visiting doctors and specialists who can speak English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Spanish. This however will also mostly depend on the city where you live in China.

    Tier 1 cities such as Beijing or Shanghai will definitely have more international level medical facilities. As a result, either employ doctors who have been trained overseas or even employ foreign doctors full time. If you however reside in Tier 2-3 cities, it will be less options to find foreign doctors. Many of top graded public hospitals have VIP or International sections. Typically, it is very common to have an English speaking doctor there, in some occasions nurse will be acting as a translator.

    We can help you find best doctors in China

    Where possible we will introduce you to a doctor who can speak your language. And is covered in your network under direct billing. For more information please refer to to our guide on most popular medical facilities that have English speaking doctors. Expatriate health insurance in China provides cover in almost all international type facilities across the country. Some of the examples are here English speaking doctors and foreign & international hospitals in China

  • Most of expatriates in China prefer to get health insurance through an international provider. Such as Bupa, Allianz, AXA, Aetna, NOW Health, MSH, ICBC, CIGNA. We work with companies who pay claims quickly and efficiently and provide reliable services. On the top of international providers, there is a lot of local solutions too from companies. Examples are PICC, PingAn, Taiping and ZhongAn. Although those are of a less popularity among foreigners in China. 

  • Once we have secured a package for you we will provide you with all of the contacts you need. This will cover emergencies, claims and ongoing services. You will be invited to a WeChat group that will have your account manager and admin support. In case you need quick access to your policy details or cards – they will be able to help. You can use this group if you have a question about your cover of which clinics and hospitals you can visit.

  • Foreigners and expats in China can opt for a private medical cover. This will be an addition to the free healthcare that is provided by the employer. It is a requirement in the country that all employed foreign nationals contribute towards social insurance. While it certainly doesn’t provide adequate level of protection for most foreigners, which is why a lot of expats go for additional health protection privately. In general, major drawback is lack of access to English speaking doctors and clinics.

    Major cities in China experience huge increase in the number of private and international facilities being open every year. In those foreigners can find English speaking doctors without any problems. If you have social insurance provided by your employer then you can only reimburse costs in government run hospitals, meaning public sector. You will not be able to attend VIP or International sections, only general departments.

    Private medical insurance in China on the other hand covers this loophole. And eventually gives you access to some of the major expat friendly medical institutions. Examples of such are United Family Health, Oasis International Hospital, Jiahui Health and Raffles Medical.

  • Yes, there is. Since 2005 there has been an increasing amount of foreign insurance companies entering China. This includes major providers such as Cigna, Aetna, Allianz and Bupa. Additionally, a lot lower tier companies such as Now Health, MSH, GBG, William Russell, Integra Global, AIG, and Generali. It is a very common practice for international companies to form a joint venture with local insurance company. Or in some cases with a bank that helps them with license and distribution. Examples are ICBC AXA, Cigna CMB, GBG Taiping. 

    In our experience majority of expatriates in China, around 75%, are currently insurance or have been insured in the past with one of the following companies: Allianz, MSH, Cigna, AXA or PingAn. There are many ways how you can tailor your plan, so it is always a good option to stick with one insurance provider on a long run. Main reason for this is due to continuation of coverage.

    Changing insurance providers can be a bad option

    For instance, if there is a new chronic condition, it doesn’t mean that if you change insurance you can still enjoy cover for it. New insurance company will need to reassess it. This means they will apply special terms or even not cover condition at all. Which is why it is important to analyze the options available at start and continue with same insurance for the next years.

    There is currently around 30 privately owned local insurance providers. Some of the major players are PingAn Health, ZhongAn, PICC and TianPing. Major drawback of why most expatriates in China prefer to go with international insurance companies instead is language barrier. Lastly, quite a few paperwork with local companies as well s ongoing hotline servicing will only be handled in Chinese language outside of working hours.

  • Foreigners in China can buy either global or China only health insurance plans from an international or local insurance provider. As long as they meet requirements for enrollment and reside in the country. At present, there are around 280+ options that expats can purchase for their medical protection. Although in our experience, 79% of them tend to buy a plan from one of the following: Allianz, Bupa, AXA, Aetna, or MSH.

    Getting expatriate health insurance in China will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be facing bankruptcy due to a major illness. Another reasons what we see from most clients it is convenience. Convenience comes in several forms, such as access to better healthcare in China.

    Value added services

    With such insurance plans, you are welcome to go to pretty much any private hospital in China. Another big aspect that we see as important for expatriates in China is direct billing. Getting an insurance plan in place is one thing, how about using it? If you always have to go through the pay & claim procedure for every little outpatient thing, with time it might be troublesome. You also always need to check the policy wording of your health insurance contract. As well as make sure what the deadline is for submitting claims.

    Health insurance in China offers clients direct billing at almost all international hospitals. You will be given a medical card that you can use at the point of check-in. As long as this medical provider is on the network list of your insurance company, you can enjoy cashless treatments. Even if something such as an MRI or PT scan will have to be pre-authorized, nurse at the reception desk typically will take care of it.

  • Is medical costs expensive in China? This is the type of question we often hear from potential clients. And the answer is that it primarily depends on what kind of medical facility you go to. In government-run public hospitals, you can see a specialist for as little as RMB 90 while overnight stay in a ward will not run you over RMB 300 a night.

    However, many expats in China are not keen on such care and thus prefer to go to international and private-style hospitals. Costs in those are significantly higher. The average cost of a life-threatening situation in a private hospital in China will exceed RMB 900,000 or ~ USD 140,000. Whereas per-night stay costs for the room fee only vary between RMB 3,500 and RMB 5,000. The most expensive bills for inpatient care are related to ICU fees and treatments in coma. Costs for such are, on average, around RMB 15,000 per night, not including drugs, doctor, or nurse fees. 

    Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, typically cost RMB 300,000 – RMB 500,000 per year. A stroke or heart attack in a top-rated heart hospital in Beijing or Shanghai will not leave much change from RMB 200,000 per case.

    Outpatient care

    Average outpatient bills for a regular family doctor visit will be somewhere between RMB 600 and RMB 1,200. Visiting a specialist will be closer to the RMB 800-2,000 mark. Consultation on different therapies in an international clinic will present you with a bill in the RMB 800-RMB3,500 range. Mental health and other related care with internationally licensed psychologists will be around the RMB 2,200-4,000 mark.

    Prices may also vary depending on the city you live. For example, consultation with General Practitioner in Parkway Health Shanghai will roughly cost you around RMB 1000-1500. Not counting any scans or lab tests they prescribe you. The exact same consultation at Parkway Health in Suzhou will cost you typically 20% less. The same applies for other major hospital chains such as United Family, Raffles, and Sino United Health.

    For more information see our article regarding how much does it cost to see a doctor in China.

  • Average costs for a 35 year old person looking to get a major medical plan only in China are RMB 11,978 per annum. Data is accurate as of 2023. Premiums may vary largely with this type of plan if you have any deductibles as part of it.

    Adding outpatient benefits (clinic doctor visits, prescriptions and therapies) to your health insurance plan in China will increase the premium to RMB 22,210. Premium range in the country is devastating. You can get a China expat health insurance plan with low limits for less than RMB 2,000. While more premium companies like Bupa can easily charge you RMB 100,000. Each company follows a statistical approach when setting premiums. In most cases, they depend on historical data of how such insurance plans performed on the market. In terms of both sales volume and the amount of claims that have been made by clients.

    The more you pay for your insurance, the more you will get in terms of coverage

    By paying a larger sum of the insurance premium, almost always expect much higher limits. This goes in line with more value added services such as: Second Medical Opinion from your insurance company’s own doctor team. Another example is concierge services, where a dedicated customer service team may help you book appointments. For more information on the average costs of health insurance for expatriates in China please see here article on costs of health insurance for expats in China

    A lower premium always refers to less coverage. Additionally, copayments from your side as well as big exclusion lists. On top of that – any sub-limits under your insurance cover, such as the daily outpatient maximum reimbursement limit. If you go over it, the rest of the expenses are on you and won’t be subject to reimbursement. There are other factors that determine the costs too, such as your age, pre-existing medical conditions, access to foreign and international doctors throughout the country, deductibles if any, and on rare occasions the city where you live in China.

Our customers feedback

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Hello there, quick share of my experience as I have just completed shopping for my health insurance in China. Looks like above three are most interesting solutions these days. Might worth checking those out if you are new to market and want to save time on the whole thing.

Apart from it, many thanks to Kamil and his team for making it all happen and guiding me through the process.

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Hi, I have purchased Allianz insurance in June this year. Is it possible to get claims manual, particularly whether I can submit my health insurance claims online through some platform? Thanks

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