Second Medical Opinion in China

Second Medical Opinion in China 150 150 China Access Team

What is Second Medical Opinion?

If you ever feel uncertain about your medical condition, or feel you have been misdiagnosed – this is when you need to use Second Medical Opinion services. This is a very popular option many expatriates in China prefer to use. In particular, due to need for having a better understanding of local health practices. Which is why many insurance companies offer such services on top of regular insurance protection. Sort of a value added services.

Why would I need second medical opinion in China?

If you are looking for a peace of mind and want extra certainty for your medical conditions – using second medical opinion will be a great choice. Through this, you will get extra reassurance through insurance company’s own medical team. They will go through your diagnosis and all medical report, and highlight if there is any discrepancy in your treatment plan.

When can I use it?

If your China health insurance plan has second medical opinion services, you are welcome to use them. Make sure to check policy wording of your plan regarding any waiting period. With some companies you may need to wait a couple of month after insurance plan was first purchased. before you can utilize those benefits. Once waiting period is gone, this will not apply again if you renew on the same plan structure next year.

How to use those services?

Checking policy wording of your insurance plan will be a good start. Quite often there are clear guidelines on how to use such services. Generally speaking, you have to get a diagnosis first with a licensed medical practitioner. Should you feel need of a review by another doctor, or simply double checking if everything was alright, you will need to contact your insurance hotline team. They will arrange their second medical opinion team to review and get back to you with feedback. Quite often large insurance companies employ their own doctors for those matters. Smaller tier insurance companies outsource it to third parties. Regardless what option it is, after contacting hotline support you will be assigned a doctor of their own. They are referred as Case Managers. All future communication will go through them.

Keep in mind that using second medical opinion doesn’t use any benefits from your policy structure. However, there might be some restriction regarding how many times per year such services can be utilized.

If you are still looking for good china expat health insurance, let us guide you and show you what’s available. 

Our Editorial Team

Expatriate Healthcare in Hangzhou

Expatriate Healthcare in Hangzhou 150 150 China Access Team

Hangzhou – Expatriate Healthcare

Hangzhou, conveniently located within 2 hours train ride from both Nanjing and Shanghai. It is one of the major hubs in the country for high tech companies. All because of lucrative policies cherishing SME and MNCs that decide to move headquarters there. Home to more than a dozen of high tech giants, Hangzhou becomes more So where to get good expatriate healthcare in Hangzhou?

Hangzhou is capital of Zhejiang province. It is in between Jiangsu on the north, Shanghai on the east, Fujian on the south and Anhui on the west. You will come across several major international schools in the city. Additionally, a good number of bilingual schools and kindergartens. Most of the expats in Hangzhou are employed either in education sector or in high tech. Third largest sphere for foreigners in there is cross border trading.

Hangzhou Expat Health Insurance

Below is the list of some of the most popular medical facilities with English speaking doctors in Hangzhou. Foreigners and expatriates can get very good quality care in Hangzhou in those. If you have good expat health insurance in China already, you will most likely enjoy direct billing in those. Meaning, most of outpatient care can be done cashless. In that case, medical facility will settle the bill directly with you insurance provider. Keep in mind that certain things shall be pre-authorized. Such as major scans or inpatient stays. It is always a good idea to clarify such with the medical facility you are heading to in advance.

Hangzhou Amcare Hospital 杭州艾玛妇产医院

Hangzhou Aima Maternity Hospital 杭州艾玛妇产医院

Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital 浙江大学医学院附属邵逸夫医院

Hangzhou Sino United Health Clinic 杭州曜影门诊部有限公司

How to receive a treatment in hospital in Hangzhou

Most of the time you can enjoy direct billing or guarantee of payment for outpatient care, if your insurance provider has such services. Inpatient care or hospitalization is very different. In many public hospitals they will require you pay deposit upfront before you can access any long term care.

Hospital will return you deposit once they received payment from insurance company. Keep in mind, pre-authorization for planned surgeries on average takes 3 working days. We always recommend clients to apply for such at least 5 days in advance. Simply because insurance company has to verify treatment plan and costs estimations together with a hospital. In emergency situations, it is quite common that guarantee of payment (GOP) will be issued within 24 hours. All depends how experienced the nurse at a clinic is when dealing with insurance companies.

If you are already in Hangzhou and looking for health insurance to give you great services and access to expatriate level of medical care – get in touch so we can help.

Check out our ultimate guide for more details on English speaking and foreign doctors in China. 

Our Editorial Team

Dental Insurance in China

Dental Insurance in China 150 150 China Access Team

Dental Insurance in China

This article will guide you through dental health insurance options in China. We will cover not only dental raiders as part of regular insurance policies, but also dental insurance plans that you can purchase separately. Keep on reading to learn more!

Who needs dental insurance?

First of all, why would you need dental insurance cover? This is a question you need to ask yourself. We always recommend clients to check on how much medical expenses they encountered in the past. For example, a person has perfectly aligned teeth and only does cleaning once per year. In this case, there is no need to get top of the line expensive plan that will cover orthodontics care. So check your own situation, start by figuring out:

  1. how much do I usually spend on medical for my teeth? Take this amount on average per year.
  2. is there any future dental work I need to get done? What’s the approximate costs of it? This will help us find you the right plan to cover the expenses you will face.

Does China have dental insurance?

Most private insurance plans in China can include dental benefits as part of your cover. Those, typically, will be optional benefits, meaning you will need to pay extra premium to get them. There are also option where you can opt for dental only insurance plan. More on this below.

What does dental insurance include?

This depends on how comprehensive insurance plan is. A lot of policies will cover emergency dental care even if you don’t have additional dental raider. This usually goes as part of the core benefits. In other words, inpatient part of your insurance plan. So check carefully table of benefits and figure out if you have those already or no.

Most insurance companies in China can let you purchase dental raider for extra costs. This is an optional add-on. Meaning, you pay extra premium and those benefits will be added to your plan. Typically, with options dental care is classified under 3 options.

Class 1 – preventative care. Sometimes you will see the term “basic care” in your policy documents. Under this, you can claim things such as: routine examinations and cleanings. As well as, scaling and polishing. Keep in mind that some companies can apply restriction on how many cleanings you can do per year. Certain insurance companies offer 100% cover for this type of treatment. Most, however, will require a certain copayment from your side, which is usually 20-25%.

Class 2 – restorative care. This includes more complex things such as dental surgeries or crowns. Composite fillings and extractions in most cases are part of this benefit as well.

Class 3 – major care. Here is where you will encounter large medical bills. Not all insurance companies offer such services, so if you need it, let your insurance broker know. If you are concerned about one of the below type of treatment or need to get some of such done, you will definitely want them to be as part of your insurance cover. Orthodontic care, including braces and even aligners, bridges and dental prostheses, as well as implants. Most of the time, insurance companies have a copay of 50% on such care.

How much benefits limit should I get?

Dental insurance raiders that cover preventative care, will provide you with RMB 3-6,000 limit. You can use those per person and per year. On each renewal limit gets renewed. Generally speaking, this is enough. We will need of course look at the costs of dental care.

Is dental care cheap in China?

The rate varies and largely depends on what clinic you visit. In Tier 1 cities in China regular cleanings in international hospitals will cost you RMB 500-900. Deep clean and scaling will be towards RMB 800-1,300 mark per time.

If your major concern is class 2-3 dental care, first of all, there are not many plans that have high enough limits to cover such. For example, German implants will roughly cost you RMB 16,000 in Beijing or Shanghai. Korean brand will be more around RMB 13,000 mark. Whole 2 years course of braces or aligners will be around 20,000-60,000. Those primarily depend on complexity of situation as well as what materials and treatment you use. For those, we suggest clients to consider dental insurance plan with minimum amount of cover of RMB 10,000 per year.

I have insurance through my work, but it doesn’t include any dental care. Can I purchase those separately?

Yes, you can. Be prepared, plans that meet such requirement as of 2023 are only offered by local insurance providers. We are not aware of any international insurance company that has such a plan. Below example is from one of the largest local insurance companies. This is a very popular option these days if you need major dental care done.

Orthodontic care China dental insurance

Such plans work as a package. You can carry medical expenses out of pocket, but bills that clinic will give you are different from what they give to insurance companies. The better relationship there is between them and insurance provider, the lower will be the price. This is why, insurance companies can sell you such packages. Below one is another example of similar level cover but less limits.

Dental insurance in China

If you need help from reliable insurance broker in China, get in touch. Our bilingual consultants will be happy to show you options available, and make sure you have access to best healthcare for expats in China.  

Our Editorial Team

Travel Insurance in China

Travel Insurance in China 150 150 China Access Team

Travel Insurance in China.

If you are looking for a reliable travel insurance in China, this article will guide your through the options available. Get in touch with our experts so we can help you explore even more options. Below list, however, is some of the most popular solutions based on our clients’ experience.

Is travel insurance mandatory for China?

There is no such requirement to have valid travel insurance before arriving to China. Ultimately, travel insurance is designed to cover medical expenses when one is traveling outside of the country of residency. Which is why most expats prefer to get it prior to traveling. Keep in mind, many comprehensive travel insurance plans in China will include extra benefits as well. For instance, loss of luggage compensation, loss of credit/debit card, or even flight delays. So on the top of the basic medical cover, you will be getting such extra level of protection.

Another important aspect of travel insurance is evacuation and repatriation benefits. Many places, for example EU or Schengen area, even have a visa requirement in terms of the below:

  1. minimum level of cover on medical side
  2. evacuation and repatriation benefits

With those in mind, keep reading and you will find some of the most popular solutions if you plan to travel outside of China for short trips.

Who can buy travel insurance?

Generally speaking, requirements are similar among all companies. Some of them are: maximum enrollment age of 79. Additionally, plans shall be purchased before you left your country of residency. This in particular is important, many companies will not let you purchase a plan if you are on a trip already.

Allianz International Travel Insurance China

We all know Allianz. They are one of the largest insurance conglomerates in the world. On top of regular health insurance, you can purchase a standard travel insurance from them. They have 7 different plans available. Some explicitly designed for people traveling to Europe. Needless to say, they meet all Schengen requirements in that case. Plan has to be purchased prior your travels.

Allianz travel insurance in China has plans with as little cover as RMB 100,000. Their top end plan will cover you for almost RMB 1mil. Same as most other insurance plans, higher premium refers to higher benefits in the policy. Below is policy structure for your reference on Allianz travel plans.

Allianz China Travel Insurance

Starr Insurance

Another very popular travel insurance for those going out of China is from Starr. Below is also QR code that can let you purchase it all online. Similarly to Allianz, they have 6 plans available. As little cover as RMB 100k under the first one. And around RMB 1mil for the high-end option. Price-wise Starr is very similar to Allianz and is around RMB 60 per week of travel under most cost effective plan. On the other hand, highest limits plan will be more around RMB 250 mark per week of travel.

Starr Travel InsuranceBuy travel insurance in China

If you are looking for experts to guide you through health insurance in China, get in touch.

Our Editorial Team

What is preventative care and how to cover it with health insurance?

What is preventative care and how to cover it with health insurance? 150 150 China Access Team

What is preventative care?

The purpose of preventative care is to help a person deduct any potential abnormalities in their health at early stages, in many cases, before symptoms actually develop. This article will guide you through the preventative care raider on health insurance plans, how to check if you have these benefits already and if in general it worth to include it.

First of all let’s figure out what is preventative care. Most insurance companies will already have wellness raider “built into” the plan. Others will have it as elective, meaning you can pay extra and get it into your policy. Preventative care refers to something that you can use without necessarily being sick.

The following treatments are usually classified as preventative care under insurance policy. Routine health checks, preventative immunizations and eye checks. Insured member can decide to do an annual health check without having initial symptoms to consult on. If you have certain symptoms or discomfort, such consultations usually go as part of general outpatient benefit.

How can you check if your plan includes preventative care?

For that you will need to refer to your wellness raider. This is a general rule of how insurance companies list preventative care under policy structure. Number one step is to check your actual table of benefits. Entire policy structure with limits is on it. Example below.

Health Check Ups for Health Insurance

This will clearly state what the benefit can be used for as well as what limit do you have. Most insurance companies in China have limits that apply per policy year. So when you renew your plan next year, limit will be renewed as well. Example above lists that only check ups and vaccinations are covered under this raider. So if you do decide to go for a check up with ophthalmologist, this will be billed separately. There are insurance companies that can have vaccination benefits as a separate limit. Particularly for plans designed for kids. In some cases all of preventative care can be under the same limit as example below.

Health Check up in China

Does it worth to include preventative care?

If your health insurance doesn’t include wellness raider, there is a chance it goes as an optional add on. Surprisingly, extra costs for those is higher for adults than for kids. This is a case of most insurance plans in China. So does it worth including preventive care in your China expatriate health insurance?

In general, adding these benefits in terms of “value for money” is not great. Companies follow a rule where benefits vs extra costs ratio is 1:0.8. For instance, if you add RMB 2,000 wellness benefits, you should expect to pay around RMB 1,600 on your insurance premium. Reason for this is because insurance companies consider preventative care as claims that will definitely occur under each policy. You don’t have to be sick to use it, so why not use all of it, right?

Doest preventative care in insurance worth to include?

In conclusion, if your insurance plan already has wellness benefits then it is no subject to any extra costs. You are good to use them every year as limits will be renewed on each subsequent renewal of your insurance. On the other hand, it does look like adding these benefits as extra will not be a good option. But hey, we all need annual medical. And if we all do it every year for RMB 3,000, why not pay RMB 2,600 for it. Saving RMB 400 has not hurt anyone yet.

Are you looking for the best foreign and English speaking doctors in China? Read our ultimate guide on this here. 

We also discuss here importance of expatriate health insurance in China and how to get the most out of it. 

Our Editorial Team

Expatriate Healthcare in Chongqing

Expatriate Healthcare in Chongqing 150 150 China Access Team

Chongqing – Expatriate Healthcare

As per recent China census in the last years, Chongqing is ranked #1 most populous municipality in Mainland. It is also directly controlled municipality alongside as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. Location of the city is in-between two major rivers, which led Chongqing to establish itself as a major transportation hub within the country. As a result, it became a very attractive destination for expatriates for relocation. All because more and more multinational companies open branch offices there. So where to get good expatriate healthcare in Chongqing?

Home to several major international and bilingual schools in China, Chongqing offers quality international healthcare to foreigners. Choices vary primarily with some large government run public medical facilities with International Departments. There are however also several foreign international hospitals and clinics.

Chongqing Expat Health Insurance

Below is the list of some of the most popular medical facilities with English speaking doctors. Foreigners and expatriates can get good quality care in Chongqing in those. Most of them have direct billing services with major insurance companies in China. This means you can go directly to obtain outpatient care without any extra steps. Always make sure to bring your medical card as proof of your cover. In that case medical facility can verify right away what benefits and policy structure you have as well as help you to arrange bills to be sent to your insurance providers. There might be some situations when you will need to take some extra steps beforehand. Such things might include pre-authorization or even applying for GOP (Guarantee of Payment Letter) for the elective medical treatment.

Raffles Hospital Chongqing 慎安(重庆)医院(RAFFLES 重庆渝北店)
Global Doctor – Chongqing Clinic 重庆环球医生诊所
Chongqing Wuzhou Women’s&Children’s Hospital 重庆五洲妇儿医院
Chongqing Hoeye Hospital 重庆何氏眼科医院
Chongqing Life Infinity Clinic 重庆聚美力诊所(重庆生命汇)
Songshan General Hospital 重庆松山医院

How to receive a treatment in hospital in Chongqing

Most of the time you can enjoy direct billing or guarantee of payment for outpatient care, if your insurance provider has such services. Inpatient care or hospitalization is very different. In many public hospitals they will require you pay deposit upfront before you can access any long term care.

Hospital will return you deposit once they received payment from insurance company. How much of deposit are we talking about, this largely depends on the treatment you are about to receive and is usually somewhere in the range 10-25% of the total costs of it. It is your duty then to notify insurance provider as fast as you can so they can start processing payment to medical facility. Notification can come pretty much from anyone, even a nurse at a hospital if she is willing to help you with that. In private facilities such as Raffles they have experience with that and will do everything for you. In government run hospitals it is quite often you will need to help insurance company and chase hospital representatives for extra documents before they can approve payment, such as detailed treatment plan, costs estimations and so on.

If you are already in Chongqing and looking for health insurance to give you great services and access to expatriate level of medical care – get in touch so we can help.

For more details about English speaking doctors in China visit our another article

Our Editorial Team

How smoking and alcohol affects health insurance in China?

How smoking and alcohol affects health insurance in China? 150 150 China Access Team

What qualifies as a smoker for health insurance in China?

As an expat in China, for an individual or family health insurance policy you will need to fill out application form to get the plan. Complexity of enrollment form depends on marketing team of insurance company. However there are a lot of similarities between questions that are asked on it between companies. Apart from regular height and weight figure, almost all companies these days ask if insured person smokes. This article will guide you how smoking and alcohol affects your health insurance in China.

General rule for insurance providers to qualify if someone is a smoker is if they consume more than 14 cigarettes. In that case form will go for further review with underwriting team. It is hard to predict the outcome of such. More conservative companies might require you to provide a recent check up report. In our experience this is largely a case if a person states they smoke more than 30 cigarettes a day. There is also a chance insurance company might apply special loading on you medical insurance in China. Loading refers to a certain % that you will be required to pay on top of a standard premium. Given the fact of course that you still want to continue with coverage.

According to World Health Organization, more than 22% of world population use tobacco on a daily basis. This results in severe chronic medical conditions over the long term. This, in particular, a major aspect why insurance companies carefully assess such situations.

Do I need to notify insurance company if I started smoking?

Situation is very different if you are already insured for some time and decided to consume tobacco. There is no specific rule that you need to notify insurance company about that as there is a continuation of cover. This means you are covered as per terms given on the initial start day of insurance contract. This is also known as a first day of the policy.

Typical results are facing special terms on your insurance coverage. Additionally, medical team might ask you further questions before they finalize the enrollment. It is important to remember that smoking habit overall brings negative impact on your health over a long-term. A person who is keen to smoke is more likely to suffer from common cough or cold than a person who isn’t. List of potential future medical conditions that can develop because of smoking is endless.

How will insurance companies treat tobacco and alcohol related treatment?

With most insurance providers in China there is a very clear exclusion in terms of what cover is available on this matter. It is common to explicitly state that they won’t cover anything related to drug addiction or alcoholism. Same goes if a person injures himself in let’s say an accident when under influence of smoking or alcohol. These exclusions may also include detoxification programs and other similar sort of treatments. Some may just state alcohol or tobacco, while there are companies that will not cover any medical treatments if a person is being under influence of “any other intoxicating substance”. This gives insurance company the ultimate role to decide if they are going to process your claim or no.

When it comes to alcohol, there is also a very similar approach for health insurance in China. Foreigners and expats shall be prepared to be asked if they drink more than 20 units per week or no. Unit refers to 250ml of beer or 1 glass of wine. Same applies for stronger spirits. Numbers higher than industry norm of 20 a week will more likely cause extra investigation. Meaning more questions from insurance company’s underwriting team to finish the enrollment. If insured person however developed a habit of drinking while being insured by the policy, there is typically no need to notify insurance company on this.

What if I quit smoking while under cover from insurance company in China?

Good news are, if your policy has been subject to special terms because of tobacco use – those can be removed on renewal date. So how can quit smoking affect health insurance in China? In many cases insurance company might also want to ask for a recent check up report. Requirements are different by each company but usually include lung CT or X-Ray. Based on this they will determine how much loading on the premium shall be removed. We have had clients who faced 20% increase in price from a particular insurance provider due to their heavy smoking habit. This has been reduced to 10% once they stopped smoking.

To summarize, if your insurance plan previous had special terms with regards to excessive use of tobacco, we can help you change it. In this case, quitting smoking can actually positively impact your health insurance in China. Our consultants also got a proven record that insurance company will be willing to re-assess the situation again in 2 years. Keep in mind that such review quite often requires recent check up report as a back up.

We will help you find the best expatriate health insurance in China at affordable costs. Get in touch for a consultation. 

Our Editorial Team

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China?

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China? 150 150 China Access Team

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China?

That will primarily depend on what medical facility you decide to go to. To remind our readers again, there are 2 types of medical facilities in China: government run hospitals (public care) as well as international type private clinics and hospitals. Last are quite often foreign funded and have several partnerships with overseas hospitals. This article will guide you on how much it costs to see a doctor in China.

Is medical expensive in China?

Lets start our analysis with public medical facilities. Best of those are referred to as Grade 3 hospitals. Social insurance will cover expenses in those. Quite a few of these facilities also have VIP or International department. Note that social insurance in won’t cover expenses in this case. Just a general department. Most well-know this type of hospitals are Ruijin Hospital上海市瑞金医院 and Huashan Hospital上海华山医院 in Shanghai. Others are Beijing Union Hospital 北京协和医院 and China-Japan Friendship Hospital中日友好医院 in Beijing.

Below is executive summary for getting health treatment in public government run hospitals in China.

Cost of health treatment in China

Costs of medical in hospitals in China

If you are looking for giving birth in public hospitals, costs will range somewhere between CNY 3,000-8,000. This will apply for a general section and CNY 10,000-35,000 in a VIP section. Tier 1-2 cities tend to have larger costs compared to smaller cities.

Costs to see a doctor in China. Private medical care.

Similarly to public government run Tier 3 hospitals, this depends on city where you live and what kind of medical facility you go to. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai have higher medical bills for patient compared to similar treatments in Tier 2-3 cities. For example a well known chain of private clinics such as Parkway Health will easily charge you around RMB 1,500 for a general family doctor consultation in Shanghai. But drive 100km over to Suzhou and visit Parkway Health in Suzhou, costs will already be around 10-30% less. Refer to our article on what private hospitals in China for expats there are to learn more.

While we did cover costs of giving birth in China in our article here, let’s analyze how much RMB will it run for regular treatments. We will also include procedures from few reputable international clinics and hospitals. Foreigners and expats in China shall expect to spend around RMB 620-1,150 for a regular consultation with family doctor in private clinics. Seeing a specialist will be more within RMB 810-1,530 range. This will let you have a consultations with dermatologists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

How much does inpatient care cost in China?

Overnight stays will require RMB 3,050-4,590 of costs per night. While inpatient surgeries can greatly vary between RMB 5,100 and RMB 150,000 per incident. All depending on complexity of medical condition. Let’s dig into cost estimations that are provided directly by hospitals and that are usually quite accurate.

NOTE: very often hospitals can have preferential rates with several insurance companies. In that case you might be seeing bills with less zeros if you have insurance that supports direct billing services.  

Some of the most popular international hospitals in Beijing are United Family – often referred to as BJU. Followed by OASIS International. Below are costs estimations published by BJU for regular health procedures.

Costs to see doctor in China

United Family

Source: Beijing United Family Hospital website

Surprisingly, Shanghai United Family follows different price strategy and is on average around 30-40% lower in price. More details below.

Cost of health procedures in Shanghai

Source: Shanghai United Family Hospital website.

Give or take but places like OASIS or Vista clinic in Beijing, Parkway in Shanghai will roughly be in the same price range. There is however a number of medical facilities that will present you even lower bills than Shanghai United Family. Examples would be Hong Kong Medical Center in capital and Jiahui or Sino-United in Shanghai. Below is for reference on average costs structure in Jiahui Health.

Health care costs in Shanghai

Source: Jiahui Health website

As you see costs to see a doctor in China in private facilities can vary largely too. Always make sure your health insurance covers medical facility you are about to go to. Ideally even with direct billing services so you can avoid hassle of claims bills for reimbursement. Get in touch with us to know more about options available for you & your family. We will be happy to present you what plans may suit you best.

Our Editorial Team

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats?

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats? 150 150 China Access Team

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats?

China has universal free healthcare for it’s citizens. As an employed foreigner in China you are entitled to participate in this through social insurance. It is a mandatory requirement for all employed expats in the country. Portions for it will be deducted from your pay check every month. How much of portions are we talking about? This varies and depends largely on your monthly pay check and compensation package. As a general rule of thumb it is somewhere between 7-15%.

How can foreigners get social insurance in China?

Social insurance in China consists of 5 pillars and different pillars are paid up by different party. Either by you, or by your employer or by both together. Below graph represents what party contributes to which part of social insurance.

Social insurance in China for expats

Source: Hr One Website

It is true that there has been many cases, particularly in Shanghai, where foreigners omit signing up for it. In that case they rather spend the savings on private medical plan instead. Ultimately, that decision is on you and subject to whether your HR approves it or no.

Difference between private health insurance and social insurance in China

Most noticeable difference is that social insurance covers far more things. Such as housing fund and pension that you can start receiving after 15 years of contribution. However, if we put those aside let’s see what are major difference on health insurance side.

  • social insurance will only reimburse medical expenses in public, government run medical facilities. Not even VIP or International sections. So if you are accustomed to international hospitals like United Family or Parkway – social insurance won’t be much use there.

See below more details on what are popular international hospitals in China for expats

  • only in very few occasions social insurance covers 100% of medical expenses. A lot of medical bills will require copayment from your side, this typically ranges between 10-30%.
  • very often contribution to social insurance gets more expensive than getting a good private medical insurance. Take for example an average expat with RMB 40,000 salary. Average contribution of 10% will be RMB 4,000 on a monthly basis, that is RMB 48,000 per year. For that much money expatriate can get a family insurance plan for 2-3 people. *assuming cover in for China only, in&outpatient and for average ages of 30-35yo.

Check out below article on more details about costs of health insurance in China for foreigners

  • while private medical insurance is cheaper in costs, it will also provide you with far higher limits and coverage without copaymentss. Oh, and don’t forget that you will have access to private medical facilities so no need to get up early and queue up for a ticket in a hospital 🙂

For more information about health insurance for expats in China please get in touch through this page so one of our consultants can guide you through the options.

Our Editorial Team

Having Baby in China as Expat

Having Baby in China as Expat 150 150 China Access Team

Giving Birth in China as a Foreigner. Insurance vs Maternity Packages

This article will only cover health insurance plans that cover maternity benefits for giving birth in China as an expat, overview of those hospitals that are fitted to support giving birth as well as how all of it is different if you simply purchase a maternity package from a medical facility. 

Having baby in China as an Expat – First Steps

First of all, it worth mentioning that if you are looking for expat health insurance in China to cover medical expenses associated with giving birth, most of those should be purchased in advance. As of January 2020 there are no insurance plans in China that you can purchase if pregnant already. Last option was MSH but they cancelled that plan. Right now most of them will have a minimum waiting period of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.

Needless to say, all other insurance benefits except maternity is not subject to this waiting period. Meaning, if you get cough, cold or need some physiotherapy for instance, plan will cover it. Maternity waiting limit applies separately. There are however some maternity insurance options that will cover pregnancy expenses from day 1. However, member can’t be pregnant at the point of purchasing a plan. You can get pregnant right after and then costs will be covered during the 1st policy year.

How much does it cost to give birth in China?

Giving birth in a public hospital in China as a foreigner will cost you around RMB 2,000 and RMB 8,000. In those you will have an option to go through VIP or International section, in that case costs will jump up towards RMB 25,000-30,000 mark. While giving birth in private international type hospitals in China will be around RMB 60,000 in costs. Complications, such as c-section, will typically cost twice as much compared to traditional delivery.

Is it free to give birth in China?

Costs for child delivery can be compensated for employed expats in China only as long as they have social insurance through their employer. Keep in mind that this will only be applicable to public government run medical facilities. Not even VIP or International section. For anything extra than that, foreigner shall purchase private medical insurance and opt for international type hospital.

Waiting periods for maternity insurance plan in China

Pay attention to the wording of the waiting period under your insurance plan. In other words, exact definition. Most of insurance plans have general waiting period. Let’s take for example 12 months. That means a person can get pregnant before waiting period is over, but you can only claims expenses that happen after 12 months. If you have such a plan then ideal scenario is to get pregnant towards the end of the first policy year. Thus, first ultrasounds and child delivery itself during second policy year can be covered.

Some insurance companies have a “no pregnancy waiting period”, usually those that have a 6 months time restriction. That means that pregnancy should only occur after 6 months once you purchase a plan. Treating doctor will have to confirm on medical records when pregnancy first occurred. Get in touch with us to lear more what maternity plan might suit your situation best. We will make sure you can go for child delivery in hospital of your choice.

Are fathers allowed in the delivery room in China?

Males are typically not allowed in the delivery room. There is, however, an option with several public hospitals to opt for that option for some extra costs. On average, those will be RMB 3,000-5,000. On the other hand, they are ok to accompany female during pre and post natal care.

I am pregnant already, what are my options?

Getting a regular health insurance to cover child birth in China is not an option any more. So let’s look at 2 options that are still available.

1 – get a medical insurance to cover medical expenses for anything not related to maternity. Most companies like Allianz and Now Health will even cover complications of pregnancy. Should anything go wrong during child delivery in China. This will also allow you to get your baby covered as soon as he/she is born. Refer to health insurance costs in China article to learn more what to expect when considering this.

2- get a maternity package from an international hospital in China. Whatever maternity package costs are, those are roughly 1:1 to carrying medical expenses out of pocket. More on that below.

Maternity Packages from International Hospitals for Foreigners in China

If you happen to live in Tier 1 or Tier 2 city in China, there are some very good international OBGYN hospitals. These facilities explicitly deal with giving birth in China, foreigners can look into those as an option for having baby. Very often those have already pre-set maternity packages that you can get once already pregnant. Keep in mind, it won’t cover complications should child for example be born pre-mature. Or require some treatment in ICU. This is what insurance is for. Maternity package mostly will still cover complications of birth related to mother. Which is still better than no cover at all, right. If you need help and discounts on arranging any of that please get in touch so we can help.

What hospital are good for giving birth in China as an expat?

Jiahui International Hospital in Shanghai has already become one of the most popular international hospitals for foreigners in Shanghai. They do also have their own fertility clinic. Through this they offer maternity package that currently goes for RMB 45,000 for traditional delivery and RMB 70,000 for c-section. More on this on Jiahui Hospital Shanghai

American Sino Hospital in Shanghai is another very popular option for expats on giving birth in Shanghai. Compared to Jiahui Health, they have much more options available as OBGYN is the core of their medical practice.

Giving Birth in China as Expat

Delivery packages are ranging between RMB 45,000 and 90,000. Depending on how comprehensive you want it to be. They even have maternity packages just for pre or post natal only without child delivery. Those are somewhere in the range of RMB 5,000 and RMB 20,000. American Sino also partners with several smaller tier clinics such as Worldpath International Shanghai and help them with their client. In particular with Worldpath you can still undergo pre natal checks at there location in Lujiazui, but for giving birth (child delivery itself) they will arrange you a visit at American Sino’s facility in Xuhui hospital. American Sino Shanghai and Worldpath International Shanghai

Giving birth in Shanghai

United Family Shanghai Hospital offers various maternity packages too. Just pre-natal will run you for RMB 28,000 only. Traditional (vaginal) child delivery will be RMB 59,000 while if you get this together with pre natal then total will be only RMB 82,000 per package. Going further for section+pre natal will be coming towards RMB 111,000 price tag. On top of those they do also sell pre-conception, early pregnancy check up as well as late stage prenatal check up for foreigners giving birth in Shanghai. United Family Shanghai (UFH Shanghai)

Ferguson Health Shanghai (previously known as Read Leaf Hospital) is ready to help expats and foreigners with child delivery regardless how complicated it can be. Dr Ferguson is ready to provide you not only with maternity packages that range somewhere between RMB 40,000 and RMB 120,000 but also teaching classes on various different topics you might be interested about giving birth in China for expats. At some point they even used to provide pre natal yoga classes for you to get familia with body movements and restrictions during pregnancy. Ferguson Health Shanghai

Giving birth in Beijing

OASIS International Hospital Beijing. Giving birth in Beijing for expats, you definitely will come across this medical facility. It is one of the biggest and well equipped international hospitals in Beijing to assist you with having baby in China. Maternity packages range somewhere between RMB 45,000 and RMB 85,000. On the other hand, there is whole bunch of other things available too, such as pre natal packages on their own, as well as pre conception check ups. Those are one of the most comprehensive in the city, below are details. OASIS Hospital Beijing

AmCare Hospital Beijing will be a slightly cheaper version of OASIS. They do have less maternity packages available but are still able to provide routine delivery and pre natal checks. Such will cost around RMB 60,000. While for actual giving birth they will send you to a main hospital in Haidian district, regular ultrasounds and check ups can be arranged in any of the other 4 clinics across the city. AmCare Hospital Beijing

Beijing Antai Hospital. Those of us who are looking to have a water birth in Beijing have came across that medical facility on a number of forums. One of the very few places in capital that can arrange it. Additionally, very reasonably priced for such services. All of it will run you just a bit over RMB 35,000 for a package. Antai Hospital Beijing

Eden Hospital Beijing. Probably one of the biggest hospitals operating in downtown. Compared to regular players like OASIS or United Family they don’t employ as many foreign doctors. Pre natal check ups and giving birth in Beijing with them will cost you around RMB 60,000. Eden Hospital Beijing 

Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU). When it comes to giving birth in China as an expat, United Family been on the market longest amongst other private medical facilities. Very similarly priced as Shanghai. Pre natal and regular giving birth in this hospital will cost you around RMB 83,000. Should you wish to switch to Caesarean section as a way to having a child then costs will be slightly above RMB 110,000 per package. United Family Beijing 

Other cities

Raffles Medical is a huge chain of medical facilities across the entire Asia. In China they have hospitals and clinic in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chongqing, Tianjin, Chengdu and Shenzhen. While pre and post natal care will be available in all of them, only hospitals can help you with child delivery in China. Others will refer you to their partner local hospital which is still a good options because they will be the one arranging everything on your behalf. Raffles Medical China

Support from community when having a child in China

If you are particularly new to China and want to get some suggestion or hints from a fellow foreigners in the country regarding particular issues on giving birth in China then following links might be helpful. Major cities like Shanghai and Beijing have a relatively large expat communities where you can benefit from a local knowledge of a fellow expat. Shanghaimamas is one example of a community of local expatriate females sharing hints with each other on how to best handle their kids in the city.

ShanghaiFamily is another great resource of getting best knowledge of the local life from expatriates in the city. Beijing-Kids will be a similar online source for getting information about having children in China as a foreigner in case you live in the capital. EasyExpat and ExpatArrivals are rather general forum based websites where expats and foreigners can ask questions to be answered by other expats, those are not limited to a particular city but rather cover China nationwide.

Our Editorial Team

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