Health Insurance in China

Health Insurance in China


Learn about how health insurance works in China

Before leaving your home country to study abroad in China, it is important to understand how the health insurance system works. As an international student, you need to know if you will be covered by the national healthcare of your destination country. The last thing you want while studying abroad is to get surprised by an enormous medical fee, with no insurance to cover it. Unfortunately, China’s healthcare system does not provide complimentary healthcare to foreign students, which means that international students should obtain coverage before leaving their home country.

Health Insurance Regulation for International Student in China

According to the regulations of the Ministry of Education of China, every international student who studies in China must be covered by a private medical insurance plan. Your sponsored organization or school may also offer a group insurance plan that you can purchase for a reasonable cost. However, the group plan usually has restricted benefits and conditions; you may find that it does not cover pre-existing conditions or chronic medical conditions.

Although it is not required by the Ministry of Education of China, you may want to consider an insurance plan that also includes medical evacuation, repatriation and emergency assistance, since not all hospitals and clinics in China are equipped with western standard medical infrastructure.

Insurers Option and Benefits in China

Since national healthcare is not available for international students, private health insurance is the only method to protect yourself from injury or illness that can occur while you are studying in China.

The main insurers for health insurance in China are China Taiping Insurance, China Life Insurance, China Pacific Insurance, People's Insurance Company of China and Ping An Insurance. The cost of health insurance in China is reasonable, but the policy maximums are relatively low compared to western insurance standards, and plans might have various limitations on different benefits. Also, some health insurance plans are not available for foreigners, which means that international students usually have a limited plan and the benefits may not include everything that might be included in a plan from your home country.

You may choose instead to purchase a plan in your home country to cover you during your stay in China. You might find that international providers in your home country have extensive participating doctors and hospitals in China. Compare different insurance plans option and pick the one that suit you the best.

Medical Check Up

All international students who come to China to study for six months or longer (X1 visa) are required to undergo a medical examination either before or after they enter China. When you apply for a residence permit in China, you will have to submit the Foreigner Physical Examination form confirming that you have passed the physical examination. You will need the residence permit in order to enter or exit China within an 11 months’ period so that you may go home for the holidays. In some cases, you must pass the medical examination before you apply for an X1 visa. You will have to submit the completed Foreigner Physical Examination form with your visa application. Check with the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your home country to find out if this is a requirement. If it is, you will need to go to the nearest hospital to conduct a medical examination. Remember to ask the doctor to complete the entire form. It is also very important that the hospital must affix its official seal along with your photograph where the form indicates. If this is not done correctly, you may be required to undergo the examination again, either in your home country or in China.

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