Yes, expats need insurance coverage in China
Expats living and working in China, Shanghai in particular, have expressed a strong desire for insurance protection, and here are their views on the topic.
Chung Hwa from Malaysia, a project manager in Shanghai:
"Personally, I think it's necessary, especially accident insurance."
He bought a plan through an agent based on a friend's recommendation with Ping An Life Insurance last July.
Premium: around 4,000 yuan (US$627) a year
He's had two accidents already: lower back strain while mopping a floor and a fall from his motorcycle.
Cost: around 2,000-3,000 yuan
He has yet to file a claim, as the procedure is complicated and an offline outlet visit is required.
Christopher Brantley from the United States, a principal consultant at a leadership advisory firm in Shanghai:
So far he has not used insurance here.
Company arranged some plans as part of his labor contract.
Nadhem Zitouni from France, general manager at a company engaged in industrial machinery in Guangzhou:
"I think it's always very important."
The most important service for him is ease of reimbursement and whether or not there is direct billing.
He has used a total of three health insurance policies that were arranged by his company.
He had reimbursement issues with the first one (through MSH International).
The second one (through MSH China) had some limitations.
He has been using the third one (through ICBC-AXA) for the past seven years and has not had any issues.
The cost is around 35,000-40,000 yuan per year.
He has not thought about local products or government-run medical plans, focusing mostly on international health insurance.
Elodie from France, head of operations at an industrial machinery service firm in Shanghai:
"it is worth buying to yi fang wan yi (deal with risks even if such chances are very small)."
She has self-funded health coverage through ICBC-AXA that a friend recommended.
She does not want to got through the hassle of selecting products .
Most important service for her: direct billing.
Also wanted insurance covering private hospitals in direct billing (she goes to SinoUnited Health).
No problem with the coverage so far, and everything is 100 percent direct billing.
She goes in for an annual health check and has also had weekly physical therapy appointments for her back and knee.