My first experience with Healthcare in China

by YANN │on FEBRUARY, 17│ 2016

A decade ago after moving out to Shanghai I started looking for International Health insurance for myself.
After receiving a quotation I stumbled upon the notion of “Deductible”. I thought to myself “what a strange concept, French Insurers usually offer cover from 1st Euro, who needs deductibles? “.
Then I started working as an Insurance Broker. While I was getting more knowledgeable with barbarian terms such as “deductible”, “co-pay” or “coinsurance” I had the opportunity to test Chiropractic skills in Shanghai due to joint pain. The initial experience was very pleasant; the US Chiropractor I had been recommended was highly skilled. Few minutes later, the bill came to me as a tornado; it was roughly 4 times the price I would have paid in France. Not being covered by my Health Insurance for this I declined the gracious offer for the next upcoming 15 sessions.

I then began to recall my previous initial thought about deductibles and more generally Healthcare cost sharing. 
I realized that my initial “who needs deductible?” thought had not initially been comparing apples to apples. Indeed, I was starting to discover the vast cost discrepancy between China and my previous Healthcare experience in Europe.  Indeed, a number of International Health Insurance plans have been built on the notion of cover from the 1st Euro with sublimits. One of the most stealth example of sublimit is the cover limit you find for Private room in case of an Hospitalisation. This usually comes as a late surprise to some foreigners to find Expat facilities with a Healthy Price Tag over $600 per day for the cost of the private room during an Hospitalisation. In case the Insurance plan does not cover a cost of this magnitude, the end result is regularly the same; the patient is transferred to a less expensive a local medical facility where doctors may speak local language only.

 As a medical insurance consultant, the advice I regularly give to expats looking for International Health Coverage in places such as China or Hong Kong, is to emphasize strong Inpatient cover rather than complete package with weak hospitalization cover.

Funny Chiropractor

+ Add a Comment
  Leave a Comment