About Pacific Prime China
As a registered insurance broker, Pacific Prime China is committed to finding the best solutions for their clients and offering the best advice.
Pacific Prime has cultivated strong business relationships with the world's leading insurers in order to offer our customers the best possible health insurance solutions.
Our array of services include:
- Impartial insurance advice
- Free plan quotation and plan comparison
- Client services in over 27 languages
- Plan renewals
- Claims support
Not all plans are created equally and when you start to compare health insurance plans in China it quickly becomes apparent that there is a vast difference in the quality of plans available. This makes it hard for many of us to actually find a plan that best meets our needs.
To help make this process a little easier, Pacific Prime China has created this short guide which describes the three most important things you should keep in mind when looking for a new health insurance plan.
Element 1:The price
When the majority of people start looking for health insurance, the price is arguably the single most important thing they will consider. After all, if a plan is out of your budget then you likely won’t be considering it, no matter how good it is.
With high limits and international coverage, global health insurance plans are designed to help cover the cost of care at not only the best private facilities in China, but also abroad. Simply put, they allow you to pick which hospital you want to receive care at. The thing is, many of these facilities are expensive (some hospital visits can cost upwards of USD 100,000). The cost of healthcare is increasing, too, so premiums will be higher for these types of plans.
While the price you pay to secure this type of insurance may be higher, it does offset the high cost of care and makes them completely worth it for those living in China. That said, the premiums for these types of plans will vary considerably especially if you use an online health insurance comparison tool like the one available on Pacific Prime China’s website.
Take, for example, the below screenshot of plan premiums our online comparison tool prepared for a 40-year-old male living in China:
This is just 6 results of close to 30,000 different plan combinations available to consider. When comparing plans online, it is important to look at a number of elements aside from just the price. For instance, the plans in the image above have different levels of coverage, and some have deductibles. All of these factors will influence the overall premium you pay, and the good news is that you can usually play around with the level of coverage offered.
Consult with an expert insurance adviser, such as Pacific Prime China to understand your requirements and get help selecting your plan based on your budget.
Element 2:The level of cover
Insurers in China offer health insurance plans with three major levels of cover:
Inpatient only – These plans will only cover medical care where you are admitted to a hospital by a doctor, usually for more than 24 hours.
Inpatient + outpatient – These plans add on the outpatient cover which includes care at clinics and care where you are not admitted to the hospital.
Inpatient + outpatient + maternity – Covers both of the above as well as maternity. Many insurers will refer to this level of coverage as “full-cover.”
Choice of high-cost providers – In China, insurers divide medical providers into sub-categories, and one of these are high-cost providers. High-cost providers are private hospitals and clinics that carry services at the highest level in China, and as such, are often more expensive to be admitted to and treated at. Most of the insurers will give you an option to cover those in full or partially. That will dramatically affect the price of the plan.
Of course, as you look around you will notice that some plans will vary from the levels of coverage above. For example, some may offer dental or optical coverage instead of maternity, etc. Generally speaking, however, these extra benefits (e.g., dental, optical, wellness, etc.) will be considered as add-ons meaning you can certainly add them to your plan, but will need to pay an extra premium if you want them to be covered.
Element 3:How you will use your plan
The final element to consider when comparing health insurance plans in China is how you plan to use your insurance plan. In some cases, you may have a pre-existing condition or require extensive medical care. If this is the case for you, it would be advisable to keep this in mind when comparing plans.
Some insurers will consider coverage of pre-existing conditions, but it is usually made on a case by case basis and depends on your medical history. If a pre-existing condition is accepted in the plan, an insurer will most likely add a loading - which is an extra premium you need to pay for that condition to be covered.
You will need to discuss this with your broker or insurer before purchasing a plan, as this could drastically change the level and type of coverage you secure.
Beyond that, it is important to note that the service level offered by insurers can vary drastically. What we mean by this is that when it comes to things like paying out on claims, submitting information, securing the plan, disputes, etc. you will find that insurers vary in quality.
Also, understanding and choosing the right hospital network and direct billing option is the best choice for expatriates in China, as it saves times and nerves in already stressful medical situations.
One of the best ways to find a health insurance plan in China is to talk with our expert team at Pacific Prime China. Our team has an in-depth understanding of the market to help you identify a plan that not only meets your budget but also offers the level of coverage you require.