Guide to the Most Popular Expat Health Insurance Plans In China

By PeterLogan

China Expat Health has thousands of clients from abroad. We are therefore able to identify which insurance plans, benefits, and companies are most popular among health insurance for expats in China.

Understanding the benefits expats most value is key to understanding which insurance plans and companies are popular.

The majority of medical insurance plans can be divided into two categories: core coverage/inpatient only and optional extras like outpatient, dental, wellness, eyeglasses, optical, and maternity. You can find our medical insurance dictionary page if you are unsure of any benefit terms.

Did you know that there are many hospital network options?

When buying expat Chinese medical insurance, another consideration is whether you wish to have access to high-cost providers. You can reduce your insurance premiums by limiting access to clinics and hospitals that cost more.

Co-payments and Deductibles

You would expect that copayments and other deductibles would be as popular as high-cost provider copays. Only 3% of our clients opt for plans that include copayments and deductibles.

This is something I find odd. A small outpatient or inpatient copay can help to lower the cost of insurance. My own insurance includes a deductible. Although inpatient deductibles can be a great way of lowering your insurance premiums but only Now Health or Cigna offer decent options, they are not a good option.

China Medical Insurance Companies And Their Plans

The ‘Standard Package, which provides inpatient and outpatient coverage, is the most popular option. Next, there’s the ‘Comprehensive Package, which includes wellness and dental care, and then finally, the inpatient-only plan. All three with high-cost provider copayment.

How to Choose between the 3 Most Popular Insurance Companies

Allianz Care is a trusted international brand that people feel more secure with. It offers the best combination of brand value and service levels, especially international, with a lower cost. They also offer portable plans, so if you travel to China, you can bring your insurance with. This is not the case for ICBC AXA.

The price of Now Health is comparable to Allianz or ICBC AXA, and it offers greater coverage than either. Although they are not a major health insurance company, their coverage is excellent. They also have the best underwriters among all insurance companies, so even if you have preexisting conditions, Now Health will treat you fairly and offer you better terms. You can also transfer Now Health plans to other countries.

If you are primarily using insurance in Mainland China, ICBC AXA will be your best option. It is affordable and offers reliable service. They offer comprehensive packages with wellness and dental care. There are many ways to lower your premium. The plans are flexible. ICBC AXA, a simple and effective insurance plan, is a great option.

Last but not least! Which Cover Area Is Most Popular?

This section has been left at the end to make it easy for you. Most Chinese expats and foreigners spend 90% of their time in Mainland China. Price conscious individuals will choose Mainland China or Greater China coverage. This is a smart choice, as most plans include ‘outside-area emergency coverage’. This means that if you need life-saving treatment outside of China, it will usually be covered by the plan.

Some expats travel extensively or work in China. These people are very fortunate to have a Worldwide Excludes US Area of Cover. This saves them time and effort, as well as money in the event of an illness or accident. It is difficult to purchase travel insurance more than once a year.