Understanding the workings of China’s health insurance system is crucial before you travel to China to study abroad. International students need to find out if they will have access to the national healthcare system in their destination country. It is not a good idea to be surprised by a large medical bill and no insurance. China’s healthcare system doesn’t offer complimentary China expat health insurance for foreign students. This means international students need to obtain coverage before they leave their country.
International Student Health Insurance Regulations in China
The regulations of the Ministry of Education of China require that all international students studying in China have private medical insurance. You may be able to purchase a group plan through your school or sponsored organization for a fair price. The group plan has a limited number of benefits and conditions. You may not be able to get coverage for pre-existing or chronic conditions.
Even though it is not required by China’s Ministry of Education, you might consider an insurance policy that includes emergency assistance, repatriation, and medical evacuation. Not all Chinese hospitals or clinics have western-standard medical infrastructure.
China Benefits and Options for Insurers
Private insurance covers you against any injury or illness that may occur while studying in China, as national healthcare is not accessible to international students.
China Taiping Insurance is China Life Insurance, China Pacific Insurance and China Pacific Insurance are the main insurance companies for Chinese health insurance. Although China’s health insurance is reasonably priced, the policy limits are much lower than those in western countries. Plans may also have different limitations regarding benefits. Some health insurance plans are not available to foreigners. This means that international students may only have a small plan, and might not receive all the benefits that you would get if you had a plan in your home country.
To cover your expenses while in China, you might opt to buy a plan from your country. It is possible that your country’s international providers have many Chinese participating doctors. Compare the different options available and choose the one that suits you best.
Medical check up
International students coming to China to study six months or more (X1 visa), must undergo a medical exam before entering China. You will need to complete the Foreigner Physical Examination form in order to confirm that you have passed your physical exam before you can apply for a Chinese residence permit. The residence permit is required to enter or leave China within 11 months. This permits you to return home for holidays. You may need to pass a medical exam in some cases before applying for an X1 Visa. The completed Foreigner Physical Examination Form must be submitted with your visa application. To find out if this is required, check with your Chinese Embassy or Consulate. To conduct a medical exam, you’ll need to visit the nearest hospital. Make sure to get the complete form signed by the doctor. Importantly, the hospital must attach its official seal and your photograph to the area indicated on the form. You may need to repeat the exam in China or your country if it isn’t done correctly.