Understanding health insurance vietnamtimes for expats
Vietnam is extremely popular among immigrants, expats and digital nomads. The cost of living is low and it is relatively easy to find a job. Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an estimated GDP growth of 6.7% in 2015. However, there is still room for improvement in healthcare in Vietnam. While the country is currently working to achieve universal health coverage, the standard of public facilities remains low. However, there are encouraging signs of improvement. For example, life expectancy in Vietnam increased by an average of two years between 2000 and 2012. And according to the World Health Organization, more than 97% of Vietnamese children receive routine vaccinations, one of the highest rates in the world. Potential expats thinking of moving can find out what they need to know about health insurance in Vietnam for foreigners and expats.
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Overview of Vietnam Health Insurance Plans
The Vietnamese government is trying to introduce a universal health care system similar to health insurance in Thailand. Such a plan is expected to cover the cost of basic health care for all legal residents. One of the goals, known as the “Master Plan for Universal Coverage,” is to reduce costs to less than 40% compared to the usual 80%.
Currently, local businesses are struggling to find suitable healthcare partners to meet the government’s mandate to find health insurance vietnamtimes for their workforce. However, the overall system is slowly being modernized. In June 2019, an electronic record management system based on social security laws was introduced which will form the basis of a national health data system.
The benefits and drawbacks of adopting the local health insurance system
Using Vietnam’s public health facilities provides an important advantage. The prices are much lower than in other nations. A doctor’s appointment is merely a few bucks.
However, this low price comes with its own costs. Public facilities are cramped and overcrowded, there is little privacy, there are no interpreters and outdated diagnostic equipment. In rural areas, public health facilities are extremely poor and sometimes non-existent.
Most expats use private hospitals. There is a predominantly English speaking staff as well as a large number of multilingual doctors. Second and third languages include French, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. Although not as luxurious as private hospitals in other countries, patients can expect clean, comfortable care, good communication, high-quality diagnostic tests and a reasonable level of privacy.
What you should know if you are considering insurance
The rural-urban divide in Vietnam is severe. Access to health care facilities in rural Vietnam is limited and, when available, extremely light. Therefore, patients who can afford it travel to the city to visit the higher quality public hospitals. The already overburdened hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are therefore even more busy and overwhelmed. It is not uncommon for expats living in rural areas to have insurance vietnamtimes that allows treatment outside of Vietnam in Singapore or Thailand, especially for specialist care.
How many expats obtain health insurance in Vietnam?
There is currently no form of public health insurance in Vietnam that an expat is entitled to. Hopefully, this will change in the near future.
Expats do not need international health insurance to obtain a work permit or qualify for a residence permit. However, foreigners must have a clean bill of health to obtain a work permit. This means that expats must submit a medical certificate that is valid for 12 months. You can find out more about this practice, which hospitals and clinics issue certificates and what you can expect from this Vietnamese law firm in a useful article.
Best health insurance in Vietnam for expats and foreigners
The Cigna Global plan is a fantastic choice for the majority of international nationals and expats residing in Japan. Customers have access to hospitals and doctors of their choice in Vietnam and worldwide, including private facilities. You can choose between different coverage levels and benefits and manage costs by including or excluding selected benefit packages.
Best global health insurance for US citizens living in Vietnam
The GeoBlue Xplorer package is a popular choice for US Americans residing in Vietnam. Again, you have access to healthcare facilities in Vietnam and around the world, including the leading Blue Cross/Blue Shield physician network in the United States.
Benefits of global health insurance
Hospital overcrowding is a major problem in Vietnam. Most public hospitals, even in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are experiencing overcapacity. Therefore, hospitalized patients often have to share beds. Not just hospital rooms, but real beds. Unfortunately, a measles outbreak in 2014 that led to the death of 120 children was linked to bed-sharing in an overcrowded hospital ward.
Global health insurance vietnamtimes does not only offer convenience, like nicer facilities. It ensures that your hospital accommodation is clean, comfortable and reasonably private. It’s horrible to be so sick that you have to be hospitalized without having to share a bed with a stranger who is just as sick!
What you need to know about public hospital operations in Vietnam
Most state hospitals in Vietnam, like many other nations, do not take foreign insurance. You first demand payment – usually before the doctor’s visit – and then submit your own receipts to your insurance vietnamtimes company. This also applies to some private hospitals.
There is another cash-focused practice in public hospitals that can confuse expats. Well-known thank you envelopes have long been a common practice for giving monetary gifts to doctors and nurses. Even if it’s a small amount, often as little as $5 to $25, it’s basically a bribe in hopes of getting better and faster care.
Generally, this is a voluntary practice. A 2012 study published by the World Bank found that 76% of people who gave envelopes as gifts did so without asking. However, the modest amounts in the envelopes put enormous stress on patients and their families. This stress was one of the motivating factors for a campaign among hospitals in Hanoi in 2011 with the slogan “No to envelopes”.
Expats are not expected to hand over envelopes when seen in a public hospital. They are not expected to be aware of the practice. But other hidden costs can also end up on your bill.
How do normal doctor visits for expats in Vietnam work?
In Vietnam, there is not much emphasis on preventive care and many people simply go to the hospital or clinic in an emergency. To see an English-speaking, internationally trained doctor, expats must visit a private hospital or clinic.
How to find a Vietnamese family doctor
A good option for expats is Hanoi General Practice, which also operates clinics in Ho Chi Minh City and Danang. Although their services cost more than municipal clinics, they provide comprehensive care. Their services include inpatient and outpatient care, pediatrics, physical therapy, and health screenings. There is also an emergency telephone and a rescue service.
Innovative recipes in Vietnam
Foreign recipes are not followed in Vietnam. To refill your medication, you must visit a local clinic and obtain a local prescription. You can also contact your new local pharmacy. Many prescription drugs in North America or Europe are available over the counter in Vietnam. Expats can also bring a wide range of prescription drugs with them when they move to Vietnam, as long as they are in their original packaging with the pharmacy label. You may be able to get a year’s supply of your favorite brand from your doctor before you move, so you can worry less about medication refills.