Vietnam is no doubt an amazing place to live and work but I think we all agree that we are probably more susceptible to injuries or potential diseases in Vietnam due to relaxed health and safety practices. As we can see in some counties, health and safety regulations have gone overboard which also limits our freedom in some ways, so we cannot be so hard on the system, however we can take actions to limit our risk and protect ourselves. One way is of course, health insurance.
For many expats, the quality standards of public hospitals in Vietnam tend not to be as high as in their home country. That is why, in addition to compulsory health insurance, foreign workers (expats) in Vietnam will usually want to participate in private insurance packages, which are some health insurance companies where services are closer to international standards with more facilities and favourable terms.
Let’s first take a look at some of the most reputable health insurance companies in Vietnam, then we can learn how insurance policies are applied for foreigners in Vietnam and understand what forms of health insurance in Vietnam are available.
Health insurance for expats in Vietnam has two types: compulsory and voluntary.
Liberty Healthcare Insurance
Participants: Vietnamese citizens or foreigners from 15 days old to 74 years old.
Liberty Healthcare Insurance is a product of Liberty Healthcare, an insurance company with extensive experience and reputation in the market. Some outstanding features of this Liberty Healthcare health insurance for expats in Vietnam:
- Insurance benefits up to 22 billion VND;
- Medical examination and treatment in Vietnam and abroad depend on the insurance coverage;
- Global emergency medical assistance by International SOS;
- Free periodical health checks and vaccination for customers wishing to screen for diseases;
- Covers the full cost of surgery, cancer treatment, ambulance services, organ transplants, and home nursing services.
- Emergency medical transportation and repatriation in Vietnam or abroad
- Preferential policies for groups and families with optional insurance benefits to suit your needs.
- Discount up to 15% or a general health checkup package worth up to 5 million VND.
Bao Viet Intercare Health Insurance
Participants: Vietnamese citizens or foreigners from 15 days old to 69 years old, and have lived in Vietnam for at least 6 months.
Bao Viet Intercare Health Insurance is an insurance package of Bao Viet company, one of the most prestigious insurance companies in the Vietnamese market. With a basic fee of only VND 27,000, this insurance package has a benefit limit of enough for participants to pay hospital fees at famous international hospitals in Vietnam. Some outstanding features of this Baoviet Intercare health insurance for expats in Vietnam:
- Insurance benefits up to 10 billion VND/year;
- Global coverage, in every region and country you desire.
- Partner of more than 150 prestigious hospitals worldwide;
- Emergency medical transportation and repatriation in Vietnam or abroad
- Guarantee of fees for both inpatient and outpatient.
Ultracare Health Insurance
Participants: Vietnamese citizens or foreigners from 01 day old to 74 years old, and have lived in Vietnam for at least 6 months.
This is a health care and protection cooperation program between Baoviet Insurance and Aetna International.
Insurance has a relatively high premium, commensurate with the highest level of insurance benefits in the market. Some outstanding features of this Aetna Ultracare health insurance for expats in Vietnam:
- Global coverage, allowing customers to access modern medical services at home and abroad;
- Pay the full cost of cancer treatment;
- Free insurance for 2nd, 3rd and 4th children under 18 years old;
- Periodic health check-ups and screenings up to 1,000 USD/year, including examination and vaccination fees;
- Medical transportation for cases requiring treatment abroad;
- Accepting support for medical examination and treatment costs at private clinics within the insured territory.
A compulsory health insurance policy for foreigners is one of the policies aimed at ensuring foreigners, who are studying or working in Vietnam, also enjoy the same health conditions and guarantees as citizens of the host country.
According to the provisions of Clause 5, Article 17 of Decision 595/QD-XH, foreigners living in Vietnam can buy health insurance if their names are in the household registration book or temporary residence book in the area where they live. In addition, they also need to belong to the target groups specified in this law. If they do not belong to the specified groups, they are required to buy insurance according to the household according to the above law. If a foreigner joins a labour force with an official contract, he or she does not have to buy insurance according to the household.
According to Article 12 of the Law on Health Insurance in Vietnam 2008 (amended by Clause 6, Article 1 of the Law on Health Insurance Amendment 2014), subjects participating in health insurance are employees working under labour contracts with the indefinite terms, labour contracts with a term of 3 months or more; the employee who is the manager of the enterprise receives a salary; officials and civil servants. Foreigners working in Vietnam are also considered subjects to participate in health insurance.
The fee of compulsory health insurance in Vietnam for one person is calculated at 4.5% of the base salary.
The fee on compulsory health insurance in Vietnam for expats: According to Clause 1, Article 7 of Decree 146/2018/ND-CP:
- The compulsory health insurance fee of the first person participating in health insurance is calculated at 4.5% of the base salary(*). In which, the employer will pay 3% and the employee is responsible for 1.5%.
- The second person’s health insurance premium rate is 70% of the first person’s.
- The contribution rate of the third and fourth person is 60% and 50% of the first person, respectively.
- From the fifth person onwards, the health insurance premium is calculated at 40% of the first person.
(*)The base salary according to Decree 38 is 1,490,000 VND/month
Although Vietnam has a mandatory health insurance service for the entire population, those who can afford it still prefer to seek health insurance services from private hospitals and centres. Because these places are equipped with modern medical equipment, updated with high technology, thus, bringing a better experience in terms of both medical examination and treatment quality and service quality.
In addition to compulsory health insurance in Vietnam, foreigners tend to purchase health insurance services from private hospitals and centres.
When it comes to what type of health insurance to buy in Vietnam, you’ll have to think about the policy and coverage terms that best suit your healthcare needs.
As in most parts of the world, health insurance in Vietnam for expats can be secured through three following types of packages: travel insurance, local insurance and international insurance. The specific insurance plan that is best for you will depend on your circumstances, but it is important that you know your exact health care needs before purchasing health insurance in Vietnam.
As the most commonly purchased health insurance in Vietnam for people travelling or enjoying short vacations, travel insurance services in Vietnam will be the same as those offered in other parts of the world. They are convenient, quickly purchased, and less expensive than other types of insurance, but on the other hand, have limited benefits.
Travel insurance is convenient, quickly purchased, and less expensive than other types of health insurance.
Local insurance is a type of private health insurance for expats in Vietnam provided by local insurance centres. This type of insurance is similar to health insurance services in the foreigner’s home country. They are slightly more expensive than travel insurance, but they offer higher financial coverage and benefits. They can also be tailored to the local health system.
International health insurance for expats in Vietnam is the most comprehensive form of insurance available to foreigners. They are designed to have wide coverage worldwide, in many private and semi-private hospitals, with paramedics and a wide range of premium healthcare options. International health insurance has the highest financial benefits and limits of the three types of health insurance. If you are a frequent traveller and stay in Vietnam, this is the right insurance plan for you.
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